Just a few quick notes from this cold Monday.
• The Yankees have signed outfielder Thomas Neal to a minor league contract. I believe it was Josh Norris who first pointed out that Neal’s twitter page described him as a member of the Yankees organization (that’s where I first saw it, anyway), and today Brian Cashman confirmed the signing. That’s one more right-handed outfield bat to put in the mix. Neal got into nine games for the Indians last season, and he’s put up pretty good minor league numbers. He’s primarily played the outfield corners, with a little bit of time at first and in center. Neal was designated for assignment and eventually released when the Indians signed Nick Swisher.
• Speaking of the Indians — and speaking of right-handed outfielders — Cleveland has agreed to minor league deals with Ben Francisco and Ryan Raburn. Both could have been cheap, fringy options for the Yankees bench. I especially like Raburn, who has a lot of defensive flexibility and has actually hit pretty well against lefties in his career.
• Speaking of minor league deals, the Mets have signed lefty Pedro Feliciano. The veteran signed a two-year deal with the Yankees before the 2011 season, but a shoulder injury kept him on the disabled list through the entirety of the contract. He’ll return to the Mets, where he pitched — probably too much — before signing with the Yankees.
• Down in Trenton, the Thunder have announced that they’re installing a big video board at Arm & Hammer Park. That’ll be a nice addition down there.
• In his new gig over at CBS Sports, Mike Axisa takes a look at the core of the Yankees determines that the current cornerstone of the franchise isn’t Robinson Cano (contract expires too soon), Derek Jeter (face of the franchise, but not necessarily the roster keystone), or Alex Rodriguez (more problem than solution at this point). Mike writes that it’s CC Sabathia who the Yankees seem to be building their team around. It’s good stuff, as always. Congratulations to Mike, who I’ve gotten to know a little bit over the years, and who does terrific work with Joe, Ben and the rest of the crew over at River Ave. Blues. He’ll be a nice addition to that CBS blog, and thankfully he’s not abandoning RAB.