Yankees claim former Nationals, Red Sox infielder off waivers

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The New York Yankees have had a particular affinity for adding Boston Red Sox players this off-season, recently trading for outfield or Alex Verdugo and claiming one of their former infield prospects, Jeter Downs, off waivers from the Washington Nationals on Tuesday afternoon.

Downs is a 25-year-old with experience at second base, third base, and shortstop. He’s a right-handed hitter standing at 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds. Downs has spent time with Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Boston, and Washington. He made his MLB debut back in 2022 with Boston, playing in 14 games, hitting .151 with a .171 OBP, including one homer and four RBIs.

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The Yankees Clearly Want More INF Depth

Last season with the Nationals, he played six MLB games, hitting .400/.667/.400. In Triple-A, he played 51 games, hitting .236 with a .358 OBP and 91 wRC+.

Downs is formally known as a part of the blockbuster deal that sent Mookie Betts to the Dodgers. He has failed to latch on as a regular MLB player, but the Yankees likely want to stash him in Triple-A in case of emergencies. He has one minor-league option left and has good athleticism to run the bases. He could play a similar role to what Greg Allan offered last year as an offensive piece, a pinch runner that can play some decent defense.

Of course, Allan was an outfielder, and Downs can play multiple infield spots, so it can’t hurt to have more depth.