The New York Yankees aren’t done making moves ahead of opening day on Thursday afternoon. After releasing outfielder Rafael Ortega and elevating Estevan Florial to the 26-man roster, despite a disappointing spring performance, the Bombers brought in a stand-out performer over the past few weeks from the Baltimore Orioles.
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The Yankees signed OF Franchy Cordero:
General manager Brian Cashman signed Franchy Cordero to a contract, per Jeff Passan of ESPN, a 28-year-old lefty outfielder that has played 227 total major league games. At 6-foot-3 and 226 pounds, Cordero played 84 games with 275 plate appearances last year with the Boston Red Sox. He hit .219 with a .300 OBP, eight homers, and 29 RBIs, tallying a 92 wRC+.
Defensively, he’s played 1,100 innings in the outfield with 529.2 in left, 351.1 in center field, and 219.1 in right. His versatility is undoubtedly valuable, but his numbers don’t suggest he is an above-average defender by any means. He’s logged -8 defensive runs saved and -1 outs above average in his career in the outfield, but he also has a bit of experience playing first base, where he struggled.
However, Cordero has dominated the spring, hitting .413 with a .426 OBP and 1.100 OPS across 46 at-bats. He’s tallied 19 hits with two homers, nine RBIs, and a stolen base. While spring stats don’t necessarily translate to the regular season, the Yankees have had a few dismal performances from their depth outfielders, so bringing in Cordero as a competitor can’t hurt.
It will be interesting to see what the Yankees do with Florial after adding Cordero. It’s possible they’re looking to trade him over the next few days for bullpen support, but since he’s out of minor league options, there aren’t many options for Cashman and Co.