Dodgers trade for Yankees reliever after getting bad news on Brusdar Graterol

Feb 24, 2024; Lakeland, Florida, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Nick Ramirez (63) pitches
Feb 24, 2024; Lakeland, Florida, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Nick Ramirez (63) pitches / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers set up for a bullpen game on Tuesday night, putting Ryan Brasier on the field to open their second game against the Giants and Logan Webb, San Francisco's ace. Brasier kept things copacetic in the first, just giving up one walk to Jorge Soler in an otherwise damage-less inning. Ryan Yarbrough came in during the second to do the bulk of the night's work, and things got a little bit hairy under his watch.

He gave up all four of the runs the Giants put on the board, including a Soler home run. However, thanks to the Dodgers hitters doing Dodgers hitters things (e.g. Mookie Betts hitting his fifth home run of the season and getting his 1,500th career hit), and Alex Vesia, Michael Grove, and Evan Phillips coming in behind Yarbrough to mostly keep hitters from turning into base runners, LA still took the W.

The Dodgers relief core has improved by miles since last season, when the bullpen had one of the league's worst ERAs going into June, but there are still moments of shakiness, demonstrated in last night's game, and they took two hits by losing Blake Treinen and Brusdar Graterol in the same weekend during spring training.

Graterol was initially moved to the 15-day IL to start the season after experiencing shoulder discomfort in spring, but was transferred to the 60-day ahead of Tuesday's game. In the same breath, the Dodgers found his interim replacement, sending cash to the Bronx in exchange for Yankees lefty reliever Nick Ramirez.

Dodgers make a trade for Yankees reliever Nick Ramirez after Brusdar Graterol's move to the 60-day IL

Ramirez had a pretty good year with the Yankees in 2023, when he pitched 40 2/3 innings for a 2.66 ERA. It was the best year of his career by far, as a mostly lifelong farmhand for the Brewers, Tigers, Padres, and Mariners before landing in New York. He was at Yankees spring training with a place on the 40-man, but was optioned back to Triple-A to start the season and DFA'ed by the Yankees on March 30. Instead of letting him go through waivers, the Yankees traded him to the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations.

The Dodgers made a notable deal with the Yankees this offseason, when they traded Caleb Ferguson in exchange for (the now-released) Matt Gage immediately before re-signing Brasier. Gage was a bust and Ramirez has already been sent to Oklahoma City, but he's likely to be called up as the Dodgers keep the bullpen spot already occupied by Kyle Hurt, Nabil Crismatt, and now Dinelson Lamet cycling through. Vesia is the lone lefty in the bullpen at the moment, so it would stand to reason that LA would want another to turn to, provided Ramirez can keep the energy from his standout 2023 season going.