The Yankees have agreed to a minor league contract with reliever Michael Feliz, the Leones de Yucatán of the Mexican League announced yesterday (Twitter link). According to the MLB.com transaction tracker, Feliz has first been assigned to the organization’s Florida complex. After some time there building up, he’s likely to head to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Feliz had signed with Yucatán over the offseason. He pitched nine times and tallied 8 1/3 innings in the Mexican League, allowing just one run with an excellent 13:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Along the way, the 29-year-old impressed Yankees’ scouts to get another look in the affiliated ranks.
No stranger to affiliated ball, Feliz has appeared in parts of 12 minor league campaigns. He was a prospect of some regard in the Astros’ farm system and made his major league debut with Houston in 2015. The righty was on and off the MLB roster for the next few seasons before being dealt to the Pirates as part of the Gerrit Cole trade return. He had the best season of his career with Pittsburgh in 2019, tossing 56 1/3 innings of 3.99 ERA ball while punching out 30.6% of opposing hitters.
The past few seasons haven’t been as effective. Feliz has struggled to throw strikes consistently and bounced around the league in journeyman fashion. He’s suited up for Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Boston (on two separate occasions) and Oakland going back to 2021. He’s thrown a total of 31 MLB innings over the last three-plus years while bouncing around on waivers.
Feliz’s only major league work last season was a 3 1/3-inning relief outing for the Red Sox. Feliz otherwise spent the year in Triple-A, splitting the season between Boston’s and Minnesota’s affiliates. He worked to a 2.74 ERA over 49 1/3 combined innings, striking out a solid 26.4% of batters faced against a 9.6% walk rate.