No not that Gardner, I’m talking about RHP Mike Gardner, who the Padres plucked from the Yanks in the Rule V Draft. Gardner had an unimpressive spring for the Friars, which made it easy for them to use the 25-man roster spot elsewhere. I expect Gardner to return to Double-A Trenton to start the year, with a halfway decent chance of contributing to the big league team at some point this year.
Via PeteAbe comes word that the Yanks have placed Andrew Brackman on the 60-day DL as he rehabs from TJ, and added Billy Traber to the 40-man roster in his place. This doesn’t necessarily mean Traber will be with the big league squad come Opening Day, but his chances just went up exponentially. Let’s just hope the Billy Traber Era goes better than the Wedsel Gary Groom Jr. Era. The Organizational Depth Chart has been updated accordingly.
Alan Horne, Jeff Marquez and Chase Wright were dispatched to the Minor League camp after today’s game. Two of them could be back in the Bronx this year; Chase Wright should join Sean Henn somewhere else.
Here’s something we wanted to see happen last year, but apparently was blocked by Joe Torre. The Yanks have signed Morgan Ensberg. No word on the nature of the deal — that is, whether it’s a major or minor league deal. My guess is that it’s a minor league one (saving the Yanks a roster spot), with an opt-out if he doesn’t make the big league roster.
I would suppose that he’s being brought in as competition for Shelley at first base. He’s only played three games in his career off of third base — one at DH, one at first base, and one at shortstop. I’m not quite sure if he’d be a viable bench option. We’ll see as Spring Training progresses, though.
Update: It’s a minor league deal. Just thought of something else, too. Ensberg could be Giambi insurance. If he goes down in ST, Ensberg would have a seat on the bench. Not a bad fallback plan.
News! Transactions! Huzzah!
Wilson Betemit has agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.165 million. So, uh, good move.
For what it’s worth, PeteAbe thinks the Yanks will settle with Cano, Wang, and Bruney before arbitration hearings begin on Feburary 1.
- Mighty Matt DeSalvo, the Yanks’ 2005 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, signed with the Braves. This is a sad, sad day in Mike A. land. Almost as sad as when Mike Richter announced his retirement.
- Andy Phillips inked a deal with the Reds. Kinda shocked it wasn’t the Dodgers.
- The Yanks signed RHP Scott Strickland, LHP Heath Phillips, LHP Billy Traber, C Jason Brown and IF Nick Green to minor league deals.
Brown and Green have spent time with the organization before. Strickland is a career journeyman, last pitching in the bigs with Houston back in 2005. The Padres released him in Spring Training last year just before his $550k salary was to be guaranteed. Traber was a first round pick way back in 2000, but has bounced from club to club and got pounded with the Nats last year (39.2 IP, 50 H, 21 ER, 13 BB, 27 K). I figure he’ll at least get a look-see in Spring Training to see if he can be an effective lefty specialist.
Heath Phillips is actually a halfway decent arm, and part of me was hoping the Yanks would take a flier on him after the ChiSox choose not to tender him a contract in December. He’s a barrel chested soon-to-be 26 year old workhorse with a high-80’s sinker and a rainbow curve. He can get into trouble by leaving pitches up in the zone, but he limits the damage because he keeps his walks down. This, ladies and gentlemen, is your LOOGY sleeper.
Update: Here’s a clip of Phillips (not Andy, obviously):
According to an anonymous report in the Washington Post, the Yankees did manage to complete a trade on Monday. They reportedly sent Tyler Clippard to the Nationals in exchange for promising 25-year-old reliever Jonathan Albaladejo. While there was really no place for Clippard in the Bronx, he may yet get his chance to start for the Nationals. Albaladejo threw 14.1 innings for the Nats last season with a 1.88 ERA and a 0.63 WHIP. He struck out 12 and walked 2 and immediately becomes a cog in the Yankees’ bullpen.