Yankees sign Ramon Ortiz

Via Jon Heyman and Marc Carig, the Yankees have signed right-hander Ramon Ortiz to a minor league contract. The 38-year-old actually got some big league time with the Cubs last summer, pitching to a 4.86 FIP in 33.1 IP. Ortiz was in camp with the Giants this spring, and apparently he was throwing the ball reasonably well. The Yankees needed someone to replace David Phelps in the Triple-A rotation — Manny Delcarmen is scheduled to start Opening Day tomorrow — which is what Ortiz will do.

Open Thread: 4/4 Camp Notes

Yay Andy. (Al Messerschmidt/Getty)

The Yankees wrapped up their exhibition schedule today with a big win over the Mets. Andy Pettitte threw 13 pitches and faced the minimum in his one inning of work (video), giving up a ground ball single that took a big hop over the first baseman’s head (runner was later thrown out trying to steal), a pop-up to shortstop, and a routine ground ball to second. Seriously, it was like he never left. Same old Andy.

Frankie Cervelli clubbed a two-run homer before a) getting demoted, and b) the minor league replacements unloaded on the Mets. Kevin Mahoney, Ramon Flores, and Hector Rabago all drove in runs. David Robertson practiced his Houdini act, striking out the side after putting men on the corners with no outs. Here’s the box score and here’s the final Spring Training update from Tampa…

  • “It was good to get out there…everything felt great,” said Pettitte after his outing. His plan is to be ready for the big leagues in about a month, and if today was any indication, he’ll be just fine. [Erik Boland]
  • “No pain right now,” said Michael Pineda when asked how he and his shoulder are feeling. He has not yet been told when he will pick up a bawseball, however. [Boland]
  • Hiroki Kuroda, Rafael Soriano, and Phil Hughes all threw their regularly scheduled side sessions, the final tuneup before the regular season. Mariano Rivera threw a simulated game yesterday, by the way. [Chad Jennings]
  • David Phelps won the James P. Dawson Award as the top rookie in camp. His reward was a spot on the Opening Day roster. I can only hope Phelps has a better big league career than the former winners. [Pete Caldera]

Here is your open thread for the evening. The Nets are playing tonight, plus there’s an actual regular season baseball game being played. The Marlins officially open their new ballpark against the Cardinals on ESPN at 7pm ET (Johnson vs. Lohse). Enjoy.

The 2012 Opening Day Roster

Spring Training is officially over, and the Yankees had until 5pm ET today to set their Opening Day roster. Boone Logan‘s back gave us a minor scare this morning, but it’s just spasms. He’ll be fine it seems. Frankie Cervelli was expected to be the backup catcher basically forever, but he’s headed to Triple-A after George Kontos was traded for Chris Stewart. Justin Maxwell was also designated for assignment, which isn’t all that surprising. He had no spot on the roster and was out of options. That’s life.

Barring any late and unforeseen announcements, here are your 2012 Yankees…

Catchers
Russell Martin
Chris Stewart

Infielders
Robinson Cano
Eric Chavez
Derek Jeter
Eduardo Nunez
Alex Rodriguez
Mark Teixeira

Outfielders
Brett Gardner
Curtis Granderson
Raul Ibanez
Andruw Jones
Nick Swisher

Starting Pitchers
Freddy Garcia
Phil Hughes
Hiroki Kuroda
Ivan Nova
CC Sabathia

Relievers
Boone Logan
David Phelps
Clay Rapada
Mariano Rivera
David Robertson
Rafael Soriano
Cory Wade

Congrats to Mr. Phelps. Dude became a father a week or two ago, and now he’s a big leaguer. Must be a pretty exciting time for him and his family.

Players on the big league DL will include David Aardsma (elbow), Cesar Cabral (elbow), Joba Chamberlain (elbow, ankle), Pedro Feliciano (shoulder), Brad Meyers (shoulder), Michael Pineda (shoulder), and Austin Romine (back). Aardsma and Feliciano are already on the 60-day DL while everyone else figures to land on the 15-day. The Yankees currently have one open 40-man spot even after adding Rapada, so they’ll surely slide Joba over to the 60-day whenever they need another spot.

Bill Hall heading home after not making team

Via Dan Barbarisi, Bill Hall is heading home after not making the Opening Day roster. He wants a big league job and will try to latch on with another team. Hall did not have an opt-out clause in his contract, so the Yankees released him at his request. That’s a shame, Hall would have been a nice guy to have stashed away in Triple-A for depth.

Yankees designate Justin Maxwell for assignment

Via Mark Feinsand, the Yankees have designated outfielder Justin Maxwell for assignment. The writing was on the wall with this one, he was out of minor league options and the team had no room for him on the roster. A trade market never developed, I suppose. Maxwell had a huge spring and is a useful player, just not to the Yankees. He’ll likely get claimed off waivers, and yes, I know I said the exact same thing about Chris Dickerson.

Yankees trade George Kontos for Chris Stewart; Cervelli to AAA

So much for George Kontos stealing a bullpen spot. Multiple sources report that the Yankees have traded him to the Giants for catcher Chris Stewart. You might remember Stewart from 2008, when the Yankees ran through a half dozen catchers. He also spent time with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2009. He will start the season as the Yankees’ backup catcher, as Francisco Cervelli will start the season at AAA.

Color me confused on this one. Stewart has a career .328 OBP in the minors, and .273 in the majors. How he’s an upgrade over Cervelli in any way is beyond me. If this was made to cover the catcher position at AAA since Austin Romine will start the season on the DL, well, it still doesn’t seem to make much sense. Kontos seems like a useful piece. Couldn’t the Yankees have found a .273 OBP catcher who cost a bit less?

Update: MRI negative on Logan’s back

Update (2:11pm): Via Bryan Hoch and Carig, Brian Cashman said the MRI came back negative. It’s just back spasms and not a DL situation. Logan will be on the roster come Opening Day.

11:43am: Via Marc Carig, Logan is now headed for an MRI on his back. That can’t be good.

10:00am: Via Mark Feinsand, Boone Logan showed up to the ballpark with an achy back today and has been sent to the doctor. There’s no word on the extent the injury yet, but we’ll find out soon enough. Clay Rapada was a virtual lock for the roster anyway, but now there’s a chance he’ll end up the primary left-hander by default. Hopefully it’s nothing serious and the Yankees won’t have to dig up another reliever to start the season.