Late report for the Yankees this morning, and most of the buzz in the clubhouse had to do with packing up boxes and suitcases. In terms of real news, things were pretty quiet down there, so here are two things to know about the Yankees decision to release David Adams earlier this week. One I already knew, the other has been explained to me over the past two days.
1. A released player has to pass through unconditional release waivers. This is why the release initially made little sense to me. If the Yankees were going to put Adams through waivers, why not have the chance to keep him in the remote chance that he actually clears?
2. In Adams’ case — but apparently not in every release waivers case – the player has the right to reject a claim. This is seems to be the key difference that I didn’t know 48 hours ago. There is termination pay involved and some other case-specific issues that I still don’t fully understand, but the bottom line is that Adams could be claimed, reject the claim and elect free agency.
Not surprisingly, I have been told the Yankees would like to re-sign Adams if he becomes available.
Would a player turn down another offer to take a non-40-man gig with a team that just released him? Hard to say. Probably depends on the other opportunity/opportunities on the table. The Yankees clearly like Adams, and they took him off the 40-man strictly because of a numbers issue. Adams is a bright guy, so I am sure he realizes that the Yankees haven’t given up on him. I am also sure he realizes that the Yankees have invested a lot of time into getting him healthy, which suggests they are not going to forget about him if he is not on the 40-man.
That said, Corban Joseph still has a 40-man spot, Ronnier Mustelier has been terrific this spring, and the Yankees still have Robinson Cano, Kevin Youkilis and Alex Rodriguez (not to mention Eduardo Nunez and Jayson Nix). It is hardly a given that the Yankees present Adams with the best opportunity to reach the big leagues, and I have no idea whether they would offer the best contract.
Still pretty surprised the Yankees chose to take a risk with Adams rather than some of the other players on the 40-man, but in terms of DFA vs. release, the decision does make sense. If the Yankees were confident Adams would be claimed — which, surely they were – they were better off giving themselves a fighting chance that Adams would elect free agency and decide to come back.
• Lyle Overbay is not in the lineup, but he’s still here. I fully expected him to start at first base today, but I’m not sure it means much that he’s not. The Yankees are clearly still looking at Rivera as well, and they’re already well aware that Overbay can handle the position defensively.
• Joe Girardi doesn’t talk to the media before home games in spring training, so I haven’t had a chance to ask why Ichiro Suzuki is getting a turn in center field. I do wonder, though, if it’s an indication that Ichiro will open the season as the Yankees backup center fielder, which would seem to eliminate Melky Mesa (not that I considered him a favorite anyway).
• Mark Teixeira is meeting with the doctor on Monday to determine whether he can take off his splint and begin exercises with his wrist. That should explain why he’s going north.
• As far as I could tell, there were no real roster clues in the clubhouse. Everyone seems to be still in camp — definitely saw guys like Dan Johnson, Ben Francisco and all of the one-the-fence relievers — and no one fringy players were talking about getting apartments in Scranton. It seems the final decisions will wait until the weekend.
• No second string players listed today. Reegie Corono and Chase Whitley are among the guys up from minor league camp for the day.
• Today’s scheduled relievers: Cody Eppley, David Aardsma, Boone Logan, Juan Cedeno and Jim Miller.
• The Yankees are flying to D.C. after today’s game.
Associated Press photos