Yankees sign Overbay, claim a reliever and cut a good prospect, plus injury updates

lyle-overbayIt was a busy day for the Yankees yesterday, but not a pretty one.

The Yankees began the day yesterday by claiming right handed reliever Dan Otero off waivers from the San Francisco Giants.. Then they made the Vernon Wells trade official by sending outfielder Exicardo Cayones and lefty reliever Kramer Sneed to the Angels. They continued to add when they signed Lyle Overbay, released by the Red Sox earlier in the day, to a minor league deal.

Those were the additions, but they still needed to make room on the 40-man roster for both Vernon Wells and Otero. They did that by releasing 2B/3B prospect David Adams.

Adams, 25, was a second base prospect who dealt with many injuries throughout his minor league career most notably an ankle injury that cost him most of two seasons. He hit at every level though and the Yankees were working with him in a transition to third base which could have been useful considering the useless state of Alex Rodriguez these days.

No word yet on what the other roster move was to make space on the 40-man roster, but it likely could have been moving Cesar Cabral to the 60-day DL.

Before the Yankees traded for Wells it looked like Brennan Boesch was going to start in left field until Curtis Granderson returned. Boesch hit .240/.286/.372 over the last two seasons. The Yankees felt like that wasn’t enough though and got Wells who hit .230/.279/.403 in his last two seasons. That slight month and a half long upgrade cost the Yankees $13 million over two seasons and a solid infield prospect.

Cayones or Sneed were no big loses. Cayones came over in the A.J. Burnett deal and is essentially a nothing prospect. Sneed was taken in the 32nd round of the 2010 draft. Being left handed was pretty much the only thing he had going for him.

Overbay, 36, will compete with Dan Johnson and Juan Rivera for a spot at first base. He has hit .259/.331/.397 over the last two seasons. He’s not much, but hopefully he can hold his own until Mark Teixeira comes back (whenever that will be).

Otero is a 28-year-old righty with just 12.1 innings of major league experience. He is a control artist though with a 7.6 K/9 and a 1.2 BB/9 in the minors which helped him to a 2.12 ERA. Not bad, but at this time it’s hard to tell what the Yankees plans for him are. There is a chance he could beat out Cody Eppley for a bullpen spot, but probably not a huge one.

Now Overbay isn’t great, but with the injuries the Yankees have had he is a necessity. Otero is intriguing at least. Giving up on Adams for Wells pisses me off. There seems to have been little point to it. He’s had injuries, but he works hard and he’s hit at every level in the minors. Why give up on the kid for such a washed up scrub?

The Yankees will try to justify it by saying that (A) they saved roughly $8 million on Teixeira’s injury in the WBC and (B) none of the $13 million paid to Wells will count towards the 2014 luxury tax hit. However, he just isn’t enough of an upgrade over what they had in house to say that is money well spent.

To make matters worse it comes during an offseason when the Yankees claimed they were poor every step of the way. Yes, the Wells deal now puts them ahead of the Dodgers in 2013 salary, but their refusal to give out long-term commitments has severely hampered the long-term viability of the team.

To top off what I considered a bad day for the Yankees organization, Russell Martin told Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports that he approached the Yankees and told them he was willing to accept a one-year deal in the $9-$10 million range. What the hell? So the Yankees let Martin walk with no plan to replace him only to eventually turn around and sign Wells for $13 million to be a month and a half long replacement?

Is this an organization running around with its head cut off or what? But at least they’ll be under the $189 million luxury tax threshold next season because we’ve all come to realize that profits are more important than winning — the Hal Steinbrenner way.

• Derek Jeter (ankle) admitted that he may have pushed himself too hard during rehab to get back in time.

• Mark Teixeira will have his wrist examined on Monday and if it goes well he’ll have his brace removed and begin strength exercises.

• Phil Hughes (back) will pitch in a minor league game today and there is still a chance he can avoid the DL.

• Clay Rapada (shoulder) is still throwing off flat ground. He seems like he’s probably a couple weeks away at this point.

• Cesar Cabral faced live batters for the first time this year when he threw batting practice yesterday. He’s on the 60-day DL so he can’t come back until June, but he could be ready slightly before then.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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32 Responses to Yankees sign Overbay, claim a reliever and cut a good prospect, plus injury updates

  1. brian says:

    So now it comes out that Russell Martin was willing to take a 1 yr deal in the 9 million dollar range and the yankees basically said… nah, we'd rather keep the cash and go to battle with Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli

    Again, it's not MY MONEY… then again if I'm the one whose going to be charged an arm and a leg to attend a freaking baseball game (1 of 81)… you better believe that I expect to see that a large portion of that money reinvested in the team.

    • gcorcoran says:

      This just goes back to my post about Steinbrenner not spending his money well this offseason. The players he has chosen to give money to in stead of Russell Martin and Swisher is baffling. Now that we know Martin could have been had for a 1 year 9 million dollar contract, it's even more baffling.

  2. Keena says:

    These aren't our Daddy's Yankees any more. The reason they chose Wells over Adams is because he's old and washed up, something they apparently prefer for whatever reason. Unreal…

  3. Matt_DC says:

    Jeter has to be a concern to the Yankees. I know he is a great athlete but that was a major surgery for a player his age. When he comes back he will be a defensive liability or singles hitting DH. I'm surprised there isn't more coverage.

    I'm sad to see Adams go. Then again if he stuck around he may have been the next Kevin Russo, perpetually trapped in Scranton. The whole Russell Martin thing perplexes me. I have no comment or insight – I just keep shaking my head.

    • brian says:

      there's been a ton of coverage, what internet are you tracking???

      The thing is though that Jeter is such a good leader and his presence on the field means so much to the Yankees when the going gets tough (as we saw in the ALCS) that he simply doesn't have to produce as much in order to help the team… of course he has to produce a little, but not a lot

      Think Ray Lewis, only less showy and rah rah

    • The MSM seems to be reporting exactly what the Yankees, and Jeter, tell them, but I have written quite a bit about it to the point where I wanted to lay off for a little while.

      I do think it's a much bigger issue than they are letting on. At this point the company line seems to be that he'll be back on April 6. But in reality, Jeter has not been able to run and has barely played in the field. I think that at best he is two weeks away. And, as I've written many times, even when he comes back I think there is a real concern that what we saw last year, when Jeter was one of the worst defensive players at any position, might actually be considered good defensively compared to post-ankle-surgery Jeter.

      • Matt_DC says:

        Hi Rob, that is the point I was trying to make. This injury must be worse than they are letting on and will seriously affect the Yankees moving forward.

      • brian says:

        i agree about april 6th being optimistic… don't want him coming back in detroit and cleveland in early april, too cold..

        i'm penciling april 12th against baltimore as more realistic..

        as for the defense, nobody can pretend that Jeter is anything other than 'poor' defensively.. but the thing that you keep willfully ignoring is that you WANT your leader and most heads up leader in the middle of the field.. not to mention the fact that his bat plays wayyyy better at that position than anywhere else (obviously)

        Would Jeter still be an effective leader as a third basemen or corner outfielder??? i'm sure he would… but he's the best leader in the sport at shortstop, where presence on the field in amplified, but thats just my opinion

  4. Michael R. says:

    Geesh! The Yankee decisions are baffling, and desperate. All indications indicate they are passengers aboard the Titanic, a sinking ship.

  5. thomas says:

    I think that Martin for 9/10 million a year is way too much. I liked him but didn't like his offense. He really didn't hit all year and really cost the Yankees games with bad hitting. He did turn it around the last month or so with the HR but situational hitting was bad. I was not looking for him to come back anyways. We are not missing the next Thurman.
    The Adams release….there has to be more to it than they are letting out.

    • The Yankees are afraid of back injuries. This is not the first time we've seen them release a player with chronic back injuries.

      As for Martin's situational hitting, didn't he have 2 or 3 walkoff homers in the second half of the season?

  6. Mike Baker says:

    Adams isnt a good prospect,hes 25 and has never played major league ball if he was good he would be in the majors by now even if its not as a starter at least as a utility man and also i like the overbay signing he may be a weak hitter but he can pick it at first

    • Adams didn't start pro ball until he was 21 and then suffered a bad ankle injury that cost him over 2 years. That's why he's a bit on the older side, but the guy hit .295/.378/.448 as a second base prospect. He will be in the majors just not with the Yankees.

  7. Mike Baker says:

    i just know David Adams as the guy being the reason why Yankees didnt get cliff lee,if he past his physical cliff lee would have been a Yankee in 2010 and maybe we would be talking about that team being a world series team. So when i ever think about David Adams i always think of that and you would know more than me about him so if you say he is good than i believe you.

    • gcorcoran says:

      Look, David Adams is no all-star, but he's a solid player with decent versatility (2B and 3B) at a premium position who has a plus bat and decent power. Not only don't those types of players grow on trees, they are also relatively valuable. It's not that I am so sad to see David Adams go, or that I think he's the next big star in the system. I am just disappointed in management for putting themselves in a position where they had to release a guy who could have netted them something useful in a trade.

      In stead, they got Vernon Wells, who is no more useful than anything they currently have, and in addition, chose to keep a relief pitcher who was DFA'd today for another crappy reliever, something the Yankees have a surplus of. What disappoints me the most is that if it was a reliever Cashman wanted so badly, he could have traded David Adams long ago for something far more valuable than both relievers he chose over Adams. Just poor management on Cashman's part here, and I have rarely said that about him in the past.

  8. He's good, but not great. The thing about that Cliff Lee trade is that the Mariners insisted they wanted him included in the deal, the Yankees tried to steer them away and eventually the Mariners turned their attention to Eduardo Nunez. So if you want to look back for a reason that deal fell through it has more to do with the fact that Cashman wanted to hang on to Eduardo Nunez so badly.

  9. Corethree says:

    Please mr sports writer, stop crying about Wells already. Bottom line, all the sniveling and whining and crying aint goin to change squat. If you want to cry about something cry because arod aint dead yet.

    • gcorcoran says:

      Rob, like myself, is generally a positive poster when it comes to the Yankees. Let's be honest, they usually don't give us all that much to whine about. The fact that he sees these moves as negatives and that I agree with him tells me these moves are probably widely viewed in a negative light.

  10. Tanned Tom says:

    1) Releasing Adams, or any player who can hit, is stupid. Hitting is the single most valuable skill, you don't release .300 hitters. jeez.
    2) Derek Jeter should never play SS again. Soon to be 39, has sucked for years in the field, broke an ankle last year. What part of this does the club not understand? Jeter to fulltime DH in 2013. Keep our fingers crossed for Nunez though.
    3) The Wells trade was classic overthinking. Yes there will be some salary relief in 2014 (.5 mil that a rookie OF would make), but this is a huge gamble on an old player with a bad injury history suddenly reverting to his form of 3 years ago. Why even bother, would have been better to go with Mesa and see what happens. We are only talking 2 months until Granderson comes back, so why the urgency to trade for Wells? Smells of panic. They're giggling with delight in Anaheim.

  11. Tanned Tom says:

    4) This constant dumpster diving is annoying. Boesch sucks, Overbay hasn't hit in years, Diaz is gone, we go through relievers every day or two. Is Cashman on meth? Slow the fuck down dude. Choose your path and stick to it long enough to see if it works.
    5) Play Mustelier at 3B and Youkilis at 1B, and stop this nonsense with Dan Johnson and Juan Rivera. Johnson cannot hit and Rivera is an older OF trying to play 1B to extend his career. Youkilis on the other hand actually can play his position and hit a little.
    6) I don't give a shit about Russell Martin. He was willing to play for $9 mil? That's big of him, he hit .200 last year. Get lost scrub. Stewart is a decent catcher, maybe Cervelli has lost his attitude problem. The two of them are playing for $1 mil. Screw Martin and his $9 mil. Enjoy Pittsburgh loser.
    it's been a strange off season.

    • Greg says:

      Couldnt agree more Tom. The only thing I would say is I do disagree a bit about Martin. I think he's significantly better than Cervelli and Stewart. No, he's not worth 9 million but that's often how 1 year contracts work. You pay more per year when you sign guys to 1 year contracts.

    • olie says:

      There is a reason Stewart and Cervelli are playing for $1 mil. I look forward to your remarks about the Yankee catchers around mid -season.

      • Tanned Tom says:

        No one is going to fall in love with Stewart and Cervelli. But I am positive that they will come a lot closer to matching Martin's production than a 1:9 ratio. If they hit .230 and .260 respectively (pretty much their career BAs) they will both exceed Martin's BA by a healthy amount.

        • 2 things about that comment, the first is to say Cervelli/Stewart will obviously come much closer to Martin's production than a 1:9 ratio. Problem is that you can't play 9 catchers at the same time. Even if they come within an 8:9 ratio, the bottom line is that the Yankees purposefully got worse to save money.

          The other is just to point out that there is much more to evaluating a player offensively than batting average and if you take almost any other stat and compare these three players Martin is going to look much better.

          • Tanned Tom says:

            You're absolutely right, these guys aren't as good as Martin. And the point about money is spot on, and sucks. But I'm fine with letting Martin leave. His offensive #'s declined for the 5th year in a row, from .293/.374/.469 in 2007 all the way to .211/.311/.403 in 2012. The only thing that saved his year was a career high 21 HRS. I just don't feel like overpaying for a 30 year old catcher whose numbers have been in free fall.
            Cervelli's career line of .271/.339/.353 and Stewart's .217/.281/.302 are both pretty anemic. But they should be able to give you 75% of Martin's offensive production at 11% of the price. Sucks to deliberately downgrade to save money, but we only have Martin's word for his offer, and he was not an important hitter so if his leaving allows management/ownership to sleep through the night without wetting the bed then I can live with it. It's the Wells trade that rankles the more one thinks about it.

  12. I don't think anybody is really that upset that the Yankees didn't re-sign Martin. The problem is that they didn't re-sign Martin when they had no replacement for him or plan to find a replacement. If he insisted on a multi-year deal that's one thing, but if he really offered them a chance to keep him on a one-year contract and the Yankees walked away from it is a bit disappointing.

    • Tanned Tom says:

      More than disappointing. They're being cheap. Might as well root for the Padres.

    • gcorcoran says:

      I agree. Also I look at it this way… Martin to the next most productive catcher (say Cervelli) is a much larger distance than Vernon Wells to the next most productive outfielder we have. If we signed Martin to the one year deal, then the Wells trade is much less necessary, even considering that the Yankees re-signed David Adams.

  13. Tanned Tom says:

    So is it just about the salary cap nonsense for 2014? I mean Wells has a potential upside (if he rebounds to 2010 numbers), but this is exactly how you DON'T find young talent in your own system. Both Cano and Gardner were promoted in a near emergency situation. The other thing that the Wells trade should remind us is that the club cut Jack Cust and Chris Dickerson. I don't know too much about Cust, but Dickerson seemed pretty acceptable as a 2 month player to me, and he would've been tons cheaper.

    • David K. says:

      Chris Dickerson showed plenty enough to make the team as a fourth or fifth outfielder. If they'd hung on to him, it would have worked out much better than this hodge-podge we have right now.

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