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Sadly, Matt Gage’s wild offseason journey didn’t end with the Yankees…

After being DFAed by the Dodgers, the recently traded Yankees lefty is back to square one.

 

The Yankees’ decision to acquire the DFA’s left-handed reliever in exchange for their rivals’ signing of Josh Hader gave the impression that they had pulled a quick one on the Astros.

Sadly, Matt Gage’s wild offseason journey didn’t end with the Yankees claiming him; thus far, all he’s done is hang out in one spot long enough for Picture Day.

In order to attain roster balance, Gage was traded by the Yankees for Caleb Ferguson and roughly matched with the signing of Ryan Brasier by the Dodgers.

Rather than having an opportunity to make a big impact in the Dodgers patchwork bullpen, though, Gage was once again the corresponding trade, albeit for a less consequential addition than Hader.

 

On Tuesday afternoon, the Dodgers took a gamble on Taylor Trammell, a recent Mariner and former top prospect for the Reds, adding him to the active roster as Jason Heyward continues to receive treatment for his back ailment.

Gage was neither the first person out (Crismatt was DFA’d sooner), nor was he the final person in—that distinction went to Nabil Crismatt or Dinelson Lamet. Still, he’s disappeared again.

OF Taylor Trammell was claimed by the Dodgers from Seattle. The Dodgers released LHP Matt Gage to create space on the 40-man roster.

 

Dodgers DFA former Yankees lefty Matt Gage

In the event that you are not selected for spring camp, are you really a “former Yankees lefty” at all? Ippei Mizuhara recently got into difficulty for saying something about Hideki Okajima, Isn’t that right? We’re getting off topic.

Throughout his two seasons (in Houston and Toronto) and 19 2/3 career big-league innings, Gage has consistently produced an incredible amount of swing-and-miss with a less-than-impressive fastball. If he could hit a few more, he would most likely be a regular on a major-league club.

Even while teams continue to scoff at it, especially when it happens more than once in a single month, 20 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings with a career 1.83 ERA still doesn’t seem like much to be happy about.

 

Who knows? The Yankees just took a risk on Jake Cousins out of the blue, so perhaps Gage will return to the team.

Perhaps it’s the Astros; Jim Crane was persuaded to examine the bullpen again after the weekend series. The Blue Jays, perhaps? Hell, they combined a blowout and no-hitter on Monday by using IKF.

Gage has plenty of opportunities for meaningful reunions now that he was abruptly let go too soon on Tuesday.

In other news…

Dodgers Release Matt Gage

The Dodgers revised their announcement to say that Gage has been released and not assigned, as the team had previously said.

Matt Gage, a left-handed reliever, has been designated for assignment by the Dodgers as of Tuesday. Outfielder Taylor Trammell, whom the Dodgers obtained off waivers from the Mariners, will take his place on the 40-man roster (as was previously reported).

Gage, who was taken off waivers by the Yankees and then designated for assignment by the Astros in late January, has had a busy few months.

Gage was ultimately traded to New York along with minor league righty Christian Zazueta in exchange for lefty Jacob Ferguson, who was sent from Los Angeles to the Bronx.

With the Dodgers, he threw four innings, gave up two runs on three hits, no walks, and four strikeouts while having a respectable spring.

 

The 31-year-old Gage only logged 19 2/3 innings of major league pitching between the 2022 Blue Jays and 2023 Astros.

In that time, he has recorded an impressive 1.83 ERA, although he has benefited from a meager.222 average on balls in play.

Gage’s average fastball velocity is 93.2 mph, so he doesn’t pitch that hard, but he still misses batters (26% strikeout rate, 13.7% swinging strike rate).

For him, command has been a big problem lately. Of his 77 MLB opponents, he has given up walks to nine of them (11.7%) and struck out one. In Triple-A last season, Gage also walked 12% of his opponents.

 

When Gage was a starting pitcher in the minor leagues, he had lower strikeout rates in addition to lower walk rates.

In recent seasons, he has started to miss more bats and the strike zone more regularly. The Dodgers will have seven days to try to pass him through outright waivers, trade him, or release him.

Gage can be outrighted to Triple-A Oklahoma City and kept in depth if he clears waivers because he has never been outrighted and does not have three years of MLB service.

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