For the second straight day the New York Yankees made a waiver claim, actually they pulled off two Tuesday. First, the Yankees grabbed right-handed reliever David Herndon from the Toronto Blue Jays, and then snagged southpaw Josh Spence from the San Diego Padres.
Herndon, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery in June and is expected to be back by mid-summer. He’s pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies the last three seasons (Toronto claimed him off waivers Oct. 23 and then designated him for assignment just over a week later), though he only appeared in five games in 2012. He is an unspectacular pitcher — strikeout rate of 5.85 per nine and a walk rate of 3.23 per nine in 117 Major League innings. He owns a 3.85 ERA (4.27 FIP) over that time.
Spence is a 24-year-old lefty with two years of service under his belt with the Padres. He appeared in 51 games for the Friars over the two years but saw action in only 11 in 2012. He owns a 3.15 ERA (3.87 FIP) striking out 9.22 per nine while walking a whopping 5.40 batters per nine.
The pitchers provide some depth to the minor league system as each holds at least one option and does not figure to take over roles with the Yankees in the spring. While Herndon is slightly more established than Spence, he would not be available until around the All-Star break similar to the Yankees signing of David Aardsma in the 2011 offseason. Of course, Aardsma’s pedigree was a lot different from Herndon’s.
Spence, being a lefty, gives him a chance to see some time with the Yankees should he figure out a way to limit the number of free passes he issues. If anything the claims give the Yankees some big league ready arms with flexibility of shifting them around the minor league system.
Cano receives inaugural award for best defensive Yankee
Wilson, in conjunction with the MLB Network, named Robinson Cano the Yankees Defensive Player of the Year yesterday. The award comes one week after Cano nabbed his second Rawlings Gold Glove Award. The award was given to one member from each team based on MLB Network’s defensive metrics methodology called the “shredder system.” Cano is also under consideration for the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year award from the Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards (GIBBYs) which is determined by a collection of groups including the media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).
General managers meet in California
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman arrived in Indian Wells, California yesterday in the first set of meetings between general managers. These meetings do not typically coincide with big deals like the winter meetings set for Dec. 3-6 in Nashville, Tenn. and that would seem to remain the case for the Yankees as Cashman has painted a picture of steadiness for this offseason. Due to next season’s $189 million payroll threshold, the Yankees will be limited in making major deals unless they are able to shed current contracts at the same time.
Much of the meetings will center around administrative tasks including instant replay along the foul lines and traps made on airborne balls. There will also be discussions about protective headgear for pitchers. In and around those parts of the meetings, there will be players and their agents making appearances and Cashman will begin to lay out the groundwork of the Yankees’ winter plans for the rest of the general managers, players and agents.