Franchy Cordero, Yankees agree to deal on eve of opener
After the Yankees concluded their exhibition season Tuesday afternoon in Washington, Aaron Boone said the final 26-man roster for Thursday’s season opener against the Giants wasn’t quite done.
“We’re still working through some things,” Boone said.
One of those came to fruition Wednesday morning when the Yankees came to an agreement with outfielder/first baseman Franchy Cordero. ESPN reported it is a split deal, one that will pay Cordero $1 million in the big leagues and $180,000 in the minors.
Barring another move — and that still cannot be ruled out as the Yankees have been exploring a variety of moves for weeks — the lefty-swinging Cordero, who was released Monday by the Orioles, is likely to be on the Opening Day roster.
The Yankees announced Wednesday they had optioned righty Greg Weissert to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, righty Ian Hamilton to minor-league camp and had released outfielder Rafael Ortega.
Boone said Tuesday that Ortega, whom the Yankees liked during Grapefruit League season, and fellow outfielder Estevan Florial “are going with us to New York, but there's nothing guaranteed there, either.”
Ortega has since been released and Florial, a one-time top position prospect, is out of options. The Yankees would like to get something for the 25-year-old Florial, who would have to be designated for assignment — and clear waivers — if he’s not on the roster.
Cordero, who has played all three outfield spots in the big leagues, hit .413 (19-for-46) in 18 games this spring with the Orioles.
In 227 career games in the majors over six seasons, Cordero has hit .221 with 21 homers and a .676 OPS.
If there are no further moves and Cordero is on the roster, that leaves one bullpen spot that the Yankees haven’t decided on. The club has until Thursday morning to finalize the roster, making another move among the relief corps is a possibility (or perhaps acquiring an arm in exchange for Florial). Otherwise, because of concerns about their injury-riddled rotation, the team could pluck a reliever from the minors who can provide more length than Weissert or Hamilton, two pitchers the Yankees are still high on.