The capture market was barren before the MLB lockdown began, but none of those hurdles stopped the Yankees from adding safety nets this winter.
New York have signed three receivers under minor league deals in recent weeks, re-signing Rob Brantly and inking David Freitas and Rodolfo Durán. Gary Sánchez and Kyle Higashioka are the only receivers on New York’s 40-man roster, and top prospect Austin Wells has yet to play over the High-A ball, so the Yankees are building up some depth they surely hope not to have to use in 2022.
Brantly, 32, played sparingly for the Yankees last season, appearing in six games. He’s had three hits in 21 home plate appearances. The veteran spent most of the season at Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, where he scored 0.289 in 68 games.
Freitas, meanwhile, started his 2021 season with the Korea Baseball Organization’s Kiwoom Heroes. He was retired after reducing 0.259 0.297 / 0.394 in 43 games and joined the Rays organization. He didn’t get a promotion to the big leagues and chose free agency at the end of the year. Freitas has 59 games of MLB experience with Atlanta, Seattle and Milwaukee. The 32-year-old posted impressive numbers at Triple-A, however, reducing .322 / .401 / 0.472 from 1,129 home plate appearances.
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Durán has never played in the majors. He reached triple A for the first time in 2021, playing just four games for the Phillies’ Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Durán spent 31 games at Double-A, where he hit below 0.200. An international signing in 2014, the 23-year-old showed power when he hit 18 home runs at Single-A in 2018, and he has a strong arm behind the plate.
If all goes according to plan, these three minor league signings won’t see much – or no – action for the Yankees in 2022. None will threaten Sánchez or Higashioka for their work, assuming they are the big league receivers. with which the Yankees roll next. season.
There are no upgrade left in free agency, and the commercial market could be low on supply and high on demand after foreclosure ends. Willson Contreras, Mitch Garver, Carson Kelly, and Sean Murphy are potential business candidates, but each has different costs and levels of appeal.
In other words, there’s a good chance Sánchez and Higashioka will catch up with most of New York’s games in 2022. And if they can’t, the Yankees will have a few temporary options pending at the minors.
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