Veteran relief pitcher Danny Farquhar vowed to return to the baseball diamond from a life-threatening brain hemorrhage and ruptured aneurysm he suffered last year.
And there's a four-game window in June he's eyeing.
Farquhar, who hasn't pitched since last April when he suffered a season-ending brain hemorrhage, signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees earlier this month with an invite to spring training. While he hopes to compete for a spot in New York's crowded bullpen, he wants to pitch when the Yankees face the Chicago White Sox on the road in a four-game series from June 13-16.
"Pitching at Guaranteed Rate Field in a Yankee uniform against my old teammates on the White Sox, that would be a dream come true, and I can't wait for that to happen," Farquhar told NBC Sports Chicago's Chuck Garfien. "Because it was the scene where my aneurysm ruptured. It's almost like a redemption to get back out there and have a better day than that one."
Farquhar said "probably half the league wanted to see my medicals," which meant a lot to him. He said the Yankees and White Sox made comparable offers, but chose New York given he thought they were closer to winning the 2019 World Series.
"There were a lot of factors," Farquhar said. "It wasn't like one thing that stands out more than anything. Maybe opportunity. I feel like the Yankees are a win-now organization. They'll go with the best arm. I know the White Sox are still in the rebuild. I'm getting a little bit older for the rebuild. I'll be 32 in February. I just felt like the Yankees were my best opportunity."
He said the Yankees ran extensive tests to make sure he was healthy.
"They put me through everything possible. I saw three or four doctors. Got a lot of scans, got MRIs on my shoulder, my elbow," Farquhar said. "I knew I was going to pass, but it's nice to have proof that I'm not the only one who believes that I can pass a physical."
Farquhar had a 5.63 ERA in eight relief appearances last season. Since debuting in 2011, he has a 3.93 ERA in 253 relief outings with 309 strikeouts in 272 1/3 innings.
Of course, the Yankees' bullpen already features Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Zach Britton and Adam Ottavino, among others. But Farquhar said the past nine months have given him time to allow his body to heal. He said he hit 90 mph "a couple times" on a turf mound and 107 mph with a three-ounce ball.
"I just have to go out and prove to people that I belong in the big leagues, and that's my goal again this spring," Farquhar said. "I'm going to give it my best shot. My wife is my No. 1 supporter. She believes in me, and she thinks I'm going to have one of my best seasons."