Layne signed a major league deal with the Yankees on Tuesday, the Boston Globe reports. Released by the Red Sox on Saturday, Layne will join the Yankees and is expected to be in uniform and available Tuesday night against his former team. The 31-year-old appeared in 34 games for Boston in 2016, amassing a respectable 3.77 ERA. The Red Sox's addition of Fernando Abad at the trade deadline prompted Layne's release.
The Red Sox placed Layne on release waivers Saturday, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports. Layne will be released if he is not claimed on waivers, but it's possible that he will be, as a left-hander with a 3.21 ERA over 168 big-league appearances.
Layne has been designated for assignment, ESPN's Scott Lauber reports. The Red Sox DFA'd Layne and Michael Martinez to make room for top prospect Andrew Benintendi and deadline acquisition Fernando Abad. The former is a left-handed reliever, which made the 31-year-old Layne (also a southpaw) expendable.
Layne may see situational save chances against left-handed hitters in the absence of Craig Kimbrel and Koji Uehara, Mike Silverman of the Boston Herald reports. Robbie Ross can be used in a similar manner, while Red Sox manager John Farrell is expected to lean primarily on Brad Ziegler as his primary ninth-inning option in the coming weeks. The two lefties could be used as a matchup-based options if Ziegler is needed earlier in the game.
Layne is throwing more curveballs and has incorporated a splitter against right-handed batters, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports. "We talked in spring training about something slow to throw to righties," said Layne. "I was basically fastball-slider last year, so I picked up a split and I've thrown quite a few curveballs the last couple of weeks. Just those two offerings, having a third or fourth pitch if I need it, that's made a big difference." The Red Sox have used Layne as a lefty-specialist the last two seasons and will continue to optimize him in the role, but there are times when he needs to face right-handers. Like last Friday, when David Price was bounced after 2.1 innings and Boston needed length. Layne pitched two scoreless innings against hitters from both sides of the plate. This season, he's limiting right-handed batters to a .294 slugging percentage and .584 OPS, a vast improvement over 2015 (.517, .950) and 2014 (.500, .929).