Sunday, April 24, 2016


It kind of baffles me sometimes when I see fans complain about their team... in our case the Yankees, especially when it comes to going out on a limb and signing certain guys. The guys I’m talking about are "minimal salary, minor league contract, non-roster invitee" kind of guys. All the organization is trying to do is see if they can hit a target in the dark, and you know what? There's nothing wrong with that.

Each off season and through the course of the regular season, our Yankees sign young and old players and give them an invite to spring training, or in a more recent case sign Nick Swisher off the street and send him to Triple-A. The goal? To see if he's got anything left.  All of these little moves that cost next to nothing really carry no risk.  All they are doing are trying to fill holes.  Should there be an uproar? Not really.

Look back to 2011. The Yankees signed a pitcher to a minor league contract, good for $900k in the Big League’s if he was on the roster. It also included an opt-out if he wasn’t on the Opening Day roster.  Bartolo Colon ended up starting 26 games for the Yankees that season, pitching 164.1 innings and sporting a 4.00 ERA.

These kind of things happen when you take chances. Sure, some don't work out, but many times, they can.  Look at a guy like Scott Kazmir, a guy that did not pitch in the majors in 2012 but Cleveland gave him a shot in 2013 when they signed him to a minor league contract. He, very similarly to Colon, started 29 games, threw 158 innings and compiled a 4.04 ERA.

Look at Ronald Torreyes.  I'm a fan! Ronald Torreyes transactions can be found HERE. Yes, all 15 of them over the past 12 months. He was on the 40-man roster heading into spring training and carried no real risk but with potential reward. He earned his spot on the roster and has helped the Yankees to several wins over the first week. He was just one of the ‘bums’ over a month ago.

My point here is that the Yankees, and all other teams in all sports, sign guys who have potential to help the club. Some help as fillers in the minors while others compete for jobs in the Bronx. Some pan out and some opt out and some end up disappearing.  While most of these signings don’t pan out to be much, every so often an inexpensive gem is found and that shot in the dark hits its target.

Well worth the gamble if you ask me!

 --Dan Lucia
BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @DManLucia


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