April 18, 2024

Yankees sign utility man who they once clobbered as a pitcher to minor-league deal

Can’t say we had any “Yankees-Josh VanMeter Interest” atop our big board on this beautiful Wednesday morning, but sometimes, life hands you lemons, and sometimes, it hands you utility men with a career .206 average and negative bWAR.

Yankees sign utility man who they once clobbered as a pitcher to minor-league  deal

VanMeter last spent big-league time with the 2022 Pirates, hitting .187 with a .558 OPS in ample chances across 67 games. While he’s logged time at second base and left field during his career, which took him from the Reds to the D-Backs to the Bucs, Yankee fans will be far more familiar with his time on the mound in ’22.

On July 6, VanMeter went one inning of mopup duty in what quickly became a blowout, losing streak-busting 16-0 Yankees win. A good deal of that offensive progress was fueled by the slop-tossing right-hander, who allowed eight earned runs, kicked off by a pair of homers surrendered to Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks.

Yankees sign Josh VanMeter (former Reds IF) to minor-league deal

If things really break down at the big-league level, the Yankees might’ve found their utility panic call-up of the future. In terms of inking former Reds to unlikely-to-materialize deals, though, this one pales in comparison to Derek Dietrich.

One thing VanMeter does have going for him? His nickname is “Meat Sauce,” which might help Anthony Volpe get out of a summer slump. Either that, or his BP fastballs will catalyze Volpe’s swing.

In 2023, VanMeter spent the season mostly in Nashville with the Sounds, Milwaukee’s Triple-A affiliate. In 46 games, he hit .199 with a .400 OBP, and we have many, many questions about which shenanigans made that possible.

Yankees Sign Josh VanMeter To Minor League Deal | Yardbarker

Don’t expect the soon-to-be 29-year-old infielder to make as much of an impact as he did during his rookie campaign, when he hit .237 with a .735 OPS in 95 games in Cincinnati. But anticipate a spring training invite, as well as some early-game reps to see if the Yankees might have another lefty utility man on their hands to fill the Marwin Gonzalez role (which is for sure a necessary role).

Yankees News: Dylan Cease trade rumors, New York eyeing former Astros reliever

Yankees News: Dylan Cease trade rumors, New York eyeing former Astros reliever

In wake of the Marcus Stroman signing, many have speculated the New York Yankees are probably out on the remaining high-profile crop of pitchers in free agency. But nobody said anything about the trade market!

Per reports, the Yanks are still interested in a Dylan Cease trade, but it’s believed the Baltimore Orioles remain the frontrunners because of their superior farm system. Nothing to be ashamed of there, the O’s had years and years of bottom feeding to collect the best young players.

But the longer Baltimore waits to sign off on a deal, the better chance the Yankees have of swooping in and convincing the White Sox otherwise. Only problem? It seems Chicago wants Chase Hampton from the Bombers.

If Brian Cashman was unwilling to surrender the No. 4 overall prospect in the Juan Soto deal, then why would he be inclined to do so for Cease, who has a shaky track record and is very much not the same caliber of player as Soto?

Unsurprisingly, the White Sox are also interested in Spencer Jones, who seems to be a non-starter in talks for New York.

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