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A recent history of “offseason only” Yankees

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Some Yankees have not only not suited up in pinstripes, they never even made it to spring training.

San Francisco Giants Photo Day Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

On Monday, the Yankees announced that they were designating Parker Bridwell for assignment to make room for the newly signed J.A. Happ. It wasn’t even a month ago that the Yankees had acquired him off waivers from the Angels.

There’s a non-zero chance no one will claim him, and Bridwell will be signed on a minor league deal and still go to spring training with the Yankees. If he doesn’t, Bridwell will join a list of recent players who have been Yankees during the offseason only.

The most notable of these type of players in recent years in probably Eli Whiteside. After four years with the Giants, the Yankees claimed the catcher off waivers on November 5, 2012.

While he was still a couple weeks away from signing with the Pirates, Russell Martin was leaving in free agency, and seemingly was not returning. With Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart the only other catchers with extended major league experience on the 40-man, it was a legitimate possibility that Whiteside would be in the running for at least the backup job.

Not even a month later, and just a week after agreeing to a deal to avoid arbitration, the Yankees DFA’ed Whiteside. He was picked up by the Blue Jays on December 3rd, and then by the Rangers that same day.

Naturally, Cervelli got hurt, meaning the Yankees were stuck starting Stewart for most of the season. Whiteside and his career 61 wRC+ probably wouldn’t have been any more palatable, but at least he might not have struck out on two pitches.

On March 4, 2015, the Yankees signed Mat Gamel, older brother of then minor leaguer Ben Gamel. The elder Gamel had played in parts of five seasons with the Brewers, but had not played a minor league game since 2012. He had been in both the Cubs and Braves’ organizations.

The Yankees did technically acquire him during spring training, but the corner infielder played zero game of any kind with the team, and they released him just nine days after signing him. Gamel spent some time in indy leagues in 2015, but that would be his final season in professional baseball.

Earlier in that offseason, the Yankees had purchased Gonzalez Germen from the Mets in December. On the same day, the Nathan Eovaldi trade went down, bringing Domingo German to New York as well. Insert your own Germany-related joke here.

A month and a day after acquiring him, the Yankees sold him to the Rangers in January. The Cubs got him from Texas three days after that. Germen would play for the Cubs in 2015, but that still wouldn’t be his last stop that season. The Rockies got him off waivers mid-season. He spent the following season in Colorado as well, but as of now, that was his last major league season.

When the Yankees signed Yamaico Navarro in November 2013, he was checking off another team off his list in his tour of the AL east. He came up with Boston, and played a couple games with the Orioles in 2013.

The Yankees picked him up in late November, but released him on December 30th so he could sign with a team in South Korea. Happy New Year, you’re playing halfway across the world now!