Infielder Deibinson Romero and ex-Phillies RHP Tyler Cloyd to become Baby Bombers
02/03/2016 2:21 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
Tyler Cloyd last pitched in the U.S. in 2014 with Cleveland's Triple-A affiliate.(AP)
In addition to catcher Carlos Corporan, the New York Yankees have also reportedly signed 2 players who played overseas last season to minor-league deals.
Per the latest batch of MiLB transactions reported by Baseball America's Matt Eddy, which spans January 21-29th, the Yankees have signed RHP Tyler Cloyd and infielder Deibinson Romero, who both spent all or part of 2015 in the Korea Baseball Organization.
Cloyd, 28, was with the Samsung Lions in 2015, going 11-11 with a 5.19 ERA in 28 starts in the hitter-friendly league. He was originally an 18th-round pick of the Phillies in 2008 and spent 7 seasons with the organization, going 4-9 with a 5.98 ERA in 13 major-league appearances (11 starts) between 2012 and 2013. He played for the Indians' Triple-A affiliate in Columbus in 2014 before heading overseas, and now returns to provide minor-league depth for the Yankees' pitching staff.
Romero, 29, started 2015 in the Pirates' organization, but after hitting .302 with 6 HRs and 27 RBIs in 38 games, he was let go in May to pursue an opportunity in Korea. That came with the Doosan Bears, and Romero hit .253 with 12 HRs and 50 RBIs in 76 games for the eventual league champions.
Originally an international signee of Minnesota back in 2006, Romero spent his 1st 9 seasons in the Twins organization (2006-2014) before joining the Pirates last winter. He is mostly a 3rd baseman, but has also played 44 games at 1st in the minors and 11 more in Korea, and that could make him a candidate to help replace Greg Bird in the Yankees' Triple-A lineup.
7 Yankees spring training non-roster invites to watch
Yankees prospects right fielder Aaron Judge (left), starting pitcher James Kaprielian (bottom right) and shortstop Jorge Mateo are among the seven biggest names to watch on the team's spring training non-roster invite list. (File photos)
Here are the seven names that immediately jump out to me:
SS JORGE MATEO REASON FOR INTRIGUE: Mateo, 20, is by considered by many one of the Yankees' top prospects, if not one of the game's top youngsters. Baseball America put him at No. 1 in the Yankees' system. MLB.com had him at No. 2. While he's not expected to reach the majors until 2017 at the earliest, it will be interesting to watch him in a clubhouse fill with major-leaguers for the first time, and competing against pitching far better than he's seen.
RF AARON JUDGE REASON FOR INTRIGUE: There are scenarios where Judge could end up having a big-league impact in 2016, namely if right fielder Carlos Beltran gets hurt and if Judge is mashing in Triple-A. Judge, 23, will be attending his second major-league spring training. He wowed Alex Rodriguez last season and hit well in his debut. Judge, who's oozing power potential, will get a chance to show whether his work on strike zone recognition this offseason has paid off.
RHP JAMES KAPRIELIAN REASON FOR INTRIGUE:The Yankees' top overall pick in 2015 impressed in his brief professional debut. The UCLA product is expected to be a fast-riser in the Yankees' system, and the club currently lacks starting pitching depth. It might be unfair to expect Kaprielian to help the Yankees this season, but his package of good command, solid breaking stuff and an A+ makeup isn't far away. SS/2B TYLER WADE REASON FOR INTRIGUE: Wade will open the season as the Yankees' Double-A shortstop. He could end up reaching Triple-A and even getting a September call-up if all goes well. He had little problem handling High-A pitching last season but struggled when he was promoted. Wade also could end up getting pushed to second base, should Mateo play so well at High-A that he forces the Yankees to move him up.
RHP VINNIE PESTANO REASON FOR INTRIGUE:The Yankees will view Pestano as a bit of a reclamation project. He's had some good seasons in the majors, but the problem: they were in 2011 and 2012. He's struggled at the highest level since then. Still, Pestano — who has back-end bullpen experience — will be given a chance to crack the front end of the Yankees' relief unit.
C CARLOS CORPORAN REASON FOR INTRIGUE: Could be a dark horse candidate to become Brian McCann's backup. While Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi each have seemed to like the idea of prospect Gary Sanchez taking the role — bringing with him his powerful right-handed bat to compliment McCann's lefty swing — it's possible that Sanchez could benefit from a bit more Triple-A seasoning. And Corporan has more major-league experience than the guy battling with Sanchez, Austin Romine. RHP BRADY LAIL REASON FOR INTRIGUE: Lail, 22, doesn't have the stuff of a big-time prospect but he's got great control and he's performed well at just about every level. Last season, he was 10-6 with a 2.91 ERA between three levels, topping out at Triple-A. Lail could be a candidate to get some major-league starts should the Yankees' need to tap into minor-league starting pitching depth.
Report: Yankees sign OF Jared Mitchell to a minor-league deal
02/06/2016 8:52 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro
The New York Yankees have reportedly signed outfielder Jared Mitchell to a minor-league deal, according to Baseball America's Matt Eddy.
#Yankees sign 2009 first-round CF Jared Mitchell to minor league deal. Spent most of 2015 in #Angels system.
- Matt Eddy (@MattEddyBA) February 6, 2016
Eddy's Tweet came just hours after the Yankees released their list of non-roster invitees to Spring Training, which included 15 players signed to minor-league deals with camp invites - a list Mitchell was not a part of.
Mitchell, 27, was the No. 23 overall pick in the 2009 Draft and spent 6-plus seasons in the White Sox organization, finally getting released last April after hitting just .050 in his first 13 games at Triple-A Charlotte. The lefty hitter caught on with the Angels in May, and went on to hit .232 with 5 HRs, 22 RBIs, and 14 steals in 87 games between Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Salt Lake.
Whether he comes to MLB camp or not, Mitchell likely is now part of a large group vying for time in the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre outfield; of that group, the Yankees have 3 40-man roster players (Ben Gamel, Slade Heathcott, and Mason Williams), top prospect Aaron Judge, and minor-league signee Cesar Puello in camp along, and the competition could also include past RailRiders Tyler Austin and Taylor Dugas and possibly Lane Adams, who was designated for assignment earlier in the week and could end up being outrighted to the minors.
Ex-Cardinal Pete Kozma among 25 non-roster invitees to Yankees spring training camp
BY MARK FEINSAND
The Yankees finally attacked the free-agent market Friday. The minor-league market, that is.
The Bombers signed 15 players to minor-league contracts and invited them to big-league camp later this month, including a few with major-league experience that could fight for spots in the next 2 months.
Righthanders Vinnie Pestano and Anthony Swarzak and infielder Pete Kozma were among the players signed as the Yankees announced a total of 25 non-roster invitees to spring training, bringing the overall total to 65.
Kozma has appeared in 275 games with the Cardinals over parts of 5 seasons (2011-2015) and making his 3rd Opening Day roster with St. Louis in 2015. The 27-year-old appeared in 76 games and played 5 positions: shortstop, 2nd base, 3rd base, 1st base and left field.
Pestano, 30, owns a 6-8 career record with 11 saves and a 2.98 ERA in 223 relief appearances in 6 seasons with the Indians and Angels. His career .169 opponents’ batting average vs. right-handed batters is the 5th lowest among active pitchers (minimum 400 righties faced), ranking him behind only Aroldis Chapman, Jose Fernandez, Kenley Jansen and Craig Kimbrel
Swarzak has appeared in 191 games (32 starts) over 6 seasons with the Twins and Indians. His 64 multi-inning relief appearances since 2012 are the 2nd-most in the majors in that span.
The other players signed to minor-league deals are left-hander Richard Bleier, right-hander Tyler Cloyd, catcher Carlos Corporan, catcher Francisco Diaz, infielder Jonathan Diaz, catcher Kyle Higashioka, right-hander Diego Moreno, outfielder Cesar Puello, catcher Eddy Rodriguez, infielder Deibinson Romero, infielder Donovan Solano and catcher Sebastian Valle.
The Yankees will also get their 1st big-league look at some of their top prospects this spring as shortstop Jorge Mateo and righthander James Kaprielian will be in camp.
Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 18th, and the Yanks’ 1st full-squad workout is slated for Feb. 25th.