Bench takes shape: Rivera released; Overbay, Francisco, Boesch on team

Update: Boone Logan fine after being hit by line drive
Forbes: Yankees now worth $2.3 billion

3:52pm: Brian Cashman indicated to Sherman that Brennan Boesch will make the team as well. Assuming Jayson Nix steps in as the utility infielder, the Yankees will have Nix, Chris Stewart/Frankie Cervelli, Francisco, and Boesch on the bench to start the year.

3:31pm: Via Ken Rosenthal: The Yankees have released Juan Rivera. He confirmed the news to reporters and says he was told Lyle Overbay will play first base while Ben Francisco serves as the reserve outfielder. The team had to add him to the 40-man roster today according to Joel Sherman.

Rivera, 34, was paid a $100k retention bonus on Tuesday according to George King, allowing the Yankees to keep him for a few more days as a non-roster player. He had a solid camp, going 18-for-61 (.295) with five doubles, but I guess the team wasn’t impressed overall. With Overbay and Francisco making the club, the Yankees will have to clear two 40-man roster spots by Monday. They still have one open bench spot as well.

Update: Boone Logan fine after being hit by line drive
Forbes: Yankees now worth $2.3 billion
  • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

    I just wonder what they do vs. LHP.
    1) live with Overbay’s subpar bat
    2) Nix at 3rd, Youk at first
    3) fhof Ronnier Mustelier
    4) scrap heap acquisition to be named later

    • CountryClub

      We’ll find out on opening day (Lester).

      • MB923

        Also on the 3rd game of the season vs. Doubrant. I don’t think the Tigers have any lefties in their rotation. Correct me if I’m wrong on that.

  • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

    Francisco making it as well means one more roster spot they need to free up.
    They need at least 3 now – backup SS (Nix), Francisco, and Overbay

  • Jeff

    I would think Musty’s odds of making the team go way up now.

  • Evan

    Anyone see any reports today on Mustelier’s knee today? It’s him or Boesch and Mustelier would seem much more versatile.

  • Jerkface

    Close the book on Rivera’s spring, he hit .295 .317 .377 .694 and showed a stone glove at every position. Didn’t deserve to make the team.

  • Evan

    Ronnier Mustelier has a bone bruise. Will stay behind in Tampa. Will not make the Opening Day roster.

  • boffin

    Good move on Rivera, negated by useless retention of sub-mediocre Ben. Francisco is a waste — I’d guess he’ll be gone by early May.

    • trr

      let’s hope so, if you catch my drift….

    • Steve (different one)

      Ben Francisco, career OPS+ 101, 31 years old
      Chris Dickerson, career OPS+ 101, 31 years old

      One guy is a wase of space, letting the other one go was a tragedy

      • Hip Hip

        Difference being Dickerson is regarded as an above average defender.

      • Scott

        Um, not even close, comparing Dickerson & Francisco:

        (1) Dickerson can field; but more importantly —

        (2) Francisco has no real platoon split so he’s subpar all the time, while Dickerson hits righties well but can’t hit lefties a lick.

        Which is to say Dickerson is a very useful role player, able to help in many situations, while Francisco is at best a warm body who at best won’t lose you too many games with mediocre fielding and OPS’ing .700 OPS against all pitchers.

  • Get Phelps Up

    DFAing Eppley and Demel seem like the obvious moves to clear two 40 man spots.

  • Jeff

    That sucks. He probably hurt it crashing into the dugout fnce and tried to play through it. Still, how long does a bone bruise usually take to heal?

    • jsbrendog

      week or two? maybe?

      • Jeff

        That’s what I would have guessed. I hope we see him get a shot in May/June.

  • dkidd

    i’m encouraged by this news

    overbay can (at the very least) play his position
    sterling has a chance to shout “a ben francisco treat!”

    • Yogiism

      I’m with you buddy. Very encouraged by this. Nothing against Rivera, but Overbay is pretty much the easy choice at this point. His defense far outweighs the marginal offensive upgrade they would have gotten from someone else.

      Despite all the nay-sayers and the stupid Fox article (the Yanks will come in last), I’m feeling very good about the team. Youk at 3rd, Nunez at SS (despite defensive short comings, which was just improved with Overbay at 1st, if that makes sense — could you imagine Nunny chucking it over to Rivera – jeez), Cano at 2nd, Overbay at 1st. Ichiro, Gardner, Wells, Boesh, etc in the OF and the rotation and bullpen. People can say what they want, but this Yank team on paper is better than the Rays, O’s, definitely the Sox and man to man with the Jays. The Yanks are fine.

      • dalelama

        Heavy sarcasm….

  • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

    So the last roster spot probably comes down to: Boesch, Mesa, or extra reliever?
    Whoever it is likely to be the cut when Jeter comes back anyways.

    • jsbrendog

      you mean sent down, not cut right? cause boesch is signed to a major league deal and is still under team control for nxt yr and is a great cheap depth piece and isn’t going anywhere, mesa is pre arb, and well, yeah i guess they could always cut extra relievers.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

        Yeah, I just meant cut from 25-man roster. Whether it’s optioned or something else would depend on who it was.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      So it’s Boesch, apparently.

  • Evan

    Cash indicates Boesch is going to make team according to Sherman so looks like the bench is set. Even fan favorite back-ups can’t stay healthy. What a terrible spring training.

  • The Real Me (Formerly Cris Pengiucci)

    I’m a little surprised that Fransisco got the nod over Rivera due to the slight benefit of positional flexibility Rivera brings. Either way, that player was probably slated to be gone when either Jeter or Granderson returns.

    • The Real Me (Formerly Cris Pengiucci)

      Fransisco Francisco … Gotta spell his name correctly. He’s on the team, at least for the time being.

      • boffin

        Mesa has his limitations. But I would have kept him over Francisco. Neither will hit much — Francisco has proven that in recent years. But Mesa has far more power and is a better outfielder. And Mesa would not cost them a 40 man roster move. Now they’ll lose someone potentially useful off 40 man, as they already did with Adams.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

          The one potential issue with that is Mesa hasn’t hit lefties well (at least the last 2 years), so he doesn’t really fit well as a platoon OF. (Not that Francisco is a whole lot better).

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          Nitpick: They haven’t lost Adams yet.

          Chad Jennings explains his deal at LoHud.

  • LarryM Fl

    I remember Juan Riveria with his first run with The Yanks. Solid ballplayer but watching him play firstbase and not handle throws in the dirt. I knew he was gone. Youklis, Nunez and Derek to some degree need a smooth fielding first baseman. Once Riveria was move to the inf. it was over for him especially with inability to handle throws. The last couple of moves have improved the Yanks especially Overbay and Boesch.

    As the regulars come back the moves needed to be made will be clear on the 25/40 man roster.

  • Coolerking101

    So many Major League quotes are fitting right now. I think I’ll go with:

    I’ve never heard of half of these guys and the ones I do know are way past their prime.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      At least no dead guys on the roster…..yet.

  • PFOJ

    Michael Kay supports this move, finally the team can stop worrying about their gloves being stolen from the clubhouse.

    • jsbrendog

      wrong rivera.

    • FIPster Doofus

      You’re thinking of Ruben Rivera.

  • RhondaNY

    Missing Teixiera’s glove will be tough and I have to admit I was horrified at the non catches at Rivera’s stint at first base This move, keeping Overbay, is encouraging. Now I have to keep my fingers crossed that Nunie can handle shortstop for a bit. Tall order

    • OldYanksFan

      I’ll agree. A fill-in position player can surprise with the bat, but a Butcher with the glove is ALWAYS a Butcher. We may end up finishing in the middle of the pack, but at least we won’t look like the Keystone Cops doing so.

      I feel that the need for good defense at 1B is always understated. I saw a lot of Mattingly and some of Keith Hernandez. They both saved at many hits as a great 3Bman, as well as saving lots of errors. While Teix has little range, he will catch anything he can fall on, and has saved a ton of errors on bad throws, as well as always turning the 3-6-3 / 3-6-1 DP.

    • Yogiism

      The whole Nunez thing becomes much MUCH better now that Overbay is on the team. With him at 1st, we can worry a little less about Nunez and some erratic throws. I guarantee this was part of the decision when they release Rivera. Nothing against him, but Nunny throwing wide to Rivera was a disaster in the making regardless of Rivera’s possible offensive production.

  • Tom K

    I don’t mind Boesch on the team..with so much power either gone or on the DL, it makes it more imperative to have someone with a little pop on the bench for a late-game situation. As for Mesa/Francisco, I likely go wi Mesa all things being equal. But perhaps the Yankees would rather him play everyday and be ready to go if he is needed rather than play sparingly in the big leagues.

    • boffin

      It would be nice to think so, Tom. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they wind up cutting Mesa to keep Francisco. I really think Mesa could help a bit with his speed, defense and occasional power. Francisco started out mediocre and has been in steady decline ever since.

  • Frank

    Rivera got released because he stole Jeter’s glove again. /michaelkay

    • Argh!

      HA! Thank you, I needed that.

      • Frank

        LOL, it’s going to be a long season. We’re going to have to keep each other’s spirits up.

    • yankee63

      Wrong Rivera you are not a Yankees fan get your players right the player was Mariano Rivieras cousin “Ruben Rivera”stop putting this mans good name out there like A thief All you Yankee fans. I hate it and so dose Juan Rivera He dose not deserve your allocations.Get your facts right when you wright in the internet.I been A Yankees fan since 1963 the bed Years so I say good yankee fans that know the players lets GO YANKEES and for the ones that don’t get to know the players or player before you say something and put your foot in your mouth.

  • CG

    Overbay is terrible!

    • Yogiism

      The Red Sox are having a hard time selling tickets. I suggest you go join them if you don’t like the Yank team this season. Most of us are ok with it and I’m just ready to kick back and watch some night time ballgames. Nothing better than knowing after a long day of work you can go home and tune in and have a burger and coke (or beer) in front of the TV. For some, this is enjoyable and frankly, I like that there are a lot of new names on the team. Be cool to see who got what.

    • Mike HC

      Rivera had a poor bat and poor glove at first. Overbay can at least field.

  • There’s the Door

    With Nunez throwing to Rivera, they would have been chasing baseballs all over the room.

  • JRod

    Overbay was a good pickup, solid with the glove as has been noted, used to have power, maybe he’ll find some of it again with the short porch. Francisco is just a waste of a roster spot.

  • Balt Yank

    I guess I see the reasoning based on these comments. But why waste a roster space with Ben Francisco? I would have kept Rivera for two weeks til Musty got back, then moved Rivera to outfield as Right handed bat in OF. Boesch should be at triple a, as a lf bat who needs to get himself together. Nix and Francisco are wastes of roster space.

    • Scott

      Totally agree. OR, instead of Rivera, the basically forgotten Thomas Neal as the “righty to keep Musty’s seat warm” option — I mean, as long as Neal didn’t completely suck in spring (Dan Johnson) or get cut (Diaz), why not give him a few weeks as a bench player to see what he’s got? I mean, he can’t be that much worse a hitter than Francisco, and he’s got more upside just by not being a 31 yr-old journeyman like Francisco who’s gone from mediocre to poor.

      • Scott

        BTW Neal also is a righty who’s played a little CF and a little 1B — not that he’d be great in either position, but with a little experience at both, and more athleticism than Musty or a thirtysomething like Francisco, the defensive versatility would be a nice, modest plus.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Neal’s still an option. He’ll just be in AAA waiting his turn.

        • Keav

          Raul Mondesi will get called up before Thomas Neal would.

          • Scott

            Not sure why you think that statement makes sense: (1) the Yanks did bother to get Neal recently when he came available; (2) they did release two others OF (Diaz, Rivera) but not him); (3) he’s hit .290s-.310s in AA-AAA.

            He’s NOT a top prospect but there’s some evidence both that he can hit and that the Yanks have been interested in him enough to sign him recently and to choose to release two other folks than Neal.

            So I don’t know what your “thing” here is, other than pointless, less-clever-than-you-think snark.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Genuinely surprised Overbay got the spot over Rivera, mostly because Rivera saw so much action at first I didn’t think they’d let him go. It’s probably the best decision in the long run as far as giving up less hits on the field goes, though.

    Really happy to see Boesch on the team, as I was concerned Wells was going to push him to AAA. Very hopeful about him moving forward.

    Indifferent about Francisco. Would have liked the speed element with Mesa, but at least he’s preserved as depth in AAA.

    Let’s see where the 40-man stuff goes. I wager the new reliever goes, but let’s see what the rest brings. Wouldn’t be surprised to see the team lose a CoJo in all this.

    • Pat D

      I was reading this article and saying, “If Boesch is on the bench, who’s the third starting outfielder?”

      Until you mentioned his name, I’d completely forgotten about Wells. I’m an idiot.

  • pc

    i was hoping rivera would be released so they could keep a more deserving player, now whats the next move, trade or release.

  • Greg

    none of this really matters. Jeter, Tex and Grandy get 3 spots in the next 4-8 weeks. Then three of these guys disappear. Which of the dregs we take won’t add a single game won or lost.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      That’s really respectful of MLB players. Nice.

      I agree that Overbay and Francisco shouldn’t be signing any year-long leases, though.

      • Scott

        Whoa, since when (a) did you appoint yourself the manners schoolmarm and (b) is it off-limits to calling replacement-level players “dregs”? Please chill out and stop being such a dreg yourself, K?

  • ClusterDuck

    Let me see if I have this correct.

    The Yanks are putting Ben Good-for-Nothing Francisco on the 25/40 man roster and thus they have to cut Adams loose.

    Is this correct? Anybody?

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      Not necessarily.
      They need multiple roster spots, so Adams may have been cut loose even if they don’t take Francisco.
      Also, there’s still a chance they can retain Adams.

      • ClusterDuck

        I would have kept Adams on the 40 man roster and I would have jettisoned Ben Fran.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

          That’s nice, but it wouldn’t necessarily solve anything. They still need 3-4 more spots.

          • ClusterDuck

            Heaven forbid we make the better move first.

            As I said, I would have kept Adams on the 40 man roster and I would have jettisoned Ben Fran.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

              I get what you’re saying, but Francisco isn’t even on the 40-man roster yet. The two don’t directly relate to each other.
              It could be they realized they were going to need 4 roster spots regardless(or whatever number it ends up), Adams fell within the 4 they deemed most expendable, and at that point it didn’t really matter if Adams was cut 2 days ago or 2 days from now.
              There’s also a possibility they already have a handshake agreement with Adams and all of this is meaningless consternation over nothing (though that may just be wishful thinking).
              I don’t like that Adams was cut, but I’m waiting to see if they retain him (and who else gets cut) before deciding if this was a bad decision or not.

  • Vern Sneaker

    Jeter comes back and Nunez takes Francisco’s bench seat. Grandy comes back and either Boesch or Nix goes, probably Boesch otherwise no utility guy. It won’t be long. Carrying Nix is an unfortunate consequence of Nunez not being an adequate infielder.

    • MB923

      Assuming Jeter comes back before Grandy, then that would make Nunez the utility guy, not Nix.