The Yankees signed catcher Eli Whiteside to a one-year contract worth $625,000 if he reaches the big leagues, the team announced Monday. Whiteside, who was claimed off waivers Nov. 5 from the San Francisco Giants, will make $200,000 in the minors under the terms of the deal.
The signing allows the Yankee to avoid arbitration with the veteran backup Whiteside, who hit .091 in 12 games for the Giants this season. Over parts of five seasons with the Giants and the Baltimore Orioles, Whiteside is a lifetime .215 hitter with 10 home runs and 43 RBIs.
The 33-year-old posted his best season in 2010, when he helped the Giants win a world championship by hitting .238 with four homers in 56 games as Buster Posey's backup.
While the Yankees added a potential backup catcher, they remain in negotiations with their incumbent starter, Russell Martin. General manager Brian Cashman regards Martin highly, though he faces competition for his services.