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The New York Yankees signed former Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Jimmy Cordero to a minor league deal on Wednesday. The right-hander was recovering from Tommy John surgery that he had in March and did not pitch at all last season. The 30-year-old could be a nice high-upside, low-risk signing, but it's unclear when he might be ready to pitch for the Yankees. Cordero had one of the best chase rates in 2020 despite being among the leaders in exit velocity. He had a 6.08 ERA while striking out 22 hitters in 26 2/3 innings in 30 relief appearances for the White Sox in 2020. Cordero was allowed to sign during MLB's lockout because he ended the 2021 season off the 40-man roster of another team.
The New York Yankees signed outfielder Ender Inciarte to a minor league deal on Wednesday. The three-time Gold Glover can sign with a team during MLB's lockout because he was not on a 40-man roster to end last year. The 31-year-old was an All-Star in 2017 and has hit .280 with 118 stolen bases and a 91 OPS+ in eight seasons in the majors. Inciarte is best known for his defense in center field, though, but he has seen a sharp decline with his glove since his last Gold Glove season in 2018. He played 52 games with the Atlanta Braves in 2021 before he was designated for assignment in July, and he finished out the year at Triple-A for the Cincinnati Reds before being released in August. The Yankees also signed center fielder Blake Perkins, shortstop Wilkerman Garcia and right-hander Vinny Nittoli to minor league deals.
The New York Yankees and third baseman Gio Urshela avoided salary arbitration on Tuesday by agreeing to a one-year, $6.55 million deal. Urshela will remain in the Bronx for at least one more season, but he wasn't as good in 2021 as he was when he posted an impressive .850 OPS over the previous two seasons. He had a final slash line of .267/.301/.419 in 116 games this year, and he finished the campaign as the club's starting shortstop when they moved Gleyber Torres to second base. Whether the 30-year-old remains at the 6 in 2022 will depend on whether the Yankees can land one of the remaining big free-agent shortstops like Carlos Correa or Trevor Story.
The New York Yankees have chosen to tender a contract to catcher Gary Sanchez. Sanchez had been speculated as a non-tender candidate, as his salary is expected to be in the area of $8 million dollars via arbitration, but it appears the catcher market did not offer strong enough alternatives for the Yankees to go that route. Sanchez has endured back-to-back disappointing seasons and lost plenty of luster since slashing .232/.316/.525 with 34 homers in 2019. The Yankees will hope he can resume that level of success, but don't be surprised if they continue to seek out upgrades behind the plate. He's a risky power-only fantasy option.
Infielder Rougned Odor was designated for assignment by the New York Yankees on Friday. Acquired prior to the season from the Texas Rangers, the 27-year-old split time between second base, his usual position, and third base while with the Yankees. Odor hit .202 with a .286 on-base percentage in 361 plate appearances. He didn't record any stolen bases as a member of the American League East club but did connect on 15 home runs in a New York uniform.