There are some baseball players that are just meant to play in one uniform. New York Yankee right-hander, Adam Warren, fits that bill.
Since rejoining the Yankees on July 27 in the deal that sent flame throwing closer, Aroldis Chapman, to the Chicago Cubs, Warren has pitched seven scoreless innings and looked every bit the pitcher he was during his first stint with the team.
From Humble Beginnings
Prior to the 2016 season, Warren had spent his entire big league career in the Yankee organization. Warren was originally drafted by the team in the fourth round of the 2009 amateur draft out of the University of North Carolina. The right-hander made steady progress in the minors before being called up to the big leagues in 2012.
Warren’s first major-league start could not have gone any worse. The righty was shelled for six runs and eight hits in 2.1 innings pitched and was sent back to Triple-A following that start.
However, Warren would rebound in 2013 and become a mainstay on the 25-man roster as a reliable swingman, filling the dual roles of middle reliever and spot starter.
Warren’s performance made him not only valuable to the Yankees, but also a sought after commodity by other clubs.
Traded to the Cubs
During the 2015-2016 offseason, the Yankees made it a priority to find an upgrade at the second base position. After ongoing talks with the Cubs during the winter, the two teams struck a deal which sent newly-converted second baseman, Starlin Castro, to the Yankees, and Adam Warren to the Cubs.
Warren was an important piece to the Yankees’ bullpen, but giving up his services to acquire a young second baseman was an easy decision. On the Cubs end, they traded from a position of strength after signing infielder, Ben Zobrist, and received a pitcher that was heavily trusted in New York.
As a Yankee, Warren compiled a 3.39 ERA, 3.69 FIP, and 245 strikeouts in 289.1 innings pitched. But Warren had trouble adjusting to his new environment as a member of the Cubs.
According to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com, the biggest issue that Warren faced in Chicago was not having a defined role.
In 35 innings pitched for the team in 2016, Warren’s ERA ballooned to 5.91 and his walk rate per nine innings spiked to 4.89. Warren’s ineffectiveness prompted the Cubs to demote the right-hander to Triple-A in both an attempt to work out his issues and stretch him out as a starter. Before Warren even had a chance to reassert his claim with the Cubs, the Yankees came calling back.
Back to the Future
With Aroldis Chapman’s impending free agency looming after the season, the Yankees decided to move the closer before the MLB trade deadline, and partnered once again with the Cubs.
Desperate for the final piece to their championship caliber team, the Cubs parted ways with their top prospect, 19-year-old shortstop, Gleyber Torres, and a pair of outfield prospects, Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford. What wasn’t expected was that Adam Warren would also be returning to the Yankees in the trade.
Funny how things work… With Adam Warren back in the fold, the Yankees essentially traded Brendan Ryan for Starlin Castro.
— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) July 26, 2016
While top shortstop prospect, Gleyber Torres, was the prize of the deal for the Yankees, getting back Warren was more than just a throw-in. As the only major leaguer the Yankees received in the deal, Warren has already made solid contributions to the Yankees’ bullpen which took major hits following the trade of Chapman and Andrew Miller.
You could say that Warren has enjoyed being back in a Yankee uniform. Returning to the role Warren played for New York has made all the difference.
“It just gives me confidence … even though I haven’t pitched that well this year at times, for them to have that confidence in me to come right in and fit in – it says a lot. I’m excited to get back here and pitch,” Warren said.
In six appearances back in pinstripes, Warren has been lights out, throwing seven shutout innings and limiting opponents to a .174 batting average against. Warren’s walk rate has even returned to normal, 2.57 per nine innings.
Clearly, Warren and the Yankees were meant for each other. With the righty under team control for another two years after the 2016 season, Warren figures to play a significant role for a team looking to build towards their next dynasty.