Matt Daley signed with the Yankees in 2011 while he was still recovering from rotator cuff surgery and ended up missing the entire 2012 season. The 31-year-old finally played in 2013, pitching in 39 innings at Triple-A and putting up a 2.54 ERA and 2.10 FIP with a crazy 12.23 K/9 and 1.38 BB/9. He finally made it back to the majors to pitch six innings in September, most notably replacing Mariano Rivera in his last game ever.
Following the season, Daley was non-tendered and became a free agent. Still, the Yankees were interested in bringing him back and he finally re-signed to a minor league deal on the 23rd. Daley will get a long look in spring training to see how much he can possibly contribute this season, but he will likely be considered some solid Triple-A bullpen depth in case someone gets injured.
While they signed one player, the Yankees also released another 17 after they rid themselves of 16 low-level minor league players last week. These names won't be missed, but a few are certainly surprising.
Catchers Ryan Baker, who was just hit with a 50-game suspension for refusing to take a drug test, and Jeff Farnham, right-handed pitcher Sean Black, a 7th round pick from 2009, first baseman Saxon Butler, only drafted in 2012, and Double-A outfielders Shane Brown and Neil Medchill were all released from the organization.
Less prominent minor leaguers, lefty Tim Flight and right-handed pitchers Victor Beriguete, Mariel Checo, John Brebbia, Rich Mascheri, and Charlie Haslup were all cut loose as well.
The Yankees released two recently drafted players in second baseman Hector Crespo (34th round) and shortstop Ty Afenir (39th round). First baseman Jimmy Falla, left-handed pitcher Aaron Gates, and outfielder Daniel Aldrich also played their first professional season after signing independently with the club.
That would make a total of 33 players released from their minor league system in the last week. Talk about cleaning house.
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