Today Baseball America released it’s annual list of minor league free agents. The Yankees list includes a healthy mix of familiar names, veteran players and borderline prospects.
RHP: Francisco Castillo (Hi A), Noel Castillo (Hi A), Grant Duff (AA), Logan Kensing (AAA), Jeff Marquez (AA), Kelvin Perez (Lo A), Mark Prior (AAA), Josh Schmidt (AA), Kanekoa Texeira (AA), Eric Wordekemper (AAA)
LHP: Wilkins Arias (AA), Steve Garrison (AA), Brad Halsey (AA), Kei Igawa (AA), Jose Quintana (Hi A), Josh Romanski (Hi A)
C: P.J. Pilittere (AAA)
1B: Mike Lamb (AAA)
SS: Doug Bernier (AAA), Luis Nunez (AAA)
OF: Jordan Parraz (AAA)
Obviously there are no huge names here. Guys like Nunez and Romanski might be interested in coming back, while guys like Wordekemper and Schmidt might feel like they’ll get a better look elsewhere.
Garrison and Marquez each spent a little bit of time in New York this season, but neither was viewed as an elite pitching prospect. Being a lefty certainly helps Garrison’s cause for a big league invite this winter.
The most interesting name here is Igawa, who’s contract has finally run its course, freeing the Yankees of a financial commitment that simply never worked out. There’s always seemed to be outside perception that Igawa would like to go back to Japan, but I’ve been around the guy a lot and fully believe that he wants to stay in the states. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him sign a minor league deal this offseason, though I’d be shocked if that minor league deal came with the Yankees.
A few other familiar names on the list:
1B Juan Miranda was granted free agency from the Diamondbacks. He quickly lost his grip on Arizona’s everyday big league job this season and wound up back in the minors and off the 40-man… RHP Jhonny Nunez became a free agent from the White Sox. The Yankees sent him to Chicago in the Nick Swisher trade… OF Bronson Sardinha is a free agent after playing this season in Double-A with the Rockies. I’m honestly not sure that I knew he was still playing… LHP Chase Wright was given free agency from the Brewers… RHPs Anthony Claggett and Steven Jackson are no longer in the Pirates organization. They both got a little bit of big league time with the Ynakees in ’09, though Jackson never got in a game… 2B Eric Duncan is a free agent after a pretty good year with the Cardinals in Double-A. Since leaving the Yankees, Duncan has become a kind of utility man, playing a lot of second, which he never did with the Yankees… Always interesting to see names like Jeff Clement, Andy Marte and Josh Barfield on this list. Those used to be fairly significant prospects. Now they’re looking for minor league contracts.