The New York Yankees are always looking to find underutilized talent to turn into MLB starters. General manager Brian Cashman has done a phenomenal job finding career average players and adjusting them to the Yankee mold.
Players like Gio Urshela and Luke Voit were never considered above-average by any means, but those two diamonds in the rough have helped the Yankees establish starters at third and first base.
Without Urshela and Voit, the Yankees would be in much worse shape, and knowing they have two every-day starters with solid offensive capabilities is comforting. However, with COVID-19 disrupting the Yankeesâ€™ cash flow, Cashman has another difficult off-season ahead of him. Finding cost-efficient options to serve as quality depth is essential, and the Yankees made another move to sign a player with potential to a minor league contract.
The New York Yankees signed an outfielder to a minor-league deal:
OF Socrates Brito signs a minor league contract with the Yankees with an invitation to spring camp. Brito is represented by The MAS+ Agency.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 1, 2021
Outfielder Socrates Brito signed a minor-league contract with the Bombers and will receive an invitation to spring camp. Socrates has spent time with the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays in the past, playing in 17 games at the top level in 2019.
Over his 17 game stint in the majors, Socrates posted a lowly .077 batting average with nearly a 40% strikeout rate. He is by no means an elite hitter, but with AAA in 2019, he had 16 homers over 97 games. He does have a bit of power to his bat, and with the Yankees having success changing batting technique and launch angle in the past, they could unlock some hidden potential.
Defensively, Brito spends most of his time rotating in the outfield, posting inconsistent numbers across the board. Overall, he posted a .929 fielding percentage with two errors over 17 games two years ago. Socrates doesnâ€™t seem like he has any particularly explosive traits, but Cashman could see some buried production.
Considering veteran Brett Gardner might not return to the Yankees and Clint Frazier remaining a question mark, adding bodies to the competition is never a bad idea.