The Yankees announced three new signings amongst the 58 players they designated as eligible to begin ‘Summer Camp’ at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx this week. The team signed infielder Matt Duffy and catcher Max McDowell to minor-league contracts, and released then re-signed veteran reliever Dan Otero to a new minor-league contract.
The team also announced Luis Severino has been placed on the 60-day injured list while he continues to recover from offseason elbow surgery.
Matt Duffy, INF (#18)
Duffy spent the first iteration of spring training with the Texas Rangers, where he batted .281/.343/.281 in a 13-game sample size. He broke out with San Francisco in 2015, where a .295/.334/.428 (113 wRC+) batting line with 12 homers pushed him into second place for NL Rookie of the Year voting.
Injuries have hampered Duffy in recent years, with Achilles surgery and a hamstring strain limiting him to 178 games over the past two seasons (55% of possible games). He has slashed .285/.357/.357 (103 wRC+) with five home runs since 2018.
Defensively, Duffy has his most extensive experience at third base (3178.1 innings). He also made a few starts at shortstop for the Rays and Giants, and filled in at first base and second base in his 2015 season. DRS and UZR view him as an above-average defender at third base, but do not have sufficient information for the other positions.
Max McDowell, C (#78)
The Yankees decided to carry six catchers in their original player pool, and McDowell is the only newcomer to the group. The Brewers selected McDowell in the 13th round of the 2015 draft, and he spent the entirety of the 2019 season with Double-A Biloxi in their organization. He hit .213/.333/.314 (95 wRC+) with four homers in 87 Southern League games.
The Yankees had Kellin Deglan and Wynston Sawyer in big-league camp, but both were reassigned to minor-league camp before the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. It’s unclear if that would have prevented them from joining the 60-man player pool.
Dan Otero, RHP (#36)
The Yankees released and immediately re-signed Otero to a new minor-league contract, as the righty has six full years of service time and had a pending opt-out in his contract.
Otero made 25 appearances for Cleveland in 2019, pitching to a 4.85 ERA (5.17 FIP) in 29.2 innings. The 35-year-old was a shutdown reliever as recently as 2017, where he put up a solid 2.85 ERA (3.64 FIP) in 52 games in the backend of Cleveland’s relief corps.
The veteran struggled with right shoulder inflammation in 2019, which limited the normally durable reliever to his fewest games pitched in a season since he debuted in 2012 for San Francisco. Otero relies on 4 pitches: Sinker (55.3%), Changeup (18.8%), Slider (13.9%) and Four Seamer (12%).