Yankees sign Jeff Natale

Pushing the depth limits
Yankees recall Chad Moeller, shift Nick Johnson to 60-day DL

Via Pete Cava, the Yankees have signed utility player Jeff Natale to a minor league deal, and will soon assign him to Triple-A Scranton. The 27-year-old spent five years in Boston’s farm system, where he put up a rather beastly .298-.432-.446 batting line with far more walks (281) than strikeouts (168) in 416 career games. He’s spent the majority of his career at second base, but he’s also seen time at first, short, and in the outfield over the years.

All of the injuries have a trickle down effect, thinning out Scranton’s roster as well, so Natale is a nice depth signing. If you can make contact and get on base 40% of the time, you’ll always have a chance.

Pushing the depth limits
Yankees recall Chad Moeller, shift Nick Johnson to 60-day DL
  • Cam

    Any reason he hasn’t stuck in the bigs?

  • A.D.

    Kinda odd he’s never even gotten a shot at the majors no? Though I guess wasn’t going to unseat Pedroia.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    He destroyed at the lower levels, but in 800+ AB’s in AA and AAA he still was over .400 obp. Along with that, and the ability to play several positions, it’s strange he hasn’t gotten a chance somewhere.

    • http://www.capeandislandsentertainment.com Ron Larrivee

      This guy’s a terrific hitter and, although he was not going to unseat Pedroia, he would have been a very solid contributor on offense; and a versatile infielder to have on the bench. Red Sox missed on Jeff, too bad! Don’t be surprised to see him playing for the Yankees off the bench, or called up if someone gets hurt!!

  • Mister Delaware

    I remember him from passing through Wilmington. One of those guys who you could see for a week then be shocked at his numbers. Probably hurt that he was passing through the system at the same time as Lowrie.

    • Mister Delaware

      (Man, do I hate not being able to edit. Who uses “passing through” twice in 3 sentences? Me without self-editing, that’s who.)

  • Chris0313

    This guy makes Chuck Knoblauch look like Roberto Alomar at second base. He can hit though.

  • Tank the Frank

    If he can hit stick him in the OF and let’s see what happens.

    /lightning in a bottle’d

  • Ed Modeen

    I am curious, if the Yankees got a guy like this, why is he being used for minor league depth? Winn has had his chance and is a joke. Give this guys 40% OBP a shot. Isn’t that why the Yankees paid NJ 6 million? It can’t hurt to put him in place of Winn.

    • pat

      You don’t just sign a guy off the street and put him on the MLB team.

      • Jake Taylor

        Screw you.

        • pat


        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          There’s a different between the street and the Mexican League.

  • Jim

    Anyone actually see him play the infield or post his error numbers? Let’s see those numbers or him play the field then you can say he sucks at fielding. Until then, just be happy cashman signed a quality player unlike NJ and winn.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK’s Mystique and Aura

    The book on Natale is that he has very, very questionable defense and little power. Pretty good hit tool and fantastic on-base skills. The numbers bear this out.

    Basically NJ with some defensive ability (but not enough for a non-corner position, without enough hitting for a corner) and less power.

  • sleepykarl

    Seems like a what I was afraid Russo would become due to a lack of a chance at the MLB level(can play a ton of positions but lacks range and is a decent hitter, but lacks power).

  • http://www.capeandislandsentertainment.com Ron Larrivee

    The only Yankee I’ll probably every root for – with the exception of Jeter, I guess! Gotta like Derek.