UPDATE July 9, 2010: The Yankees decided to sign free agent corner infielder Chad Tracy instead of Garrett Atkins.
No big deal as both players major league careers are just about over, and they are providing depth in AAA, not getting any major league time before September, if at all.
New free agent Garrett Atkins will sign a minor league contract with the New York Yankees. Atkins was released a few days ago by the Baltimore Orioles.
This contract will be similar to the type of deal Pat Burrell signed with the San Francisco Giants.
Atkins, a right-handed hitting corner infielder, will be sent to Triple A Scranton Wilkes Barre, where he will get regular reps to see if he can still play.
Atkins had been disappointing this season for the Orioles, hitting .219 BA/.282 OBP/.292 SLG/.574 OPS with one homer in 152 plate appearances. The 30-year-old inked a one-year, $4.5MM deal with the O’s over the winter after being released by the Colorado Rockies.
Getting a new environment has worked for Burrell, who had a terrible 2010 with the Tampa Bay Rays before being released, then signing a minor league deal with the Giants. Burrell hit .202/292/333/.625 OPS for the Rays.
He is now hitting .305/.389/.524/.914 for the Giants after a few games in Triple A.
Since Atkins is a corner infielder, this does not bode well for recent Triple A call up Jorge Vazquez, who also plays first and third base. The 28-year-old Mexican League import is seen by me as the future right-handed DH-type bat off the bench for the Yankees, and also spelling Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez on occasion.
Vazquez is hitting .301/.316/.581/.897 OPS at Triple AAA with eight doubles, six home runs and 22 RBI in only 92 at bats.