It’s been a long while since Al Leiter’s been a Yankee (1989!), but MLB.com, quoting a source within the Marlin organization, reports he is coming back to the Pinstripers and will start Sunday. (Cashman, in today’s NYT, denied there have been talks with Florida; take that for what it’s worth.) Details of the agreement are unclear, but apparently will include the famous Player-To-Be-Named and cash (from the Floridians). What this means for the rumored deal for Colorado’s Shawn Chacon, we have no idea.
So what do we get in Al Leiter? A timid control pitcher with 60 walks (52 ks) in 80 innings, plus 88 hits (9 of them dingers), and a 6.64 era. This playing in front of a solid defense in a pitcher’s park (for what it’s worth, his road splits are actually better.) Opponents are hitting .292 (BA) .416 (OBP) .445 (SLG). His K/BB rate has declined for 5 consecutive years. And he’s a Republican. Those expecting a repeat of El Duque’s brilliant second half run last year are likely to be sorely disappointed. But we can always hope, right?