Nov
14

Crasnick: Yankees sign Antoan Richardson to minor league contract

By

Via Jerry Crasnick: The Yankees have signed outfielder Antoan Richardson to a minor league contract. The Bahamas-born and Florida-raised switch-hitter also received an invitation to Spring Training and will be with the big league squad in camp.

Richardson, 30, hit .285/.402/.371 (126 wRC+) in 523 plate appearances split between Double-A and Triple-A with the Twins this past season. He received a brief cup of coffee with the Braves in September 2011. Richardson is a classic leadoff hitter, drawings lots of walks (15.9%) with not many strikeouts (17.8%) or much power (two homers (!) and .064 ISO) over the last three seasons. He can steal bases (83-for-100 since 2011) and old scouting reports indicate he’s a very good defensive outfielder.

If nothing else, Triple-A Scranton will have one helluva leadoff hitter next season. Richardson could get an opportunity to make the team in a fifth outfielder’s role if the Yankees dump both Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells this winter, but that seems unlikely. If New York manages to sneak back into the postseason in 2014, I suppose Richardson could be considered for the honorary Freddy Guzman role of pinch-running specialist.

Categories : Asides, Transactions

23 Comments»

  1. Jersey Joe says:

    Hm. Interesting signing; I’d like to see him get another cup of coffee in the bigs sometime next year.

    • Caballo Sin Nombre says:

      He certainly could get a cup of coffee in the bigs. In fact, with his speed, it still should be hot by the time he gets to the dugout.

    • Havok9120 says:

      I like it. Even if it just means Scranton gets a great leadoff guy and we have a speedster waiting in the wings for the MLB club.

  2. Havok9120 says:

    Miggy wins the MVP and Boston makes an offer to Napoli and this is our response????

    Just do us all a favor and sell the team, Hal.

    /lastoffseason’d

  3. Robinson Tilapia says:

    As always, I look forward to his game-winning hit in June, subsequent DFA, and cries of “we shoulda kept him.”

  4. Jersey Joe says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen: I present to you Chris Dickerson II

    • Havok9120 says:

      Can’t be. Dickerson was an irreplaceable asset squandered by that idiot Cashman.

      I still can’t believe we didn’t get Scherzer for him last offseason.

  5. Frank says:

    Old news. This was reported on LoHud on Monday.

  6. Get Phelps Up says:

    Career 1.000 OPS in MLB!

  7. greg says:

    Not even a AAA starter. A total non story.

    • Havok9120 says:

      A) no it’s not, he’s depth. Something we learned the importance of last season. Sure, it’s housekeeping, but it’s still Yankee news.

      B) It’s November. Low-importance stories are pretty much all we’re gonna get until the Winter Meetings start up.

    • Milton says:

      The Bahamas has had many athletes perform at both the MLB and NBA levels; let me name a few for you:
      MLB:
      Chicago Cubs-Andre Rodgers, SS (set double play record with Ken Hubbs)
      LA Dodgers-Henry Williams P, Colin Thompson 1B
      Cleveland Indians-Tony Curry, Vincent Ferguson
      Cincinatti Reds-Edison Armbrister LF
      Houston Astros-Edmund Moxey C
      NBA:
      Lakers-Mychal Thompson, PF, Rick Fox, SF
      Other:
      Harlem Globe Trotters-Osborne ‘Goose’ Lockhart, PG.
      Inspite of our small size as a country we have achieved world status in many areas viz; Track & Field and certainly Hollywood (Sir Sidney Poitier, Calvin Lockhart, Godfrey Cambridge).
      I trust that Antoan Richardson will make you regret your utterances!

  8. CashmanNinja says:

    I love this move. Sure he’s 30, but it’s pretty rare to sign a minor league guy who ever turns into a stud. At the very least he could be a post-season pinch runner/late inning replacement. That may not sound like a lot, but he sounds like a poor man’s Billy Hamilton to me. No power, great speed, great defense. What more could you possibly hope to get to sign a minor league deal? There’s a 99% chance he doesn’t do anything at the major league level, but if anything did happen then I’d say he’s a better option than some other guys we had last year, and if last year taught us anything it’s that depth is so underrated.

  9. forensic says:

    I guess it’s probably not that big a deal as it seems unlikely that even three, much less all four, of Heathcott, Flores, Williams, and Austin will be ready for AAA at some point this season (or, even if they are, we’ll see if they can all stay healthy at the same time). If some of them are ready at the same time, you move Richardson around to accomodate these guys or just dump him at that point.

    The only other possible issue at this point could be Zoilo, I guess, assuming he doesn’t make the big league roster. It doesn’t appear that the other AAA OFers from last season would cause much heartache if they lost out on some PT (especially since many of them, such as Melky, aren’t even in the org anymore).

    I’m not usually a fan of moves like this (and especially Jim Miller in the following thread), but this one doesn’t seem to cause many issues yet.

    • Mac says:

      I’m not sure how signing one OF is going to impact Zoilo. For starters this guy sounds like a CF and Zoilo is a corner guy. Furthermore, if Zoilo can’t beat out a minor league journeyman for PT he’s not going to be contributing to the MLB team.

      You’re not usually a fan of filling out minor league rosters with bodies? Should they leave line-up spots around their prospects empty and just play 5 or 6 guys in the field? Promote all their guys from lower levels up to AAA and just see how they do?

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        If they can cover 2B and LF simultaneously, you know they’re ready for the show.

        Agreed here, although I certainly think forensic would agree as well. There’s a reason why every team makes signings like this. I’m actually pretty glad there hasn’t been the usual uproar yet. I look forward to him doing so well in AAA that people will ask why he hasn’t been brought up yet.

        He’s also only a year older than Ronnie Mustellier, isn’t he? :)

  10. fat jeter says:

    I like this signing. It was incredibly evident last season that the AAA cupboard was beyond bare. Considering Ichiro, Soraino, and Wells are still on the team, there’s a good chance that collection of future AARP members may spend time on the DL and/or under-perform and warrant a call up for the 30 year-old “kid”. Hell, he may have a Darnell McDonald circa 2010 season in him and exceed expectations.

    • Mac says:

      Not sure there’s much reason to believe that Richardson fills the cupboard any more than last season’s AAA OF that at times included Almonte, Neal, Mesa, Corey Patterson, and Fernando Martinez. He’s arguably less accomplished than any of those guys, actually. In all likelihood he is just a body.

  11. CashmanNinja says:

    Also keep in mind that having quality depth has an impact on the entire team. Here we have a CF with supposedly great defense. He could rob a few hits/runs with his defense, thus possibly make the pitching staff a tad better. Plus if he gets on base his speed could lead to an opposing pitcher making a mistake and giving a more established prospect a better chance to produce. I’m not saying this guy will suddenly make the rotation and lineup into studs or anything like that, but I do think he could have a slight impact compared to who he’s replacing.

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