The Yankees announced Monday that they have signed recently-DFA’d infielder Brad Miller to a minor league contract.
Miller had been designated for assignment by the Cleveland Indians last week, despite an adequate .250/.325/.417 (96 wRC+) triple slash line thru 13 games (40 PA).
Over his career, Miller has been essentially a league-average hitter as a bat-first infielder. He can physically stand at every infield position and has technically played all three outfield positions as well, though he is far from a leather-flasher.
It is no secret that the Yankees have been absolutely devastated by injuries, especially in their infield. The infield injuries, alone, currently look like:
- Didi Gregorius (Tommy John)
- Greg Bird (Torn Plantar Fascia)
- Miguel Andujar (Torn Labrum)
- Troy Tulowitzki (Calf strain)
That’s the starting shortstop and third baseman, along with a guy who came in to try to replace the starting shortstop, and another guy who came into spring training ready to compete for the starting job at first base.
Miller would be fine enough at any of those positions, should he make the big league roster at some point. The Yankees have exhausted literally all of their depth since Mike Ford came up for Bird and Thairo Estrada was called up to replace Aaron Judge on the active roster. Estrada was the last position player available on the 40-man roster.
The Yankees have done their due-diligence in replacing those guys of late. Along with the signing of Miller, they also signed 1B/DH Logan Morrison to a minor league deal late last week. At a minimum, they are warm bodies to occupy the Triple-A roster and are potential trade pieces. At most, they could end up starting for the Yankees by the end of the week, at the rate the Yankees have been getting injured.
If you want me to tell you which of these two is most likely to see MLB playing time with the Bombers, I would lean towards Miller. He is the more consistent bat and provides more defensive versatility, though he is further removed from his 30-homer season (2016) than Morrison is from his (2017). For each of them, though, those are the only years that they have crossed the 30-homer plateau.