The Yankees have made their first official move of the Winter Meetings, and while Aaron Judge remains on the market, they have brought back another old friend. Right-handed reliever Tommy Kahnle is rejoining New York on a two-year, $11.5 million contract, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Although the move was unexpected, it’s not a complete surprise. Kahnle has been connected to the Yankees’ organization since 2010, when he was selected in the fifth round of the MLB Draft out of Lynn University in Florida. When left unprotected in the 2013 Rule 5 Draft though, he was snatched away by the Rockies, and that allowed him to make his MLB debut in 2014. After cutting his teeth in Colorado, Kahnle became a force to be reckoned with when he was traded to the White Sox for 2016. He pitched to a 2.56 ERA, 2.77 FIP, and 12.1 K/9 in 102 innings over the next year and a half, impressing the Yankees enough to make a move to reacquired him at the 2017 trade deadline as part of the savvy deal that also brought David Robertson back to New York (as well as Todd Frazier).