New York Yankees: What you need to know about recent signings

William Parlee
ender inciarte, yankees

Like the other 29 MLB teams, the New York Yankees can not have any major league transactions due to the MLB lock-out. The owners and players couldn’t come to an agreement before the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement on December 1. However, that did not tie their hand from signing minor league players as they are not members of the players association. As a result, the Yankees have improved their future with some of those signings.

Yankees signed free agent SS Jose Peraza to a minor league contract at the end of November. Peraza will give the Yankees an option going forward at short. The 27-year-old hit .204 last season with six home runs over 142 plate appearances with the New York Mets. He has a six-year career average of .266. Peraza comes to the Yankees with an excellent defensive record.

On December 15, the Yankees signed RHP Vinny Nittoli to a minor league contract. The signing of Nittoli is a bit perplexing. He pitched in only one game last season for the Seattle Mariners. In one inning, his ERA was 18.00. So it must be the Yankee scouts saw something that caused them to make this signing.

The Yankees also signed center fielder Ender Inciarte and Blake Perkins to minor league contracts. EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Alexander Wilson had this to say about Inciarte:

Inciarte was once a respectable player, but at 31-years-old, his best service comes in the form of depth and last-resort situations. The veteran outfielder started off his career in Arizona with the Diamondbacks, posting intriguing numbers, including a .278 average in 2014 and .303 in 2015.

Inciarte is an All-Star and three-time Gold Glover.

Blake Perkins is a 25-year-old switch-hitting outfielder that plays primarily in center field. The Washington Nationals drafted him in the second round of the 2015 draft. In 2018 with the Pacific Nationals, he hit .234 with one home run, 21 RBIs, and 12 stolen bases through 65 games. Last season, he hit .224/.330/.347 with eight home runs, 34 RBIs, and 22 stolen bases with two different minor league teams. Perkins will provide depth for the Yankees in center.

The Yankees also added Wilkerman Garcia, a 23-year-old shortstop, to their minor league fold. Garcia is another switch hitter; he has a career batting average of .284 with 12 home runs over five years in the majors. However, he had not played since 2019, when he was with four minor league teams in the Yankee organization. Luis Soho has called Garcia a defending solid shortstop.