The Yankees have signed infielder Andrew Velazquez to a minor league deal, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link). Velazquez chose to become a free agent after the Orioles outrighted him off their 40-man roster at season’s end.
Claimed off waivers from the Indians back in February, Velazquez ended up playing in 40 games for Baltimore in 2020, which included 19 starts at shortstop due to Jose Iglesias’ injury problems. Velazquez didn’t contribute much at the plate, hitting only .159/.274/.206 over 77 plate appearances. Prior to joining the Orioles, Velazquez appeared in 28 games for Tampa Bay and Cleveland during the 2018-19 seasons, receiving 36 PA.
The Bronx native now returns to his local team to provide the Yankees with some utility depth all over the diamond, but while Velazquez has played everywhere except pitcher, catcher, and first base over his nine pro seasons, the bulk of his experience has come at shortstop. Albeit in a small sample size of innings, Velazquez has gotten some solid defensive grades at shortstop, so the Yankees could be considering him as a competition for Tyler Wade for the backup infield role.