Minors Notes: Defenders, Zagurski, Free Agents

Logan expected to start throwing in December following elbow surgery
Saturday Night Open Thread
(Layne Murdoch/Getty)
Lillibridge. (Layne Murdoch/Getty)

The Arizona Fall League season begins on Tuesday — the Yankees are sending seven players (roster), most notably OF Mason Williams, OF Tyler Austin, and LHP Vidal Nuno — while the various Caribbean winter leagues are still about a week away. Those rosters have not yet been released. Here’s a smattering of minor league notes for the time being:

  • In a subscriber-only piece, Matt Eddy looked at the best defensive players in the minors at the four up-the-middle positions. OF Mason Williams ranked 12th (out of 20) among center fielders by Eddy’s method while OF Slade Heathcott was an honorable mention. C Gary Sanchez was eighth among catchers thanks in part to his 45.9% success rate at throwing out attempted base-stealers. He “receives 80 throwing grades [on the 20-80 scale] from some scouts.”
  • LHP Mike Zagurski was removed from the 40-man roster and outrighted to Triple-A Scranton, reports Andy McCullough. He refused the assignment and elected free agency. The Yankees have one open 40-man spot now. Zagurski, 30, spent most of the year in Triple-A but was actually with the team in September. He appeared in one game and allowed two runs.
  • RHP Jim Miller, IF Alberto Gonzalez, and UTIL Brent Lillibridge all elected free agency, according to Eddy. None of the three were on the 40-man roster but they all played for the big league team at one point or another this summer. Gonzalez appeared in 13 games, the most of the bunch.
  • The Yankees have re-signed C Jose Gil, RHP Diego Moreno, and LHP Francisco Rondon, among others, to minor league contracts, reports Eddy. They became minor league free agents after the season. Moreno came over in the A.J. Burnett trade and Rondon, while still fringy, is the best prospect of the bunch.
Logan expected to start throwing in December following elbow surgery
Saturday Night Open Thread
  • pat

    80 arm for Sanchez? Seems optimistic. I had never heard that before. Whatever it may be, certainly good to hear he’s not a liability like Montero.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Rondon sure is a strange story. Protected from the Rule 5 last year. Ill-advised conversion to starter. Now is back as a MiLB FA and still has some reasonable potential.

  • RetroRob

    An 80 arm on Sanchez? First I heard that and certainly encouraging.

  • Preston

    Can people stop talking about Sanchez like he’s not a future C now (I’m talking to you Keith Law)? He’s been getting better every year and now’s he’s not only adequate, but pretty darn good back there.

    • RetroRob

      Law consistently says he believes Sanchez, unlike Montero, has the tools to stick at catcher if he keeps progressing. There is still work that needs to be done with his overall receiving, but the tools are there.

  • felixpanther

    any idea this R J Johnson guy?

  • JGYank

    That 80 on Sanchez’s arm is really impressive. If he is able to hit and block pitches, this kid could be great.