The Yankees are releasing outfielder Ender Inciarte from his minor league contract, reports Conor Foley of the Scranton Times-Tribune (on Twitter). He’ll hit the open market and seek out additional opportunities elsewhere.
Inciarte signed with New York over the offseason, hoping to crack the big league roster after a rough 2021 season. He didn’t break camp with the team and was sent to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he ultimately appeared in 34 games. Inciarte hit .252/.336/.408 across 116 plate appearances, collecting four home runs and stolen bases apiece. The 31-year-old walked a strong 11.2% clip while only punching out in 14.7% of his plate appearances.
It was a respectable showing, but the Yankees nevertheless determined there wasn’t room on the active roster at this point. Aaron Judge is hitting at an MVP-level and has taken over as the primary center fielder, while both Joey Gallo and Aaron Hicks have started to heat up after slow starts to the year. With Giancarlo Stanton and Marwin González also capable of rotating into the outfield as needed, the 45-16 Yankees weren’t in a rush to shake up their position player group.
Since being released by the Braves last July, Inciarte hasn’t cracked the majors on successive minor league pacts with the Reds and Yankees. Nevertheless, he’s likely to attract interest from teams looking for non-roster depth. Inciarte is no longer the elite defender he was at his Gold Glove peak, but he’s still a solid gloveman at all three spots on the grass. He’s hit .200/.267/.277 in 220 plate appearances at the major league level since the start of 2020.