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Yankees add Rico Noel and Jake Skole to provide minor league depth

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The Yankees have seen plenty of roster moves involving their outfield depth this year with prospects like Mason Williams, Ramon Flores, Slade Heathcott, and even Taylor Dugas getting called up to the majors. Now that Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran have both hit the disabled list, it would appear that depth is finally dissipating. In order to fill the void left by multiple injuries and call ups, the Yankees have acquired two new outfielders in Rico Noel and Jake Skole.

Noel, 26, was drafted by the Padres in the fifth round of the 2010 MLB Draft and finally reached Triple-A in 2014. Of course, as a .258/.350/.319 lifetime hitter across six seasons, San Diego had no use for him and decided to release him earlier this month before he signed with the Yankees. He has mainly served as a center fielder over his career, but is capable of playing the corners as well. Noel has shown the ability to be an absolute burner on the base paths, at one point stealing 90 bases in 2012 and 59 in 2013, but the numbers have tailed off to just 32 in 2014 with 10 on the season at this point. Despite that potential, he shouldn't be anything more than filler until the system's depth is back to where it was when everyone was healthy.

Skole, on the other hand, was purchased by the Yankees from the Texas Rangers. The 15th overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft is just 23 years old, but has a .228/.330/.331 career batting line and has yet to see Triple-A. Like Noel, he has been mostly a center fielder, but has the ability to play the corners. He also once showed the ability to steal bases, having stolen 21 bags back in 2011, but has only reached double digits once since then–in 2015 with 10. Skole is the rare position player who has undergone Tommy John surgery, so perhaps that played a part in his development (or lack there of). While it's more than likely he doesn't amount to much, his age and pedigree likely made him an attractive piece to the Yankees. Maybe there's something hidden deep down that they can pull out.

Neither will have much future with the Yankees, but will provide valuable filler in order to prevent having to put extra strain on prospects like Jake Cave, Michael O`Neill, and Mark Payton or promote them before they are ready. They won't be blocking anyone, so don't worry–these moves are harmless.