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  • Cary Greene

Traded Yankees Prospects Tracker (J.P. Feyereisen)

…Should Cashman Have Kept Them?

Part One in a Weekly Series: J.P. Feyereisen 

By Cary Greene

April 15, 2024

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With the season going along nicely, I’ve found myself thinking about the team’s most pressing roster needs and with the recent season ending injury to Jonathan Loáisiga, it’s become apparent that the Yankees ragtag bullpen is in dire straits. The arms in the pen are already pitching excessive innings and it’s only April 13th. Combined with all of the other injuries occurring with the Yankees pitchers, Brian Cashman will need to address the state of the team’s pitching in the coming weeks and months, leading up to the 2024 MLB Trade Deadline.  

 

Until a move is made, the Yankees will need to lean on their in-house options to get the job done, however, so many names that were once Yankees prospects no longer remain in the organization. It’s that thought that gave me the impetus for today’s article and for that matter, a whole series of articles that I can write to provide our loyal SSTN readers with some Yankees baseball content that’s a bit different from the day-to-day goings on.  

 

Each article will center on a past Yankees prospect who is no longer with the team. We can debate whether letting the prospect go was a good or bad move and in doing so, we can begin to examine Brian Cashman in a light rarely shined on him. Today, I’ll focus on former Yankees pitching prospect J.P. Feyereisen

 

Grading Cashman’s handling of Feyereisen is painful for me, as I was very optimistic that Feyereisen’s floor was as a bridge reliever while his ceiling was potentially as a very high leverage, later innings type pitcher. In short, I thought he could become a very important member of the Yankees bullpen for years to come, but that was not to be. Before I issue a judgment, let’s fairly consider how things went down with Feyereisen’s Yankees tenure and also, let’s look at the bigger picture as to how his career has panned out since Cashman moved this once promising relief prospect out the door. As I do this, ask yourself one important question: Should Cashman have traded Feyereisen when he did, or did he squander away a potentially valuable reliever? Let’s look at the facts first! 

 

Going back to the 2019 Season, an early September trade occurred between the Brewers and the Yankees, as New York sent minor league reliever J.P. Feyereisen to Milwaukeei n exchange for then 16-year old minor league infielder Brenny Escanio and approximately $250,000 in badly needed international bonus pool funds. The trade was permitted by MLB because neither player had been on a 40-man roster at any point during the 2019 season.  

 

Originally acquired with Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield in the 2016 Andrew Miller blockbuster, Feyereisen either had to be added to the 40-man roster or traded and Cashman made the decision to move a prospect who was having a fantastic season with the Yankees Triple-A affiliate - the Scranton Railriders. Prior to being dealt, Feyereisen was pitching to the tune of a 2.49 ERA with 13.8 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 rates. Due to the Yankees' luxuriously deep bullpens at the time, they never found a spot for Feyereisen.  

 

A few months prior to the trade, the Yankees spent lavishly on Jasson Dominguez in the International Amateur Draft and they were attempting to sign another good international prospect at the time, Jhon Diaz, so additional funds were needed. Ultimately, Diaz signed with Rays however, so in retrospect, trading Feyereisen occurred because he was blocked on the roster due to the Yankees bullpen depth at the time.  

 

Feyereisen seemed to have a clearer path to the Majors with the Brew-Crew, but in May of 2021, the Rays sent shortstop Willy Adames and righty Trevor Richards to the Milwaukee in exchange for Feyereisen and righty starter Drew Rasmussen. Feyereisen had posted a stellar 2.73 ERA while with the Brewers, with 9.3 K/9 and a high 5.1 BB/9 results showing he was still honing his overall command. The Rays immediately stretched Rasmussen out and he became a solid starter for them that season, but Feyereisen recorded a 2.45 ERA for Tampa and then the following season, he was terrific, pitching 24 ⅓ innings without allowing a single run.  

 

Regrettably, Feyereisen landed on the DL in early June of the 2022 season and he ultimately required shoulder surgery, which caused him to miss the start of the 2023 campaign. Though he was under team control for a whopping three more seasons, the Rays had a roster crunch and they wound up having to trade him to the Dodgers, rather than risk designating him for assignment and facing the risk of potentially losing him for nothing. The Dodgers were willing to send former 18th-Round Draft Pick Jeff Belge, a lefty pitching prospect who is now at Double-A in the Rays system, to the Rays for the flier they took on Feyereisen.  

 

J.P. Feyereisen is a talented reliever who, when healthy, kind of reminds the eyeballs of this old fan of a reliever from the past, by the name of Rollie Fingers. Most here know that besides being a staunch Yankees fan, I’m also a fan of both the A’s and Pirates and my love of all three teams dates back to the early 70’s. Fingers threw a variety of pitches, but his slider was his calling card and his fastball sat in the low 90’s and served as the pitch the slider played off. There is no doubt that Feyereisen is far from being a player comp for Rollie Fingers of course as Fingers is a Hall of Famer who was a seven time All-Star, an MVP, a three-time World Series winner, a World Series MVP and a 4 time Rolaids Reliever. All I’m saying is that Feyereisen reminds me of Fingers when I watch him pitch.  

 

It might be Feyereisen’s mound presence that makes me remember the way Rollie Fingers used to command the mound, though there’s absolutely a bit more to it, because they pitched in similar fashion.  

 

Like Fingers, Feyereisen uses his mid-90’s four seamer and he likes to throw it up in the zone, which he throws about 45% of the time, as his set up pitch. He then features a filthy slider that he locates up in the zone. Feyereisen, has returned from surgery with the same 95+mph heat that had before getting injured, he’s now in the Dodgers system. His career has been a long and winding road since coming up with Cleveland. The Yankees never gave him a shot, but he pitched well for the Brewers and the Rays and now, he’s now the Dodgers have him stashed in Triple-A so he can get reps and find his groove again.  

 

It would be hard to argue that he couldn’t have landed in a better spot, as the Dodgers have incredible success at unlocking the potential in their pitchers. Feyereisen stands a good chance of being called up at some point this season and I’ll be keeping an eye on him as personally, I love Feyereisen’s makeup and to me, he has FUTURE CLOSER written all over him. He won’t be a free agent until the 2027 offseason and BaseballTradeValues.com has Feyereisen listed at $4.1 MTV, which for a reliever coming off an injury is a very solid valuation in which the reliever’s ability level is pretty significant.  

 

It won’t surprise me in the least if, as the season wears along, Feyereisen becomes a higher leverage reliever with the Dodgers. If he continues to fare well, he will likely work his way towards being a relevant, impactful component in the Dodgers bullpen. Many believe the Dodgers to be the odds-on favorite to win the World Series this year, citing their star studded roster as being the catalyst but make no mistake, the Dodgers need their stars to stay healthy and they need contributions from many players who form the supporting cast to their stars.  

 

Here’s the catch, the Dodgers have stashed Feyereisen at Triple-A as they are intent on bringing him along and getting him reps as he works his way back. Due to this, Feyereisen is presently more “available” than he will be all season. If he does well as he builds himself back up, the Dodgers won’t want to trade him and instead, they’ll simply promote him and insert him directly into their bullpen mix.  

 

If I were Brian Cashman, I’d already be calling Dodgers GM Brandon Gomes to see if he’d be interested in swinging a trade for Feyereisen as he’s potentially a high leverage replacement for Jonathan Loaisiga. With that statement, my grade for Cashman’s handling of Feyereisen is somewhat revealed. I think Cashman should have tried harder to hang onto J.P. Feyereisen. Few relievers have his makeup and I think he’s built to take the ball in the late innings and if he’s healthy, he has the stuff to dominate with  

 

Perhaps the return for trading him was simply too light - Brenny Escanio has been a very light hitting shortstop prospect who has yet to advance past Low-A ball. Currently, he’s with the Yankees Low-A affiliate, the Tampa Tarpons. Escanio is essentially a 5’9” 145 pound singles hitter with a solid glove. I’m left having to hold Cashman accountable for squandering a pretty good potential bullpen piece for a paltry sum of international bonus pool funds and little else. Obviously, when a team has a lot of bullpen depth it’s hard to find a place for up and coming rookies and this theme repeats itself over and over with the way Brian Cashman runs the Yankees.  

 

This way of operating seldom helps the Yankees as it usually benefits other teams who capture some value with pitching prospects that Cashman knowingly blocks based on how he designs his rosters. It winds up costing the Yankees a lot of unnecessary payroll dollars too, as the Yankees rarely capitalize on the controllability of prospects. In the case of J.P. Feyereisen, though he got injured, he contributed at a high level for 1 ½ seasons of Major League Baseball, whereas Escanio was just a long shot, light hitting prospect at the time Cashman let Feyereisen go.  

 

Will Escanio ever become a Major Leaguer? Probably not. MLB Trade Values lists Escanio as being worth $0.1 MTV, so it’s pretty fair to say that Cashman squandered Feyereisen. Meanwhile, the Brewers got pretty good value from packaging him to the Rays, who in turn received very good value preceding the injury and were able to then flip him for a quality left-handed pitching prospect who is looking very promising at Double-A and should soon move up to Triple-A for them.  

 

When Cashman’s handling of Feyereisen is examined fully, it cannot be successfully argued nor shown in a positive light that it was beneficial to the Yankees. Therefore, I have to issue a grade of an “F” to Brian Cashman regarding this matter. If Escanio somehow becomes Willy Randolph in the future, I’ll throttle back on this grade. Now let’s open things up to the Yankees faithful here on SSTN. Did Cashman handle then pitching prospect J.P Feyereisen well back in 2019, or was Feyereisen just another in a long line of pitching prospects that Brain Cashman has squandered? 

8 Comments


Alan B.
Alan B.
Apr 15

Cary, you are the writer I am not, but I love reading your stuff. Oh, P Ben Heller was also in the Andrew Miller deal too. But JPF was really stuck in SWB at the time. He was yet another guy that no matter how he did he was never seen by Cashman & his gang as a real, legit MLB player. I can't wait to see who you come up with next!


As for the 2024 season, the Yankees have a few SPs who have pitched pretty well their first time or 2. But noticeably absent from any rotation spots are LH Henry Lalane & RH Carl Lagrange.

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Apr 16
Replying to

Actually I think Chance Adams is a great one. Another is Jose Quintana. So is Kevin Alcantara.

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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Apr 15

IF.....The International Bonus Pool Funds were the difference between drafting Jasson Dominguez or NOT drafting Dominguez, then the trade would have been well worth it. But it sounds like they already had enough funds to draft Dominguez and it was only a matter of whether or not they could add an additional talent in Jhon Diaz, who went to the Tampa Bay Rays anyway, so that being the case, it was NOT worth it to trade him.

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Cary Greene
Cary Greene
Apr 16
Replying to

That's spot on on Jeff. Dominguez had indeed already signed on the dotted line at the time of the rather startling trade of JPF, a deal that flew very under the radar at the time.

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fuster
Apr 15

the Yankees have a need for additional relief pitchers

and that need is not obscure


would be nice if they could add Kahnle and Effross

as well as at least one of Gil or Cortes to the bullpen.


Feyereisen was expendable when working for the Yankees.

Feyereisen is now 31 and possibly worth a flutter if he's figured out how to avoid issuing walks.

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fuster
Apr 16
Replying to

more BB/9 than Snell w/o Snell-level Ks


can a relief pitcher garner much success with a lot of walks leading to a WHIP over 1.2 ?

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