The Yankees have lost a pair of New Yorkers and another midseason spark plug to the waiver wire.
Andrew Velazquez (Angels), Tim Locastro (Red Sox) and Greg Allen (Pirates) were all claimed off waivers Friday, the Yankees announced, as the team cleared space on its 40-man roster ahead of free agency opening Sunday. Catcher Rob Brantly was also outrighted off the major league roster and onto the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre roster.
Velazquez, the 27-year-old Bronx native, made his impact felt during an August call-up as he went beyond just being a feel-good story. The hometown shortstop was promoted to the Yankees after Gleyber Torres sprained his thumb and played a part in the club’s 13-game winning streak. He delivered strong defense, some timely hitting and his first career home run before finishing the season batting .224 with four steals in 28 games.
The Fordham Prep grad also started the AL wild-card game at shortstop after DJ LeMahieu landed on the injured list and a banged-up Gio Urshela stayed at third base following a dive into the Rays dugout in the regular-season finale.
Locastro, the speedy 29-year-old who grew up in upstate Auburn, played nine games for the Yankees before tearing his ACL while making a leaping catch on July 17. It came less than three weeks after the Yankees had acquired the outfielder from the Diamondbacks for Double-A right-hander Keegan Curtis.
Allen, 28, hit .270 with an .849 OPS and five steals in 15 games after being called up in July during one of the Yankees’ COVID-19 outbreaks. The switch-hitting outfielder delivered a spark while he was in the big leagues but then got sent back to Triple-A when the Yankees claimed Jonathan Davis off waivers to pad their outfield depth.
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