Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Matt Diaz maybe the New York Yankees starting right fielder next season...if there's a left-hander on the mound. The NY Daily News' Mark Feinsand reported the Yankees agreed to a minor league deal and an invation to spring training with the former Atlanta Brave.
With Ichiro Suzuki signed, the Yankees had been in search for someone to face left-handed pitchers. Diaz can make $1.2MM if he goes north with the team out of spring training, and has incentives for another $800K. Diaz could also see at-bats for Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson against some left-handers.
After playing for Tampa Bay and Kansas City, Diaz, except for a brief period of 2011, was a member of the Braves organization since 2006. Diaz, who will turn 35 in March had his best season in 2009 when he received semi-regular at-bats. He hit .313 with 13 HR and 58 RBI, and had an .878 OPS in 125 games.
Diaz signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates a free agent prior to the 2011 season, but was dealt back to Atlanta on the final day of August for a minor leaguer.