Archive for Transactions
As I mentioned this morning, eligible players officially became free agents at 9am ET this morning. They still have to wait five days to sign with new teams, however. The MLBPA released a list of all 147 free agents this afternoon, which you can check out right here. Among those 147 players are 13 Yankees: Robinson Cano, Joba Chamberlain, Curtis Granderson, Travis Hafner, Phil Hughes, Hiroki Kuroda, Boone Logan, Lyle Overbay, Andy Pettitte, Mark Reynolds, Mariano Rivera, Brendan Ryan, and Kevin Youkilis.
There are currently 28 players on the 40-man roster, though Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter, Corban Joseph, Jayson Nix, Francisco Cervelli, and CC Sabathia all have to be activated off the 60-day DL by Monday. So, in reality, there are 34 players on the 40-man.
The Yankees have started the process of adding bullpen depth for next season. The team has re-signed right-hander David Herndon to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, according to his agent Joshua Kusnick. He will be Rule 5 Draft eligible in December, but if he goes unclaimed, he’ll come to camp with a chance to win a bullpen spot.
Herndon, 28, blew out his elbow early in the 2012 season with the Phillies and needed Tommy John surgery. Philadelphia removed him from the 40-man roster over the winter and, after a brief detour through Toronto, he was claimed off waivers by the Yankees. New York then removed Herndon from their 40-man roster and gave him a new minor league contract after he cleared waivers and elected free agency.
After returning from his elbow reconstruction in late-June, Herndon pitched to a 2.78 ERA (~2.20 FIP) with a good strikeout rate (9.1 K/9 and 22.5 K%) and a good walk rate (2.5 BB/9 and 6.3 BB%) in 35.2 innings across 21 minor league appearances. He steadily climbed the ladder during what amounted to a rehab assignment, topping out at Triple-A Scranton.
Back in July, Ken Rosenthal heard from a scout that Herndon had been running his fastball up 94 mph during his minor league outings. He was primarily a low-90s sinker/low-80s slider reliever while with the Phillies, but he did touch 94 on occasion. If nothing else, his stuff has come back. During his three seasons in Philadelphia, Herndon was more of a ground ball guy (55.3%) than a strikeout guy (5.9 K/9 and 15.0 K%).
There’s nothing exciting about signing a reclamation project like Herndon, but the Yankees have a big 40-man roster crunch and need to acquire as many quality players on minor league deals as possible to build depth, something they lacked in 2013. The bullpen is usually the easiest place to do this, at least in terms of sheer numbers, plus it’s a good way to save some cash as the club looks to get under the $189M luxury tax threshold. The Yankees watched Herndon rehab and pitch in their system this year, they had to like something they saw to bring him back.
The Yankees have outrighted Jim Miller to Triple-A Scranton, the team announced. The right-hander was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot for Brendan Ryan about a week ago. He could have elected free agency but instead decided to remain with the team.
Miller, 31, allowed three runs in 1.1 innings of work against the Red Sox last week, his only appearance in pinstripes. He did have a pretty strong year with the RailRiders, pitching to a 3.55 ERA (3.22 FIP) with a 13.07 K/9 (33.6 K%) in 63.1 innings across 43 appearances. Miller had his moments with the Athletics last season (2.59 ERA and 4.74 FIP in 48.2 innings) and is probably worth keeping around in Triple-A next season. He will become a minor league free agent in a few weeks, so the decision to come back is his.
The Yankees have acquired infielder Brendan Ryan from the Mariners for a player to be named later, the teams announced. No word on the corresponding 40-man roster move just yet. Because he was acquired after August 31st, Ryan will not be eligible for the playoff roster should the Yankees make it that far. He is owed $400k for the rest of the season and will become a free agent this winter.
Ryan, 31, hit a weak .192/.254/.265 (43 wRC+) in 287 plate appearances for Seattle this season. He is an elite defender though, arguably the best at the position in all of baseball. With Derek Jeter‘s left ankle barking, Eduardo Nunez was the only shortstop on the active roster and the Yankees needed a backup. I wouldn’t expect Ryan to play all that much — he should replace Nunez in the late inning for defense at the very least — but the team desperately needed another middle infielder.
The Yankees have called up right-hander Matt Daley from Triple-A Scranton, the team announced. To make room on the 40-man roster, Corban Joseph was called up and placed on the 60-day DL. His season ended in May due to a shoulder problem. The move was made to add bullpen depth for the rest of the season and tonight’s game in particular.
Daley, 31, missed most of 2011 and all of 2012 following shoulder surgery. The Queens native had a 2.02 ERA and ~1.65 FIP in 53.1 relief innings across three minor league levels while coming back from the injury this year. He spent parts of three seasons in the big leagues with the Rockies, pitching to a 4.71 ERA and 3.86 FIP in 80.1 total innings from 2009-2011. Daley is a soft-tosser in the Cory Wade mold, not a guy who will come in and blow people away. He’s been in the organization for two years now and there’s a chance he could factor into the 2014 bullpen plans.
12:05pm: Mesa was giving his unconditional release, not designated for assignment. So even if he were to clear waivers, he is done with the organization. Mesa had tools, just sucks he never figured out how to make even halfway consistent contact.
11:16am: Nix was transferred to the 60-day DL and Mesa was designated for assignment to clear the two 40-man spots. Melky2.0 will be out of options next year and would have been a DFA candidate this winter. At least now he might sneak through waivers due to the injury.
10:22am: The Yankees have called up five players from Triple-A Scranton: IF David Adams, RHP Dellin Betances, LHP Cesar Cabral, RHP Brett Marshall, and C J.R. Murphy. RHP Preston Claiborne is expected to rejoin the club tomorrow, but OF Melky Mesa has a significant hamstring injury and will not be called up this month. Teams can carry up to 40 players on their active rosters as of today. It’s unclear if the Yankees are planning any more call-ups after Claiborne unless there’s an injury or something.
Adams, Betances, and Marshall were all up with New York earlier this season, so it’s no surprise they were brought back. The Adams and Betances call-ups are pretty straight forward — they’ll provide infield and bullpen depth. I wouldn’t expect Betances to see any kind of high or even medium leverage innings right out of the gate. Marshall is stretched out as a starter and since he’s now available as a long man, David Huff could move into a more traditional lefty specialist role alongside Boone Logan. That would be helpful down the stretch.
Cabral, 24, nearly made the team as a Rule 5 Draft pick out of Spring Training last year before fracturing his elbow. The job went to Clay Rapada instead. He has a 5.40 ERA (3.61 FIP) overall in 36.2 innings across various minor league levels since returning from the injury, but he has been better against same-side hitters (2.36 FIP and 34.7% strikeout rate) in a small sample. Cabral figures to see time as the third lefty specialist behind Logan and Huff. With Logan due to become a free agent this winter, Cabral could also be auditioning for a spot in next year’s bullpen a la 2008 Phil Coke.
The 22-year-old Murphy has hit .269/.346/.426 (~118 wRC+) with 12 homers in 468 plate appearances split between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton this year. He’s also thrown out 50 of 136 attempted base-stealers (37%). Yesterday we heard it was “very likely” he would be called up. Murphy, the team’s second round pick in the 2009 draft, will serve as the third catcher and doesn’t figure to play much as long as the Yankees remain in the wildcard race. He’ll catch bullpens on the side and soak up the whole MLB experience instead.
No word yet on how the team opened 40-man roster spots for Murphy and Cabral, but the Yankees have 60-day DL candidates in Jayson Nix (hand), Zoilo Almonte (ankle), and Travis Hafner (shoulder). Both Murphy and Cabral would have been Rule 5 Draft eligible this winter, so the Yankees simply sped up the process and added them to the 40-man a few weeks early. All five call-ups are with the team and will be available for this afternoon’s game.
As expected, the Yankees have officially activated Derek Jeter and his strained calf off the 15-day DL. He is in tonight’s lineup, batting second and playing shortstop. Preston Claiborne was sent to Triple-A Scranton to clear a roster spot. Their season ends one week from today, so Claiborne will be eligible to return to the club next Tuesday, before the ten-day period expires.
As expected, the Yankees have placed Jayson Nix on the 15-day DL with a fractured left hand. Joe Girardi acknowledged his season is likely over. The team took advantage of the injury to recall right-hander Preston Claiborne before the mandatory ten-day waiting period expired, but they now lack a backup middle infield at the moment. Joe Girardi hinted at using Alfonso Soriano at second base and Robinson Cano at short in an emergency. Mark Reynolds played short in college, so who knows? Derek Jeter is likely to return at some point in the next few days, so it sounds like the club is just going to roll the dice until then. Risky.
As expected, the Yankees have indeed signed Mark Reynolds. He is in tonight’s lineup. Preston Claiborne was sent to Triple-A Scranton to clear a 25-man roster spot and Luis Cruz was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot. Rosters expand in two weeks, Claiborne will be back soon enough. Still, sending him down and keeping Joba Chamberlain makes zero sense if you are trying to win ballgames.
Via Jon Heyman: The Yankees have agreed to sign corner infielder Mark Reynolds. Because he was designated for assignment and released by the Indians, they only owe him the pro-rated portion of the league minimum. Heyman says four teams had interest. The deal is not yet official.
Reynolds, 29, hit .205/.307/.373 (93 wRC+) with 15 homers before being cut by the Tribe. As I explained in last week’s mailbag, he was very good for the first 50 games but terrible for the last 49. Reynolds did hit .215/.333/.411 (111 wRC+) against lefties though, and that’s why the Yankees signed him. He’ll presumably platoon with Lyle Overbay at first base and see some time at third base and DH as well.
The Yankees will need to clear both a 25-man and 40-man roster spot to accommodate Reynolds, but that won’t be too difficult. They’re already carrying a 13-man pitching staff and could transfer either Zoilo Almonte (ankle) or Luis Cruz (knee) to the 60-day DL. If he performs well, I suppose the Yankees could look to retain Reynolds for next season as a part-time corner infielder/DH.