New York Yankees – MLB Trade Rumors https://www.mlbtraderumors.com Fri, 20 Apr 2018 00:23:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Yankees Re-Sign Adam Lind https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/yankees-to-re-sign-adam-lind.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/yankees-to-re-sign-adam-lind.html#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:02:58 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120332 7:02pm: The Yankees have formally announced the signing.

5:04pm: The Yankees have agreed to a new minor league contract with free-agent first baseman Adam Lind, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (Twitter links). Lind, who was with the club for a portion of Spring Training, is represented by ISE Baseball.

Lind, 34, was given his release by the Yankees on March 14 after it became apparent that he didn’t have a clear path to the big league roster. However, Greg Bird underwent ankle surgery shortly thereafter, and the Yankees will soon see Tyler Austin serve a suspension of up to five games following last week’s brawl against the Red Sox, though Lind may not be ready in time to help out in that regard. Cotillo adds that he’s expected to report to extended Spring Training, where he’ll ramp up in preparation after the downtime following his mid-March release.

The veteran Lind is coming off a strong season with the Nationals, having raked at a.303/.362/.512 clip and clubbed 14 homers in 301 plate appearances. He’s posted an OPS+ of 123 or better in four of the past five seasons — an ugly 2016 in Seattle being the lone exception — and batted a combined .282/.348/.473 through 2142 plate appearances in that time.

Of course, he’s not without his limitations. Lind has a disastrous .217/.263/.329 slash against left-handed pitchers over the course of 12-year MLB career and is largely limited to first base on the defensive spectrum. The Nats did trot him out to left field for 197 innings last season, though that marked his first work on the outfield grass since 2010, and he unsurprisingly did not rate well there in the estimation of defensive metrics.

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Offseason In Review: New York Yankees https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/offseason-in-review-new-york-yankees-10.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/offseason-in-review-new-york-yankees-10.html#comments Wed, 18 Apr 2018 18:33:40 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120296 This is the latest entry in MLBTR’s 2017-18 Offseason In Review series. Click here to read the other completed reviews from around the league.

The Yankees managed to go from July 2016 sellers to the 2017 ALCS, coming within one game of a World Series appearance in a remarkable turnaround. Their offseason was reflective of the fact that any “rebuild” in the Bronx has already come and gone.

Major League Signings

Trades and Claims

Notable Minor League Signings

Notable Losses

Needs Addressed

As one would expect of a club that came within a game of the World Series and retained the majority of its roster, the Yankees weren’t exactly teeming with clear needs entering the offseason. GM Brian Cashman and his lieutenants completed a good portion of their offseason shopping back in July, in fact, acquiring not only Sonny Gray but also David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle, thus bolstering the pitching staff for the foreseeable future in the course of adding reinforcements down the stretch.

For the Yankees, the 2017-18 offseason was much more about being opportunistic and reinforcing existing areas of strength than it was about addressing glaring weaknesses. Rather than acquire a specific skill set or a player at a certain position, the team’s top priority seemed to be resetting its luxury tax penalty by dipping back beneath the $197MM tax threshold.

To that end, the team seemed to be primed for a spirited pursuit of young phenom Shohei Ohtani, whose signing bonus wouldn’t have counted against that tax calculation and who could pitch several seasons near the league minimum. The former Nippon Professional Baseball superstar seemingly shocked the Yankees, however, when he informed them that they would not even be one of the seven finalists with whom he sat down for an in-person interview.

Cashman & Co. evidently subscribe to the belief, however, that when one door closes another opens elsewhere. With the DH spot in the lineup no longer earmarked for Ohtani on his non-pitching days, the Yankees circled back to the Marlins, who’d previously contacted them to gauge their interest in Giancarlo Stanton. To that point, trade talks surrounding the reigning NL MVP had focused on the Giants and Cardinals — a pair of clubs that weren’t on Stanton’s list of desired trade destinations. Stanton kept an open mind in meeting with each organization, but the Yankees’ miss on Ohtani created a new opportunity with a team that Stanton had expressed a desire to land with.

Roughly a week later, the two sides had agreed to arguably the biggest deal of the offseason. Stanton was introduced to the media as the newest Yankee at this year’s Winter Meetings. In exchange for taking on the vast majority of his contract, the Yankees only were required to part with a pair of mid-range prospects and Castro, whose own $22MM commitment helped to offset some of Stanton’s deal.

Stanton’s massive contract, of course, came with plenty of luxury tax concern, which made the inclusion of Castro’s deal important and made the subsequent trade of Chase Headley back to the Padres all the more critical. The Yankees agreed to part with young pitcher Bryan Mitchell and received Jabari Blash in return — a 28-year-old outfielder whom they later designated for assignment. The Headley trade, as far as the Yankees were concerned, was all about shedding the vast majority of his $13MM annual luxury hit. Surrendering four years of club control over Mitchell at an affordable rate was the cost of doing business.

Missing out on Ohtani, though, left the Yankees with at least a modicum of uncertainty in their rotation scene. CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda were no longer in the fold, leaving Luis Severino, Gray, Jordan Montgomery and Masahiro Tanaka (who surprised many by forgoing his opt-out clause) as the top four options in the Bronx. While prospects Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield loom in the upper minors, the Yanks struck a one-year, $10MM deal to put Sabathia back in pinstripes as means of deepening the rotation and ensuring that their prized young arms wouldn’t need to be rushed to the big leagues.

That Castro and Headley were now on new clubs left the Yankees with a pair of openings around the infield. Those vacancies left many Yankees fans eagerly envisioning a high-upside infield of Miguel Andujar at third base, Didi Gregorius at short, Gleyber Torres at second base and Greg Bird at first base. That alignment may very well be the future in New York, but the Yankees understandably had some trepidation about turning the infield over to three inexperienced players. Andujar and Torres had scarcely played above the Double-A level.

In March, Neil Walker told the New York Times that he thought he’d been close to an agreement with the Yankees before they swung a three-team deal with the D-backs and Rays that sent Swiss Army knife Brandon Drury to the Bronx instead. That deal seemed to prolong a surprisingly tepid market for Walker, but in the end, the Yankees came away with both players. As they did with Stanton, the Yanks parted with a pair of mid-range prospects in order to install Drury into their infield mix for the next four seasons, and they later added Walker for just a $4MM guarantee despite his steady track record as a decidedly above-average bat and ability to handle multiple positions.

Questions Remaining

Despite the team’s quick turnaround and Joe Girardi’s general success over a decade-long run at the helm for the Yankees, Girardi was not offered a contract to return for the 2018 season. Rather, the Yankees conducted a search of surprisingly inexperienced managerial candidates and ultimately settled on the least-experienced option interviewed by any of the five clubs who hired new managers this past offseason.

Former Yankee and ESPN broadcaster-turned-manager Aaron Boone has been thrown directly into the fire with the Yankees, managing a club with World Series aspirations, plenty of star power and also a number of key young talents who figure to make their MLB debuts this season. Boone will juggle all of that in the nation’s largest media market while dealing with one of the game’s most vocal fanbases. It’d be a daunting task even for an experienced skipper, and there’ll probably be some bumps along the way.

Most of the other questions facing the Yankees pertain more to their health and finances than the on-field product. Namely, after spending the entire offseason unsuccessfully trying to find a taker for Jacoby Ellsbury, they’ve now watched as a concussion, hip issue and plantar fasciitis have all combined to prevent Ellsbury from taking the field in 2018. Ellsbury was owed more than $68MM with a full no-trade clause even before that slate of injuries, and the possibility of shedding his contract looks increasingly remote.

While many Yankees fans have clamored for the club to simply release him, though, Ellsbury was a perfectly serviceable piece when healthy in 2017. His .264/.348/.402 slash (clearly) wasn’t worth the near-$22MM salary the Yankees are paying him, but he’s also not devoid of on-field value. That’ll be a situation on which Cashman and his charges will have to deliberate at length; at some point, perhaps they’ll simply cut bait, but in doing so they’d be committing to fully paying his luxury tax hit for the next three seasons. If the front office still feels that a healthy Ellsbury can contribute on the field or eventually be moved for some salary relief, then an unconditional release is an understandably unpalatable course of action.

At first base, meanwhile, Bird has already undergone ankle surgery, further raising questions about his ability to remain healthy in the long term. The 25-year-old has legitimate power (16 homers, .250 ISO through 348 MLB plate appearances), but this will be the third straight surgery-shortened season for him. He’s previously had shoulder surgery (2016) and a separate ankle surgery (2017). Walker and Tyler Austin present alternatives (Walker’s poor start notwithstanding), but the 2018 season will be critical for Bird as he looks to establish himself as an infield fixture.

If there’s one area the Yankees are lacking, it’s left-handed relief, with Chasen Shreve and closer Aroldis Chapman constituting the lone southpaw options on the 40-man roster. Oliver Perez is in the organization as a potential veteran option, though, while righties Chad Green and David Robertson have actually dominated lefty opponents more than same-handed hitters.

The rest of the roster looks to be largely set, at least for the coming season. Perhaps if Bird’s ankle injuries linger or if Andujar and/or Torres struggle for a prolonged stretch, they’ll seek additional depth. But the acquisitions of Walker and Drury already offer some measure of contingency plan. Austin Romine’s career .266 on-base percentage is an eyesore, but the Yanks seem content with his defense and were never rumored to be in the market for an upgrade over him as the backup to Gary Sanchez.

Any deadline needs that pop up for the Yankees figure to be driven by injuries and/or underperformance rather than area of weakness heading into the season. On paper, the club looks stacked, and while dismal starts from Stanton and Sanchez, in particular, have caused some angst, the Yankees look like a potential juggernaut once their bats wake up.

Overview

If Plan A for the Yankees was to land Ohtani, their Plan B of Stanton plus a series of quality depth additions is no small consolation. By midseason, it’s possible that the Yankees’ lineup will feature Stanton, Sanchez, Gregorius, Aaron Judge, Torres, Andujar, Bird, Aaron Hicks and Brett Gardner — a collection of veterans and high-upside talents that could form one of the most productive units in all of baseball. With an exceedingly deep bullpen and a quality rotation backed by prospects like Adams and Sheffield, there should be similar optimism for the pitching staff. Prospect trade chips abound. And because the front office succeeded in not only resetting the luxury tax but dropping beneath the penalty line by roughly $16MM, there’s ample room for the Yankees to upgrade as necessary this summer.

The expectation level has quickly been raised in the Bronx, though, and it stands to reason that anything shy of a deep postseason run will be considered a disappointment.

How would you grade the Yankees’ offseason? (Link to poll for Trade Rumors app users.)

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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Yankees Injury Notes: Kahnle, Drury, Ellsbury https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/injury-notes-kahnle-drury-shoemaker-goodwin-rendon-burnette.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/injury-notes-kahnle-drury-shoemaker-goodwin-rendon-burnette.html#comments Wed, 18 Apr 2018 02:20:18 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120272
  • Yankees righty Tommy Kahnle is heading to the DL with shoulder tendinitis, as MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. While the hope is there isn’t any kind of long-term problem at play, Kahnle has stumbled out of the gates in 2018. The 28-year-old, who turned in a breakout 2017 campaign, has not only been wild — a worrying turn for a pitcher with a history of control problems — but has lost about two-and-a-half ticks from his average fastball. Kahnle is still inducing plenty of whiffs, though, so perhaps a respite will allow him to get back to form.
  • In other Yankees-related injury news, third bagger Brandon Drury discussed the headache and vision problems he has been battling with reporters including ESPN.com’s Coley Harvey. The recent trade acquisition says he’s looking forward to finally figuring out what is causing the long-standing problem. While awaiting further information, Drury is beginning to perform some baseball activities. It still isn’t clear just when he can be expected to return. Meanwhile, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has yet another injury issue to deal with, as Lindsey Adler of The Athletic recently tweeted.
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    Yankees Re-Sign Jace Peterson To Major League Contract https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/yankees-re-sign-jace-peterson-to-major-league-contract.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/yankees-re-sign-jace-peterson-to-major-league-contract.html#comments Mon, 16 Apr 2018 18:50:20 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120165 The Yankees announced that they’ve re-signed infielder/outfielder Jace Peterson to a Major League contract. The ISE Baseball client will be active for tonight’s game.

    New York designated Peterson for assignment last week, and the 27-year-old formally rejected an outright assignment to Triple-A today in favor of free agency. Obviously, the two sides quickly worked to broker a new pact that’ll at least buy Peterson a bit more big league service time, though it still seems likely to be a short-term move.

    Peterson collected three hits in 10 trips to the plate with the Yankees in his brief time at the Major League level with them, though the bulk of his career has been spent with the Braves. Atlanta originally acquired Peterson as part of the trade that sent Justin Upton to the Padres, and he spent parts of three seasons there, hitting a combined .240/.326/.342 with 15 homers, 48 doubles and eight triples in 1220 MLB plate appearances.

    It’s a bit curious to see Peterson go through this carousel of roster machinations, though the entire scenario comes down to the fact that the Yankees needed his roster spot earlier last week in order to add another center-field option to their injury-depleted outfield mix. Peterson’s roster spot went to Shane Robinson, who was quickly designated once Aaron Hicks was active. With a healthier outfield mix now in place, Peterson again fits into the Yankees’ short-term plans, though the impending return of Brandon Drury and the eventual promotion of Gleyber Torres makes it unlikely that he’ll be around as a long-term bench piece in the Bronx.

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    Rosenthal’s Latest: Realmuto, Moustakas, Machado, Donaldson https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/rosenthals-latest-realmuto-moustakas-machado-donaldson.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/rosenthals-latest-realmuto-moustakas-machado-donaldson.html#comments Mon, 16 Apr 2018 04:45:35 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120116 The Mets made repeated inquiries on Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto during the offseason, says Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic in a video tweet. They also asked the Marlins about Starlin Castro. However, at that point in the winter, the club had just traded Christian Yelich to the Brewers, and they had also unloaded the contracts of Dee Gordon, Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna; they weren’t looking to cut any more salary at that moment in time. While the Mets are prepared to roll with Tomas Nido and Jose Lobaton for now, Rosenthal suggests that the club could attempt to revisit Realmuto discussions at some point.

    More from Rosenthal…

    • Although it’s early, Rosenthal suggests that Mike Moustakas looks like a hot trade candidate, citing his physical condition and low salary as selling points for the Royals third baseman. According to GM Dayton Moore, Moustakas is “running as well as he ever has.” Rosenthal figures that Kansas city will be among the most active trade deadline sellers in July, and could also dangle southpaw Danny Duffy, second baseman Whit Merrifield and closer Kelvin Herrera.
    • The shifting power structure of Orioles ownership might affect the way the club approaches a potential Manny Machado trade, should they end up willing to deal him. Peter Angelos was always opposed to making trades with the division-rival Yankees, but the younger Angelos’ might not place such a restriction on the concept. There are a number of other reasons to throw cold water on the idea of a Machado-to-Yankees swap, as Rosenthal notes, such as the presence of Brandon Drury and the Yankees’ possible focus on pitching. Still, the idea seems more plausible now that Peter Angelos’ sons are more active in the running of the club.
    • One rival executive estimates that there are “tens of millions” of dollars riding on the health of Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson’s shoulder. Rosenthal posits that the former AL MVP will be much less valuable as a free agent if there are questions surrounding his ability to play third base; much of his value lies in his defensive prowess. Being viewed as a first base/DH type for the bulk of his remaining career could eliminate some NL teams as suitors, and it doesn’t help that Donaldson is about to turn 33.
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    Jace Peterson Elects Free Agency https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/jace-peterson-elects-free-agency.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/jace-peterson-elects-free-agency.html#comments Mon, 16 Apr 2018 03:33:20 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120119 Yankees infielder Jace Peterson has elected free agency after clearing waivers, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports via Twitter. The 27-year-old Peterson was designated for assignment on Tuesday to make room for Shane Robinson, who has since been outrighted off the club’s roster.

    It’s certainly been a steady fall from prospect status for Peterson, who not long ago was considered a potential second baseman of the future for a Braves club that acquired him as one of the key pieces in the second Justin Upton trade. Though he seemed to have some upside as a utility player as recently as last season, he’s only got a .234/.320/.331 career batting line. That’s likely a large part of the reason that the Braves decided to non-tender him this past winter rather than pay him a relatively meager projected salary of $1.1MM.

    Peterson wasn’t given much of a chance with the Yankees, even though he collected a walk and three hits during his brief ten plate appearance tenure in the Bronx. He came up to fill in around the infield when Brandon Drury was placed on the DL, but the presence of Ronald Torreyes made him expendable. Peterson will now seek to latch on with a new club in need of a utility infielder.

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    Yankees Outright Shane Robinson https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/minor-mlb-transactions-41518.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/minor-mlb-transactions-41518.html#comments Sun, 15 Apr 2018 21:34:18 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120099
  • The Yankees have outrighted outfielder Shane Robinson to Triple-A Scranton, per a team announcement. Given that he has been outrighted in the past, Robinson could have refused the assignment and become a free agent. Instead, it appears he’ll remain with the Yankees, who signed him to a minor league deal in February and then designated him for assignment earlier this week. Robinson appeared in two Yankees games prior to his designation, collecting a hit and a pair of walks in five plate appearances. The 33-year-old’s a lifetime .227/.296/.297 hitter in 800 major league PAs.
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    Aaron Boone: "Possible" Yankees Will Promote Gleyber Torres Soon https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/east-notes-sox-ohtani-g-torres-hellickson-realmuto-mets.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/east-notes-sox-ohtani-g-torres-hellickson-realmuto-mets.html#comments Sun, 15 Apr 2018 19:33:36 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120082
  • Manager Aaron Boone told Marc Carig of The Athletic and other reporters Sunday that it’s “possible,” albeit “not necessarily” probable, the Yankees will promote top prospect Gleyber Torres during the upcoming week. The Yankees would gain an extra year of control over the infielder by waiting until April 18 to promote him, though general manager Brian Cashman insisted during spring training that the team’s not concerned about that. Torres has made his case for a call-up at the Triple-A level since last year, having hit .333/.407/.496 in 135 plate appearances. If the 21-year-old does join the Yankees soon, he could be a factor at both second and third base.
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    Gleyber Torres Could Earn Promotion Soon https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/al-east-notes-rays-ramos-yanks-torres-red-sox.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/al-east-notes-rays-ramos-yanks-torres-red-sox.html#comments Sat, 14 Apr 2018 23:16:54 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=120021
  • The Yankees’ best prospect, infielder Gleyber Torres, could end up in the majors soon if the Miguel AndujarTyler Wade tandem doesn’t start producing for the club, George A. King III of the New York Post observes. Andujar, also one of the Yankees’ top prospects, collected a double and a triple in their win over the Tigers on Friday. The third baseman has just five hits in 34 plate appearances, though, while Wade – primarily a second baseman – has even fewer knocks (three) in 35 PAs. Torres could play either third or second, thus bumping either Andujar or Wade. The Yankees wouldn’t need help at the hot corner had Brandon Drury not gone on the DL ith severe migraines on April 7. Drury could return April 17, but that’s not likely, according to King. It just so happens that the Yankees could gain an extra year of team control over Torres, 21, by waiting until April 18 to promote him, King points out. Torres has made his case for a call-up this year, having batted a tremendous .387/.412/.548 over 34 PAs at the Triple-A level.
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    Orioles Return Rule 5 Pick Nestor Cortes To Yankees https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/orioles-return-rule-5-pick-nestor-cortes-to-yankees.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/orioles-return-rule-5-pick-nestor-cortes-to-yankees.html#comments Sat, 14 Apr 2018 01:09:25 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=119949 The Orioles have returned Rule 5 selection Nestor Cortes to the Yankees, per a club announcement. The southpaw was designated for assignment recently.

    Cortes took a spot on the Opening Day roster but coughed up four runs on ten hits and four walks in his 4 2/3 innings to begin the season. That led the O’s to part with the second of their three Rule 5 picks this season. Only righty Pedro Araujo remains among this year’s picks.

    The Yanks will pay $50K to their division rivals to take back the rights to Cortes, who will not need to be added to the 40-man roster. He will try to pick back up where he left off in an impressive 2017 season, when he spent most of the season in the upper minors and ended with a 2.06 ERA over 104 2/3 total innings.

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    MLB Issues Suspensions, Fines In Wake Of Yankees-Red Sox Brawl https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/mlb-issues-suspensions-fines-in-wake-of-yankees-red-sox-brawl.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/mlb-issues-suspensions-fines-in-wake-of-yankees-red-sox-brawl.html#comments Thu, 12 Apr 2018 21:57:21 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=119833 Major League Baseball has announced a variety of suspensions and fines relating to last night’s dust-up between the Yankees and Red Sox. As Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported on Twitter, New York first baseman Tyler Austin was slapped with a five-game ban while Boston reliever Joe Kelly will sit out six contests.

    Both of those players have appealed their suspensions, meaning they won’t go into immediate effect and could still be shortened. Austin was penalized for charging Kelly on the hill and for his role in the melee. Kelly’s ban stemmed from a finding that he intentionally plunked Austin and also participated in the brawl.

    Those two are also among those charged with undisclosed fines. Red Sox skipper Alex Cora and Yankees third base coach Phil Nevin were among them. A host of players on the disabled list — CC Sabathia, Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts, and Marco Hernandez — were also hit with fines for joining the fracas.

    If these suspensions are upheld, they’ll hurt the respective teams somewhat but likely won’t have a major impact on the course of the current season. Still, the ongoing tension certainly makes tonight’s series-ending affair between these rivals appointment viewing and sets the stage for an interesting season-long battle between the two division favorites.

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    Yankees Activate Aaron Hicks, Designate Shane Robinson https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/yankees-activate-aaron-hicks-dl-shane-robinson-dfa.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/yankees-activate-aaron-hicks-dl-shane-robinson-dfa.html#comments Thu, 12 Apr 2018 19:57:41 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=119816 The Yankees announced that they’ve activated outfielder Aaron Hicks from the disabled list and designated fellow outfielder Shane Robinson for assignment in a corresponding move. Hicks will return to the lineup tonight as the designated hitter for the Yanks.

    The switch-hitting Hicks will be a welcome addition to the Yankees’ lineup. Hicks went 2-for-4 on Opening Day for the Yankees this season before surprisingly landing on the DL due to a strained intercostal muscle the following day. Last year, the 28-year-old former first-rounder slashed .266/.372/.475 with 15 homers and 10 steals in 361 plate appearances over the life of 88 games, but oblique strains on both his right and left sides hampered his ability to stay on the field. Nonetheless, Hicks demonstrated enough for the Yankees to consider him their primary center fielder heading into 2018, and he’ll likely reclaim that role moving forward.

    As for the 33-year-old Robinson, he always looked to be a short-term add for the Yankees, though it likely still stings to be cut loose after reaching three times and swiping a base in his lone game with the Yankees. The speedy veteran’s contract was only selected Tuesday, and he went 1-for-3 with a couple of walks in last night’s emotionally charged game against the Red Sox.

    Robinson has been up and down between the Majors and Triple-A for much of his pro career, appearing at the big league level in each of the past seven seasons but never reaching 200 plate appearances in a year. Overall, he’s a lifetime .227/.296/.297 hitter in the Majors and a .281/.341/.388 hitter in more than 1600 Triple-A plate appearances.

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    Aaron Hicks To Be Activated From DL Thursday https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/injury-notes-price-shoemaker-ervin-trumbo-yankees.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/injury-notes-price-shoemaker-ervin-trumbo-yankees.html#comments Thu, 12 Apr 2018 02:27:35 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=119766
  • It appears as though Aaron Hicks has completed his rehab assignment. The outfielder tells reporters that he’s excited to rejoin the Yankees tomorrow (Twitter link Conor Foley of the Scranton Times-Tribune). Hicks walked and doubled in his second Triple-A rehab game tonight. He’s been out for two weeks with an intercostal strain that he suffered in the season opener. Meanwhile, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com tweeted yesterday that Jacoby Ellsbury will be shut down for 72 hours after receiving a cortisone shot in his ailing hip, so it seems the Yankees will likely have an update on him later this week once he attempts to resume baseball activities.
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    Orioles Designate Nestor Cortes https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/orioles-designate-nestor-cortes.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/orioles-designate-nestor-cortes.html#comments Tue, 10 Apr 2018 20:19:48 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=119674 The Orioles have designated lefty Nestor Cortes for assignment, per a club announcement. The team promoted righty Yefry Ramirez to take his place on the active roster.

    Cortes was taken from the Yankees in the 2017 Rule 5 draft. If he clears waivers, he’ll be offered back to the New York organization for a $50K sum, which the Yankees will all but assuredly pay. Regardless, the O’s have opened an additional 40-man spot for the time being.

    The 23-year-old Cortes was one of two Rule 5 picks the O’s made back in December and one of three players with Rule 5 restrictions to crack the Opening Day roster. Baltimore also selected Pedro Araujo out of the Cubs organization, and outfielder Anthony Santander still comes with Rule 5 status for the first 44 days of the 2018 season after spending the bulk of the 2017 season on the disabled list.

    Cortes appeared in four games for the Orioles and was tagged for four runs on 10 hits and four walks with three strikeouts through 4 2/3 innings of relief. Last year with the Yankees, he logged an impressive 2.06 ERA in 104 total innings between Class-A Advanced, Double-A and Triple-A, while averaging a strikeout per inning and just 2.8 walks per nine frames.

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    Yankees Designate Jace Peterson, Select Shane Robinson https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/yankees-designate-jace-peterson-select-shane-robinson.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/yankees-designate-jace-peterson-select-shane-robinson.html#comments Tue, 10 Apr 2018 19:27:17 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=119668 The Yankees have designated utilityman Jace Peterson for assignment, per a club announcement. His roster spot will go to outfielder Shane Robinson, whose contract was selected, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported on Twitter.

    Peterson, 27, helped fill out the Yankees roster as injuries interfered with the club’s plans. But the former Braves infielder never seemed likely to hang on all season long. The Yankees seem pleased to utilize Ronald Torreyes as a reserve in the infield and obviously have other ideas for the outfield mix.

    By adding Robinson, the Yanks will add another center field-capable player to the roster while awaiting the returns of Aaron Hicks and Jacoby Ellsbury. While Robinson has never hit much and surely won’t start now that he’s 33 years of age, he has plenty of experience coming off the bench and lining up at any of the three outfield positions.

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    Yankees Acquire L.J. Mazzilli From Mets For Kendall Coleman https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/yankees-acquire-l-j-mazzilli-from-mets-for-kendall-coleman.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/yankees-acquire-l-j-mazzilli-from-mets-for-kendall-coleman.html#comments Tue, 10 Apr 2018 15:02:20 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=119646 The Yankees and Mets have announced a rare, but minor, swap involving a pair of farmhands. Utilityman L.J. Mazzilli is headed to the Yanks in exchange for outfielder Kendall Coleman.

    Mazzilli is the son of former MLB player and coach Lee Mazzilli, who currently works in the Yankees organization in a non-uniformed capacity. The younger Mazzilli is a former fourth-round pick who has mostly played in the upper minors over the past three seasons. He’s a .254/.335/.346 hitter over 1,164 Double-A plate appearances, but has gone down on strikes just 176 times in that span while drawing 123 walks. Mazzilli has mostly played second base but has increasingly also spent time in the corner outfield.

    As for Coleman, he has not really advanced since drawing a $150K bonus as the Yankees’ 11th-round pick in the 2013 draft. The 22-year-old has mostly struggled at the plate in the low minors and has only briefly moved past the low-A level. All told,he carries a .207/.309/.301 batting line with ten home runs and 245 strikeouts in his 893 trips to the plate as a professional.

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    Yankees Notes: Didi, Bird https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/al-east-notes-red-sox-bogaerts-yankees-didi.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/al-east-notes-red-sox-bogaerts-yankees-didi.html#comments Sun, 08 Apr 2018 20:52:11 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=119537
  • Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius, who’s in his penultimate year of team control, would like to remain in the Bronx for the long haul. Asked this weekend if he’d be open to signing an extension, Gregorius told Randy Miller of NJ.com, “If they offer me something and I get a chance to stay here, I’ll stay here.” The Yankees and Gregorius haven’t discussed a new deal to this point, the 28-year-old informed Miller. Whether that will happen is unclear, especially with Orioles star shortstop Manny Machado slated to hit free agency next winter. Machado could be a target for the Yankees next offseason, which would put Gregorius’ future in question. Gregorius has held his own since joining the Yankees in 2015, though, meaning they could be content with him at short. He has hit a tremendous .367/.513/.900 with three homers in 39 trips to the plate this season.
  • Yankees first baseman Greg Bird, out since undergoing right ankle surgery in late March, is on schedule to come back sometime within the original six- to eight-week timetable, Danny Knobler writes for MLB.com. “I don’t have a bad ankle,” Bird said Sunday. “That was told to me by the doctor. I just had a bone spur that had to be taken out.” Injuries have beset Bird since he debuted in 2015, having held him to a meager 94 regular-season games in his career. His latest issue has led New York to use Tyler Austin and Neil Walker at first base this year. Austin has been productive in Bird’s stead, though, with a .231/.310/.500 line and two HRs in 29 PAs.
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    Brandon Drury Discussed Migraine Problems https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/al-east-notes-rasmus-drury-rays.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/al-east-notes-rasmus-drury-rays.html#comments Sat, 07 Apr 2018 21:44:38 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=119482
  • Brandon Drury has been bothered with migraines and blurred vision since early in Spring Training, the Yankees third baseman told reporters (including the New York Post’s Zach Braziller).  Drury was placed on the 10-day DL due to the problem, which led him to be removed from Friday night’s game against the Orioles.  This newest issue seems to be the latest manifestation of an ongoing problem for Drury, as he told the team last night that he has been dealing with similar symptoms for the last six years.  This came as news to the Yankees, according to GM Brian Cashman — Drury was known to have suffered a migraine while playing for the Diamondbacks in 2016, though an MRI at the time came back clean.  Cashman said that Drury will receive “an entire assessment” on Monday: “All I care about is finding out what’s going on.  He’s in a great city and we’ll give him the best medical care that New York City has to offer.  I can’t say what my level of concern is at this point.”
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    Athletics Claim Trayce Thompson https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/athletics-claim-trayce-thompson.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/athletics-claim-trayce-thompson.html#comments Sat, 07 Apr 2018 20:45:29 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=119300 SATURDAY: Thompson has officially joined the 25-man roster, with the A’s announcing that righty Daniel Gossett has been optioned to Triple-A to make room.

    THURSDAY: The Athletics have claimed outfielder Trayce Thompson off waivers from the Yankees, per a club announcement. Thompson had only recently joined the New York organization after being claimed from the Dodgers.

    Oakland has bumped righty Paul Blackburn to the 60-day DL to open a roster spot. Because he is out of options, Thompson will need to join the active roster, unless the A’s decide to try to squeeze him through waivers — as the Yanks just did, unsuccessfully.

    Thompson, 27, could fulfill a reserve outfielder role for an Oakland organization that is currently sporting a three-man bench. He struggled quite a bit in 2017, of course, and followed that up with a miserable stint in the Cactus League. But Thompson was an effective player in the 2016 campaign, when he turned in 262 plate appearances of .225/302/.436 hitting with good glovework and top-of-the-line baserunning.

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    Yankees Right-Hander Ben Heller Undergoes Tommy John Surgery https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/yankees-right-hander-ben-heller-undergoes-tommy-john-surgery.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/yankees-right-hander-ben-heller-undergoes-tommy-john-surgery.html#comments Sat, 07 Apr 2018 18:53:04 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=119468 Yankees right-hander Ben Heller underwent Tommy John surgery yesterday, according to a team media release.  Dr. Christopher Ahmad performed the surgery, and Heller also had a bone spur removed from his throwing elbow as part of the procedure.  Heller will now miss all of the 2018 season and most of the 2019 season recovering from the surgery, as per the usual 12-15 month timeline for TJ patients.

    It’s a very tough blow for Heller, who was emerging as one of the many promising young arms in the Yankees’ system.  Originally a 22nd-round pick for the Indians in the 2013 draft, Heller came to New York as part of the Andrew Miller trade package in July 2016 and made his MLB debut that same season.  Heller tossed 18 Major League innings in 2016-17, to go along with a strong minor league career that saw him post a 2.76 ERA, 12.1 K/9, and a 3.42 K/BB rate.  All but one of Heller’s 197 career minor league appearances came out of the bullpen, as his upper-90s fastball and solid slider made him a very intriguing relief prospect.

    Heller was already on the 60-day DL due to the bone spur issue, which unfortunately proved to be the harbinger to a much more serious problem once doctors examined his arm.  The Yankees had planned to send Heller down to Triple-A, though the transaction was voided when he was placed on the DL.  As a result, Heller will continue to earn Major League service time for the entire season as he recovers from the Tommy John surgery.

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    Yankees Place C.C. Sabathia, Brandon Drury On 10-Day DL https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/yankees-place-c-c-sabathia-brandon-drury-on-10-day-dl.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/yankees-place-c-c-sabathia-brandon-drury-on-10-day-dl.html#comments Sat, 07 Apr 2018 13:42:38 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=119431 The Yankees have placed left-hander C.C. Sabathia and infielder Brandon Drury on the 10-day disabled list, the team announced.  Sabathia has been sidelined with a right hip strain, while Drury is suffering from severe migraines.  Right-handers Domingo German and Luis Cessa were recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in corresponding moves.  Righty Jonathan Holder was also optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to create more 25-man roster space for infielder Jace Peterson, who has been signed to a Major League contract and selected from Triple-A.

    Some roster-shuffling was expected in the wake of the Yankees’ 14-inning marathon with the Orioles on Friday, particularly since the two teams have a quick turn-around for this afternoon’s 12:05PM CT start.  Cessa and German will provide some fresh arms to a New York bullpen that had to work 10 innings last night after Sabathia’s start was limited to just four innings due to his injury.

    He told reporters (including MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch) that “It was sore, and I never felt that spot before, ever, throwing a baseball.”  An MRI revealed no serious damage, however, and since the Yankees are off on Monday, Sabathia could end up missing just one start if he spends only the minimum 10 days on the DL.  Given Sabathia’s lengthy injury history, the DL placement could be something of a precautionary move on New York’s part, particularly since a roster spot was needed for an extra reliever.

    Drury also had an early exit from last night’s game, leaving in the sixth inning due to migraines and impaired vision.  Such injuries are often difficult to attach to a timeframe, though it’s possible Drury could also be facing a minimal DL stint.

    The Yankees have been hit hard by injuries in the early going, with Sabathia and Drury joining Greg Bird, Aaron Hicks, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clint Frazier, Ben Heller, and Billy McKinney on an already-crowded disabled list.  If that array of names wasn’t lengthy enough, Gary Sanchez and Tyler Wade also left Friday’s game due to a calf cramp and flu-like symptoms, respectively, though there isn’t yet any word on their status.  Sanchez obviously wasn’t going to start today anyway after catching 13-plus innings yesterday, though Austin Romine is the only other available catcher on New York’s active roster.

    Cessa or German could potentially make a spot start in Sabathia’s place, while Drury’s spot will be filled more directly by Peterson, who originally signed a minor league deal with the Yankees in January.  That original minors pact would have guaranteed Peterson $900K if he reached the big leagues (it’s fair to assume that his new MLB contract contains similar terms).  The four-year veteran has a .234/.319/.331 slash line over 1278 career plate appearances with the Padres and Braves.  Peterson’s left-handed bat allows him to platoon with righty-swingers Ronald Torreyes and Miguel Andujar at third base, plus he could also see some action at second base depending on Wade’s status.

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    Yankees Notes: Ellsbury, Sabathia https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/al-east-notes-machado-cobb-ellsbury-sabathia-mckay.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/al-east-notes-machado-cobb-ellsbury-sabathia-mckay.html#comments Sat, 07 Apr 2018 02:20:26 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=119415
  • The Yankees may be cool again, but they are dealing with some hip issues in the season’s early going. Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is now slated to visit a specialist to address a problem that arose while he was already on the DL, as Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports (Twitter  links). And veteran lefty CC Sabathia is slated for an MRI on his right hip after leaving his start early today with some soreness. The Yankees aren’t yet in desperate straights from an injury perspective, but have already endured enough dents and dings that they have had to dip into much of their best depth options already. Starting pitching is perhaps the area the team can least afford to endure any major losses, though at this point there’s no reason at all to think Sabathia will miss time.
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    Hicks Eyeing Return Early Next Week https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/al-east-notes-jdm-red-sox-cobb-gausman-hicks.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/al-east-notes-jdm-red-sox-cobb-gausman-hicks.html#comments Wed, 04 Apr 2018 21:37:42 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=119181
  • Aaron Hicks is confident that he can return to the active roster in time for the Yankees’ upcoming series against the Red Sox, which begins next Tuesday, writes MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. Beyond that, while recently claimed Trayce Thompson is initially reporting to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, skipper Aaron Boone tells Hoch that the optional assignment “doesn’t mean he won’t become an option very soon.”
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    Yankees Acquire Cody Asche https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/yankees-acquire-cody-asche.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/yankees-acquire-cody-asche.html#comments Wed, 04 Apr 2018 16:09:38 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=119197 The Yankees have acquired infielder/outfielder Cody Asche from the Royals, per a club announcement. Cash or a player to be named later will head to Kansas City in return.

    Asche had joined the Royals organization on a minors deal over the offseason. He was expected to provide a depth option there but will instead do so for the New York organization after today’s swap.

    The former Phillies prospect has certainly had his chances in the majors, but carries only a .234/.293/.376 batting line over 1,349 plate appearances in his career. He did hit well last year at Triple-A, though, and performed well this spring with a .269/.412/.500 slash.

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    Ellsbury's Rehab Slowed By Hip Injury https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/injury-notes-bumgarner-smith-lamb-shoemaker-mariners-gyorko-ellsbury.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/injury-notes-bumgarner-smith-lamb-shoemaker-mariners-gyorko-ellsbury.html#comments Tue, 03 Apr 2018 23:47:04 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=119126
  • Already on the DL with an oblique issue, Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has now been set back by a hip injury, as Bryan Hoch of MLB.com tweets. While it seems there’s not a lot of concern with this new malady, it only adds to the laundry list of aches and pains that have plagued Ellsbury of late. While his contract is obviously under water, Ellsbury remains a useful MLB asset and is in greater need than anticipated due to the Yanks’ other  outfield injuries. At this point, it seems, fellow outfielder Aaron Hicks will likely be activated first from his own DL placement for an intercostal strain.
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    Yankees Claim Trayce Thompson https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/yankees-claim-trayce-thompson-waivers-dodgers.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/yankees-claim-trayce-thompson-waivers-dodgers.html#comments Tue, 03 Apr 2018 20:43:46 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=119143 The Yankees announced that they’ve claimed outfielder Trayce Thompson off waivers from the Dodgers. To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, New York transferred righty Ben Heller from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. The Dodgers had designated Thompson for assignment last week.

    Thompson, 27, gives the Yankees some outfield depth with each of Aaron Hicks, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clint Frazier and Billy McKinney currently on the disabled list. The brother of NBA star Klay Thompson, Trayce has spent the past two seasons with the Dodgers organization after being acquired from the White Sox in the three-team trade that sent Todd Frazier from Cincinnati to Chicago.

    [Related: Updated New York Yankees depth chart]

    While Thompson logged a respectable .249/.322/.469 slash through his first 397 plate appearances between the Sox and Dodgers, he struggled to a .122/.218/.265 line in a tiny sample of 55 PAs last year in the Majors. His struggles weren’t confined to the big leagues, either; in 369 plate appearances in the hitter-friendly Triple-A Pacific Coast League, he hit just .212/.269/.363.

    Thompson will give the Yankees a player who can handle all three outfield spots and has had some success both in the Majors and at Triple-A, even in light of his 2017 struggles. It remains to be seen if he can stick with the Yankees in the long term, however. He’s out of minor league options, so when some combination of Hicks, Ellsbury, Frazier and McKinney comes off the DL, it’s possible that Thompson could again find himself exposed to waivers.

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    Yankees Rescind Heller's Option To Minors, Place Him On DL https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/injury-notes-musgrove-mercer-wieters-cruz-realmuto-yankees.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/04/injury-notes-musgrove-mercer-wieters-cruz-realmuto-yankees.html#comments Mon, 02 Apr 2018 20:10:00 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=119027
  • The Yankees announced today that they’ve voided right-hander Ben Heller’s optional assignment to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and instead placed him on the Major League 10-day disabled list with a bone spur in his right elbow. There’s no immediate timetable provided for Heller’s return, though he’ll benefit from being on the MLB disabled list instead of the minor league DL, as he’ll now gain big league service time (and be paid the pro-rated portion of the league minimum) while sidelined.
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    Yankees Place Billy McKinney On DL, Recall Miguel Andujar https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/yankees-place-billy-mckinney-on-dl-recall-miguel-andujar.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/yankees-place-billy-mckinney-on-dl-recall-miguel-andujar.html#comments Sat, 31 Mar 2018 23:15:48 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=118867 Another day, another injury for the Yankees’ outfield. Billy McKinney is headed to the disabled list after crashing into the left field wall at Toronto’s Rogers Centre on an attempted catch Saturday, Joel Sherman of the New York Post was among those to report. The Yankees will recall third baseman Miguel Andujar to take McKinney’s spot on their 25-man roster.

    The rookie McKinney suffered an AC sprain in his left shoulder, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, which forced him to leave the Yankees’ 5-3 loss to the Blue Jays in the first inning. The Yankees then subbed in Brett Gardner, who had been scheduled for an off day, to take McKinney’s place in left. Gardner joined Aaron Judge in center (his first big league game at the position) and Giancarlo Stanton in right to comprise New York’s outfield.

    With Jacoby Ellsbury, Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier also on the DL, the Yankees’ vaunted outfield has taken a beating early this season. They still have the enviable Judge-Stanton-Gardner trio intact, of course, but the depth behind them is now lacking. Potential backups on the big league roster include third baseman Brandon Drury, who played 94 games in the Diamondbacks’ outfield in 2016, utilityman Tyler Wade and first baseman Tyler Austin – both of whom bring some outfield experience to the table. The Yankees also have veteran Shane Robinson in the organization, but he’s not on their 40-man roster.

    Andujar, 23, may slot in at both third and first in his second major league call-up. He vied for the Yankees’ third base job during the spring, but the late-February acquisition of Drury made it unlikely he’d open the season in the majors. Andujar appeared in five of the team’s games last year, which he mostly spent at the Triple-A level. He slashed an outstanding .317/.364/.502 in 250 PAs at the minors’ highest level in 2017, leading to his soaring stock as a prospect. Andujar’s a highly regarded youngster who ranks as FanGraphs’ 14th-best prospect.

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    Yankees Sign Oliver Perez To Minor-League Deal https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/yankees-sign-oliver-perez-to-minor-league-deal.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/yankees-sign-oliver-perez-to-minor-league-deal.html#comments Sat, 31 Mar 2018 19:34:21 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=118840 The Yankees have added left-hander Oliver Perez on a minors pact, tweets Marc Carig of The Athletic. He’ll make just over $1MM if he cracks the MLB roster.

    The 36-year-old Perez signed a minor league deal with the Reds earlier this offseason, but allowed ten earned runs in just 6 2/3 innings and as such was not named to the club’s opening day roster; the club released him on March 22nd. But perhaps the Yankees found some small reason for optimism in his 2:1 ground ball to fly ball ratio and nine strikeouts across those innings.

    Perez has long been effective against opposing left-handed hitters. He’s faced them a total of 1,541 times, and they’ve managed just a .228/.318/.365 batting line against him. Even as he’s aged, he’s maintained that skill, as evidenced by his .227/.301/.364 batting line versus lefty opponents in 2017. On the whole last season, Perez posted an impressive 10.64 K/9, but with a 4.64 ERA.

     

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    Yankees Place Aaron Hicks On Disabled List https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/yankees-place-aaron-hicks-on-disabled-list.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/yankees-place-aaron-hicks-on-disabled-list.html#comments Fri, 30 Mar 2018 16:37:47 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=118720 The Yankees announced on Friday that they’ve placed outfielder Aaron Hicks on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right intercostal muscle. He’ll join fellow outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury (right oblique strain) and Clint Frazier (concussion) on the disabled list. Outfield prospect Billy McKinney has been recalled from Triple-A in place of Hicks.

    Hicks, 28, went 2-for-4 in his season debut yesterday and didn’t appear to suffer an injury over the course of the game, making today’s announcement somewhat of a surprise. The Yankees clearly have plenty of depth from which to draw, though the injuries to Frazier and Ellsbury, combined with the late-spring trade of Jake Cave, have thinned out their outfield ranks to an extent. With Hicks on the shelf, the Yankees can use Brett Gardner in center and play Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in the corners.

    [Related: Updated New York Yankees depth chart]

    New York is counting on Hicks for a strong performance in 2018 after breaking out in an injury-shortened 2017 season. Last year, the switch-hitting former first-rounder slashed a hefty .266/.372/.475 with 15 homers and 10 steals in 361 plate appearances over the life of 88 games. Oblique strains on both his right and left sides hampered him, but he nonetheless demonstrated enough for the Yankees to consider him their primary center fielder heading into 2018.

    McKinney will join the team in Toronto and make his big league debut if and when he gets into a game. The former first-round pick came to the Yankees alongside Gleyber Torres in the trade that sent Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs at the 2016 non-waiver deadline. Now 23 years of age, McKinney restored some of the prospect status he lost in a poor 2016 season by hitting .277/.338/.483 in the upper minors last season. He has experience at all three outfield spots but has spent more time in the corners recently in addition to getting his feet wet at first base in 2017.

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    Orioles Return Rule 5 Pick Jose Mesa Jr. To Yankees https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/orioles-return-rule-5-pick-jose-mesa-jr-to-yankees.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/orioles-return-rule-5-pick-jose-mesa-jr-to-yankees.html#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2018 16:03:37 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=118491 The Orioles announced today that Rule 5 pick Jose Mesa Jr. has been returned to the Yankees organization. He’ll report to Triple-A.

    Mesa, a 24-year-old righty, had recently been designated for assignment. Having cleared waivers, he’ll head back to the organization that selected him in the 24th round of the 2012 draft.

    Baltimore had considered Mesa for a bullpen spot along with two other Rule 5 pitchers, but elected against keeping him. Now, he’ll wait for an opportunity in a loaded New York pen.

    Mesa did not turn in a compelling showing this spring, but has shown his share of promise in the minors. Last year, he pitched to a 1.93 ERA with 10.8 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 84 innings over 29 appearances — including eight starts — at the High-A and Double-A levels.

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    Greg Bird To Undergo Ankle Surgery, Miss 6-8 Weeks https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/greg-bird-to-undergo-ankle-surgery-2.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/greg-bird-to-undergo-ankle-surgery-2.html#comments Mon, 26 Mar 2018 20:06:42 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=118326 The Yankees announced that first baseman Greg Bird will undergo surgery on Tuesday “to remove a small broken spur on the outside aspect of his right ankle.” He’ll miss approximately six to eight weeks as a result.

    This is the latest in a growing line of injury problems for the 25-year-old Bird, who sat out the entire 2016 campaign after undergoing shoulder surgery and then missed the majority of last season with a right foot injury. He and the Yankees are left to hope surgery repairs that foot, and it’ll leave the club with Tyler Austin and Neil Walker among its big league first base options in the meantime. If the Yankees look for outside help, it’s worth noting that they had Adam Lind in camp earlier this month. New York elected to release Lind, who remains a free agent.

    Regardless of where the Yankees go from here at first, it’s obvious this is a notable blow to both them and Bird. At his best, the left-handed hitter has looked like a perfect fit for Yankee Stadium and its short right field porch. There was optimism that a healthy Bird would break out from the get-go this year and give the Yankees a fourth fearsome slugger to join Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez. But it’ll be yet another abbreviated campaign for Bird, who has played just 94 games since earning his first major league promotion in 2015.

    Although Bird wowed during his rookie campaign with a .261/.343/.529 line (137 wRC+) in 178 plate appearances, last year’s injury limited him to a .190/.288/.422 showing (86 wRC+) in 170 PAs. To his credit, Bird returned in time for the playoffs to serve as one the Yankees’ top October performers before they fell in a seven-game ALCS against the Astros. That’ll go down as Bird’s last meaningful action until at least mid-May.

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    Yankees "Optimistic" About Greg Bird's Foot https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/al-notes-rays-rangers-rupp-bird-orioles-brantley.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/al-notes-rays-rangers-rupp-bird-orioles-brantley.html#comments Sun, 25 Mar 2018 17:13:41 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=118099
  • Yankees first baseman Greg Bird missed most of last season with a right foot injury and is once again dealing with an issue in that area. While Bird will see a foot specialist Monday, the Yankees are hopeful he’ll avoid a long-term absence. “(We are) at least a little bit optimistic, based on the pictures, but tomorrow should tell us a lot as far as what it is time-wise, all those kinds of things. Hopefully we’ll get some good answers tomorrow,” manager Aaron Boone said Sunday (via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com). In the event Bird does miss time, Tyler Austin could serve as the Yankees’ primary first baseman, Boone suggested (per Billy Witz of the New York Times).
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    Greg Bird Once Again Dealing With Foot Injury https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/east-notes-yanks-bird-mets-nationals-orioles.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/east-notes-yanks-bird-mets-nationals-orioles.html#comments Sat, 24 Mar 2018 23:41:19 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=118017 Yankees first baseman Greg Bird missed most of last season with a right ankle injury. The 25-year-old is now battling soreness in the same foot and will go for an MRI and a CT scan, per Randy Miller of NJ.com. Bird’s status concerns general manager Brian Cashman, who said Saturday: “I’m worried about it to be honest. I’m not sure what we’re dealing with, but when Greg can’t tee it up, it’s a problem for us because obviously he’s a vital member of our organization.” Cashman went on to indicate that the Yankees won’t attempt to replace Bird via trade if he lands on the shelf. The recently signed Neil Walker and Tyler Austin are among the Yankees’ in-house first base options, but it’s worth noting that they recently had Adam Lind in camp. The club signed Lind to a minor league pact in early March before releasing him midway through the month. Lind remains on the market and would make for a logical pickup on paper, but there’s no word on whether New York is interested in re-signing him in the event of another serious injury to Bird.

    [Update: The Yankees announced that Bird is dealing with inflammation and will see a specialist Monday.]

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    Mariners Return Rule 5 Pick Mike Ford to Yankees https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/mariners-return-rule-5-pick-mike-ford-to-yankees.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/mariners-return-rule-5-pick-mike-ford-to-yankees.html#comments Sat, 24 Mar 2018 21:48:27 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=118003 The Yankees have announced that the Mariners returned first baseman Mike Ford to them. Ford was the 11th pick in this offseason’s Rule 5 Draft.

    Ford was part of a vulnerable Yankees system when the Rule 5 Draft came around. Indeed, Bombers’ farm system was raided for three of its young players they weren’t able to fit onto the 40-man roster by the November deadline.

    Ford has an elite track record of getting on base in the minors. He owns an 18.4% walk rate at the Double-A level, and a 15.7% walk rate even at Triple-A. Last season, he slashed .266/.383/.543 for the Rail Riders, despite a .247 BABIP. During spring training with the Mariners, the 25-year-old mashed the baseball to the tune of a .885 OPS.

    All this considered, it seems a bit surprising on the surface that he wasn’t able to crack the big league roster. But considering the scorching spring performance of Dan Vogelbach (who crushed six homers and posted an OPS of 1.385) and the return to health of Ryon Healy, there doesn’t seem to be an obvious spot for Ford on the roster.

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    Yankees Release Wade LeBlanc https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/yankees-release-wade-leblanc.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/yankees-release-wade-leblanc.html#comments Sat, 24 Mar 2018 00:36:18 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=117883 The Yankees announced today that they have released southpaw Wade LeBlanc. He had signed a minors pact in mid-January.

    The 33-year-old hurler has thrown 130 innings over the past two seasons in the majors, working to a 4.15 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9. He threw 13 2/3 innings over seven appearances in camp this year, allowing eight earned runs on 16 hits while posting a 10:1 K/BB ratio.

    LeBlanc has long posted significant reverse platoon splits, so he’s not really a lefty matchup option, but he has 79 MLB starts under his belt and made plenty of multi-inning appearances last year. Teams weighing a signing will likely view him more as a long man or swingman option.

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    Yankees, Red Sox Nearing Deal To Play Series In London In 2019 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/al-notes-tribe-carrasco-mariners-yankees-red-sox.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/al-notes-tribe-carrasco-mariners-yankees-red-sox.html#comments Thu, 22 Mar 2018 04:51:35 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=117710
  • The Yankees and Red Sox are nearing a deal to play a two-game series in London during the 2019 regular season, according to Janet Paskin and Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg. The series would take place at London Stadium, which hosted the 2012 Olympics, in what would be the first-ever Major League Baseball action in Europe.
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    Yankees Notes: Salazar, Darvish, Wade, Ellsbury, Machado https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/yankees-notes-salazar-darvish-wade-ellsbury-machado.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/yankees-notes-salazar-darvish-wade-ellsbury-machado.html#comments Wed, 21 Mar 2018 02:20:56 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=117556 Some items from the Bronx…

    • Indians right-hander Danny Salazar was one of several pitchers the Yankees considered as potential trade targets last winter, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes.  Salazar is controlled via arbitration through the 2020 season and he has shown excellent promise when healthy, posting a 3.82 ERA, 10.5 K/9, and 3.27 K/BB rate over 587 1/3 career innings with the Tribe.  Unfortunately, Salazar has also been bothered by shoulder and elbow problems over the last two years, and he looks to miss at least a bit of time at the start of the 2018 season due to rotator cuff inflammation.  Despite the health risks, Salazar has been a popular trade target for multiple teams, with the Cubs and Brewers both being linked to the righty this offseason.
    • Also from Sherman’s piece, he doesn’t blame the Yankees for jumping at the unique opportunity to land Giancarlo Stanton, though in terms of pure payroll allocation, rotation help was more of a need than another big bat.  Aside from re-signing C.C. Sabathia, the Yankees didn’t do much to address possible questions in the rotation, though they did explore trades for the likes of Salazar and Gerrit Cole.  New York was only on the periphery of the Yu Darvish hunt, with GM Brian Cashman telling Sherman that “We talked about Darvish with [his agent] Joel Wolfe, but it never got off the ground. We kept seeing if his market collapsed and it didn’t.”  Cashman also noted that “Darvish was never a choice for us, in terms of length [of contract request] with a pitcher,” which Sherman interprets as the Yankees no longer being comfortable handing out major long-term deals to pitchers in their 30’s and/or with notable injury histories.
    • Tyler Wade will be on the Yankees’ Opening Day roster, manager Aaron Boone told MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch and other reporters.  Wade’s multi-positional versatility will help a New York team that is only planning to have a three-man bench for now, in order to deploy an eight-man bullpen.  Wade’s roster opportunity may come at the expense of Jacoby Ellsbury, who Boone said isn’t likely to be ready for the start of the season as the veteran outfielder continues to recover from an oblique injury.
    • The Yankees have long been considered a prime suitor for Manny Machado when the Orioles star hits free agency next winter, though Mike Axisa of the River Ave Blues blog questions whether the two sides are an ideal fit.  For one, New York has solid-to-very good shortstop and third base options both at the big league level (Didi Gregorius, Brandon Drury, Wade) and coming up in the minors (Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar), so even though Machado is an elite player, the Yankees might prefer to spend their money on pitching instead of the left side of the infield.  To that same end, Axisa wonders if the Yankees will, as rumored, once again far exceed the luxury tax level for big-money free agents like Machado, given Hal Steinbrenner’s desire to keep payroll relatively in check, at least by the Yankees’ standards.
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    Braves Return Rule 5 Pick Anyelo Gomez To Yankees https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/braves-return-rule-5-pick-anyelo-gomez-to-yankees.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/braves-return-rule-5-pick-anyelo-gomez-to-yankees.html#comments Tue, 20 Mar 2018 20:57:46 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=117521 The Braves have returned Rule 5 draft pick Anyelo Gomez to the Yankees, as announced by New York’s official Twitter feed.  The 25-year-old right-hander has been assigned to the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate.  Atlanta had originally selected Gomez out of the Yankees’ farm system with the eighth overall pick of last December’s Rule 5 Draft.

    Gomez owns a 3.24 ERA, 9.3 K/9, and 2.58 K/BB rate over 269 1/3 career innings in the minors.  Most of that experience is in the lower levels, though he impressed enough in 2017 to earn a promotion to Double-A (36 2/3 IP over 17 games) and even a brief two-inning cup of coffee at the Triple-A level.  Gomez started just one of his 38 games last season, and the move to the bullpen resulted in a 1.92 ERA in 70 1/3 innings across all levels.  With an abundance of strong arms in the minors, Gomez’s return only further reinforces the Yankees’ depth, though he is probably behind several other pitchers in terms of getting a big league promotion some time this season.

    The Braves technically had two Rule 5 picks on their roster, as injury-plagued right-hander Dan Winkler’s Rule 5 status is still in effect despite missing much of the last three seasons due to injuries.  Winkler and the other intriguing arms in Atlanta’s system created a tough road for Gomez to find a spot on the 25-man roster, and he didn’t help his case with a rocky performance (10.80 ERA) over 8 1/3 Spring Training innings.

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    Gleyber Torres To See "50-50" Split At Second Base, Shortstop At Triple-A https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/al-east-notes-torres-pomeranz-davis-orioles-mckay.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/al-east-notes-torres-pomeranz-davis-orioles-mckay.html#comments Sun, 18 Mar 2018 23:33:17 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=117344 The Yankees will deploy Gleyber Torres in roughly a “50-50” split between second base and shortstop at Triple-A this season, manager Aaron Boone told MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch and other reporters.  Torres has spent the vast majority of his four pro seasons as a shortstop but received some time at second base over the last two seasons and third base in 2017.  One of the game’s top prospects, Torres is expected to make his big league debut at some point this season, and second base could be his ultimate position in New York given Didi Gregorius’ presence at short.  With Gregorius slated for free agency after the 2019 season, however, Torres’ presence gives the Yankees flexibility at both middle infield positions going forward.

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    Yankees Option Miguel Andujar https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/quick-hits-brewers-yankees-red-sox-royals.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/quick-hits-brewers-yankees-red-sox-royals.html#comments Sun, 18 Mar 2018 21:57:51 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=117317
  • Even after acquiring Brandon Drury from the Diamondbacks in late February, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team would give Miguel Andujar a chance to win its starting third base job. That bid officially came to an end Sunday, as the Yankees optioned the highly touted Andujar to Triple-A, setting up Drury to start at the hot corner. The 23-year-old Andujar held his own during spring action, though, with a .916 OPS in a team-leading 42 at-bats.
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    Jacoby Ellsbury Likely To Begin Season On DL https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/al-notes-rays-miller-stroman-ellsbury-tigers.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/al-notes-rays-miller-stroman-ellsbury-tigers.html#comments Sun, 18 Mar 2018 04:42:51 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=117253
  • Shoulder inflammation has troubled Blue Jays star Marcus Stroman this spring, but the right-hander told reporters Saturday that he’ll be available during the team’s first turn through the rotation this year. After throwing a pair of scoreless frames Saturday in his first spring outing of the year, Stroman said (via ESPN.com): “I thought [Saturday’s game] went really well. I’m ready to rock — just progress over the next two starts and looking forward to pitching against the Yankees on [April 1].” Needless to say, that’s welcome news for the Jays, for whom Stroman delivered 201 highly effective innings in 2017 (3.09 ERA), thanks in part to an excellent 62.1 percent groundball rate.
  • Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury stands “a strong chance” to begin the season on the disabled list, George A. King III of the New York Post writes. Ellsbury has been battling an oblique injury that has kept him out since March 1. The Yankees are, of course, built to go without him, given the presences of fellow outfielders Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks. Their other outfield role may well go to young utilityman Tyler Wade to start 2018, King suggests.
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    AL Notes: Morrison, White Sox, Yankees https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/al-notes-morrison-white-sox-yankees.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/al-notes-morrison-white-sox-yankees.html#comments Sat, 17 Mar 2018 18:30:15 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=117187 First baseman Logan Morrison ended up with the Twins, but many expected the Red Sox to pursue him more aggressively than they did. Alex Speier of the Boston Globe has some interesting quotes from LoMo, who smacked 38 homers for the Rays last season but ultimately settled for a meager $6.5MM guarantee with performance escalators and a vesting option. Morrison says he himself didn’t have any conversations with Boston. His agent spoke with the club during the winter meetings, but apparently “that was it,” and clearly that discussion didn’t culminate in any serious offers. “Am I surprised? I guess. I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know if it was the most shocking thing I saw [in the market].” The Sox ended up re-signing Mitch Moreland to play first base for them on a two-year, $13MM contract.

    Some other American League-related items…

    • James Fegan of The Athletic has an insightful rundown of some young White Sox arms. Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech and Dane Dunning have all had their ups and downs this spring, and Fegan was able to get quotes from all of them on some recent performances in camp. For instance, Giolito spoke about his latest outing during which he allowed two runs in the first inning. “It’s one of those days where like, if one pitching isn’t working you can go to the other ones and I was able to do that for the most part after the first inning,” he said. Kopech offered some confidence in his performance. Threw a lot of changeups, changeups were good,” Kopech said. “My main two focuses were fastball command and changeup command. Both were really good. Got a lot of swings and misses on the changeup.” Anyone looking for more quotes from these young pitchers should give the article a full read.
    • The Yankees have officially tabbed right-hander Luis Severino to be the club’s Opening Day starter. Bryan Hoch of MLB.com has some notable quotes from manager Aaron Boone on the subject. “”We feel like it’s his time for it,” Boone said. “With what he was able to do last year, we feel like he’s in a really good place now. We just felt like now is the time for him to take on that role and we think he’s ready for it.” While it’s hardly surprising to hear that the third-place finisher in 2017’s Cy Young voting will throw his club’s first game of the season, the announcement also comes with the news that lefty Jordan Montgomery will officially be given the club’s fifth rotation spot and start the Yankees’ home opener.
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    Twins Acquire Jake Cave, Designate Kennys Vargas https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/twins-acquire-jake-cave-designate-kennys-vargas.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/twins-acquire-jake-cave-designate-kennys-vargas.html#comments Fri, 16 Mar 2018 19:34:09 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=117132 The Twins have acquired outfielder Jake Cave from the Yankees, per Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press (via Twitter). Righty Luis Gil goes to the Yankees in return. In a corresponding move, Minnesota has designated slugger Kennys Vargas for assignment.

    The 25-year-old Cave just didn’t have a place in the Yankees’ plans with the organization already sporting a variety of quality outfielders at the MLB level. Meanwhile, Minnesota was likely not going to carry the out-of-options Vargas after signing Logan Morrison.

    It’s not immediately clear how the 25-year-old Cave will fit on the Twins roster, given that the club already has left-handed-hitting outfielders in Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, and Robbie Grossman (who is a switch-hitter). But the organization may just have decided it was worth taking a chance on Cave’s upside while letting him develop at Triple-A to start the year.

    Last season, Cave turned in a robust .305/.351/.542 slash with 20 homers in 437 plate appearances in the upper minors. He’s considered a quality all-around player who can play any of the three outfield positions. Of course, Cave has yet to have a chance to show whether he can carry his promise into the majors.

    The switch-hitting Vargas is a defensively-limited slugger who has shown some pop, but also some swing and miss, in reserve duty over the past four MLB campaigns. He carries a .252/.311/.437 overall slash with 35 home runs in 859 trips to the plate.

    As for Gil, he’ll represent something of a far-off lottery ticket for the Yanks. The righty has not yet advanced past the Dominican Summer League, but did put up a solid stat line there last year. In 41 2/3 innings, he worked to a 2.59 ERA with 10.6 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9.

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    Yankees Release Adam Lind https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/yankees-release-adam-lind.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/03/yankees-release-adam-lind.html#comments Wed, 14 Mar 2018 15:43:42 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=116982 10:43am: The Yankees have confirmed the move.

    10:39am: While the team has yet to announce a move, Randy Miller of NJ Advance Media reports that the Yankees released first baseman Adam Lind after yesterday’s game (Twitter link). Billy Witz of the New York Times tweets that Lind’s locker has been cleared out in the Yankees clubhouse and adds that he, too, hears the veteran is no longer with the organization.

    Lind, 34, reportedly had an opt-out date in his minor league deal with the Yankees, but that wasn’t set to come until March 22. It’s not clear at this time whether he’ll quickly line up an arrangement with another organization or if he’ll have to explore the market for a few days before landing in a new spot. He went 3-for-15 (all singles) with five strikeouts and a walk in 16 plate appearances with the Yankees this spring.

    Jack Curry of the YES Network tweets that Lind candidly told him he didn’t see a path to 300+ plate appearances when asked yesterday, which indeed would’ve been tough to envision, barring injuries elsewhere on the roster. Greg Bird is slated to serve as the everyday first baseman in New York and, like Lind, is a left-handed hitter. Tyler Austin provides a right-handed-hitting complement to Bird, and newly signed Neil Walker could conceivably see some backup time at first base if needed. There’s no room for Lind in the Yankees outfield, either, with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury all on the 25-man roster.

    Last season with the Nationals, Lind slashed .303/.362/.512 with 14 homers in 301 plate appearances. That served as a nice rebound effort from a poor 2016 effort in Seattle and made that lone down year appear to be largely aberrational in nature. Lind has posted an OPS+ of 123 or better in four of the past five seasons, batting a combined .282/.348/.473 through 2142 plate appearances in that time. Of course, that production has come almost entirely against right-handed pitching, as Lind’s struggles against lefties has been a well-documented issue throughout his big league career.

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