After two good years with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, catcher Chris Stewart has moved on. It seems his role will be filled by Mike Rivera, who has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Yankees. Rivera has 181 games of big league experience, and he’ll likely backup Jesus Montero in Triple-A.
Rivera is worth knowing because, if the Yankees need a catcher during the season, Rivera could get a Kevin Cash-style call-up.
According to Baseball America’s latest minor league transactions, Stewart has signed a minor league deal with the Padres. Yankees minor league free agent Jay Stephens signed with the Phillies with Cody Ransom and former Yankees minor league catcher Kevin Nelson. One-time Yankees spot starter Matt DeSalvo signed with the Marlins, as did former Yankees minor league closer Scott Strickland.
The only new Yankees signing reported is outfielder Javier Herrera, who looks to be little more than Double-A depth. He was once a fairly well-regarded prospect with the A’s, but he’s dealt with a series of injuries and was released last year. He’ll be 25 in April and has just five games of Triple-A experience.
Mark Newman said this week that he expects more minor league signings to be announced soon after the new year.
Quite the opposite of signings, some Yankees minor leaguers have been released: RHP Pablo Hernandez, RHP Alejandro Martinez, RHP Paul Patterson, RHP Brett Smith, RHP Jeff Williams, LHP Edwin Walker, 1B Chris Smith, OF Tommy Baldridge, OF Mitch Delaney, OF Chad Gross. If you’ve heard of any of them, it might be Smith, who had some prospect buzz for a while before injury problems. Williams came up from Low-A to pitch two Triple-A innings this year when the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre staff was thin. He was way out of his league, but he pitched two scoreless. Good guy.