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Yankees sign outfielder Antoan Richardson

Richardson will get a chance to prove himself with an invite to Spring Training.

Daniel Shirey

According to Jerry Crasnick, the Yankees have signed outfielder Antoan Richardson to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training.

Richardson, who turned 30 last month, is a switch-hitter who can play all three outfield positions, mainly center field. He has only appeared in nine games at the Major League level in his career, all with the Braves in 2011. However, in his nine-year career in the minors, Richardson sports a .278/.399/.347 line in 3548 plate appearances and 876 games. In 2013, Richardson hit .285/.402/.371 split between Double-A and Triple-A in the Twins' organization.

As noted by his high OBP, Richardson can draw walks at a pretty high rate. He sports a career 14% walk rate in his minor league career and had a 14% rate in 2013. He also steals bases, as he has swiped 318 in the minors with 39 of those coming in 2013. At the same time, Richardson doesn't hit for much power, hitting just 12 home runs in nine seasons.

Of course his numbers came in the minors, but I don't think it's out of the question that Richardson could be a better option than Vernon Wells and/or Ichiro Suzuki at this point. He gets on base, steals bases, and can play center field. Assuming the Yankees sign someone like Carlos Beltran or Shin-Soo Choo to be the regular right fielder, Richardson could compete for a bench spot this spring.

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