In an unsurprising move, the New York Yankees have agreed to terms with outfielder Matt Diaz.
There had been some speculation in recent days that the Yankees would go out and sign Diaz as he would help them fulfill their need for a right-handed hitting outfielder. Many people believed that the Yankees would attempt to go after Scott Hairston, but the fact that Hairston wants a two year contract made it seem unlikely in the first place. The Yankees inked Diaz to a one-year deal, which is what they wanted in their search for in a fourth outfielder.
Matt Diaz boasts a very nice line against lefty pitching. In his career, he has a line of .324/.364/.498 – which is very good by any standard. Matt Diaz will most likely fill the void left by Andruw Jones, and in many respects is an upgrade over Jones. This could turn out to be another cheap yet effective signing by Brian Cashman – something he has done a lot of in recent years.
The only worry with Diaz is that he is coming off injury and has only played in a total of 67 games in the past two years.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports does not think that the Yankees search for a right-handed hitting outfielder will end with this signing, however.
I personally think that Rosenthal is only half right with that statement. While there are some other right-handed outfielders currently left on the market, I do not think the Yankees will go out and sign them. I fully expect that the Yankees will look within their system to find another outfielder who can hit right handed – such as Zoilo Almonte.
All in all, this is a pretty good pickup by Cashman and the Yankees. Diaz is another low-risk, high-reward type of player who can absolutely dominate lefty pitching. If the last few years are any indication, expect the Yankees to get a solid season from Diaz – much like they do all of their reserves.