The New York Yankees just got a little deeper in the outfield, signing triple-A centerfielder Zack Granite to a minor-league contract.
Zack Granite, who was born and raised in Staten Island, has inked a minors deal with the New York Yankees, per reports. The move doesn’t exactly rock the free agent market, but it could prove to be rather solid.
News of the Bombers’ latest addition came via a tweet from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:
The #Yankees sign OF Zack Granite, the #Twins minor-league player of the year in 2016, to minor-league deal and will bring him to spring training with chance to make the big-league team.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 22, 2019
According to Pete Caldera at NJ.com, Granite’s deal allows the 27-year-old to ask the Yankees to cut him loose if he’s not on the MLB roster by Jun. 15.
Granite has been in professional baseball since 2013, when the Minnesota Twins drafted him out of Seton Hall University. His only MLB experience consists of 40 games with Minnesota in 2017.
During that quarter of a season, Granite slashed .237/.321/.290, with one homer in 107 plate appearances.
As a minor leaguer, he’s shown the ability to hit for average and steal bases. When the Twins called him up in 2017, he was hitting .340/.394/.479 with 18 swipes in 76 games.
The year prior at double-A he nabbed 56 bases while posting a .295/.347/.382 line. That performance earned him Twins’ Minor League Player of the Year honors.
In 2019, Granite joined the Texas Rangers. He spent the full season (119 games) at triple-A, slashing .290/.331/.375 with three dingers and 37 RBIs.
This swing at Yankee Stadium… welcome to the Yankees Zack Granite! pic.twitter.com/UZs3KkvQFQ
— William Gardner (@Wonkabar3000) November 22, 2019
Granite joins a Yankees team that has dealt with injuries galore in the outfield over the past couple of seasons.
Centerfielder Aaron Hicks is expected to be out until at least July after offseason Tommy John surgery. Aaron Judge hasn’t played a full season since his rookie campaign in 2017, and Giancarlo Stanton only played 18 games in 2019.
The Granite move could indicate that New York won’t re-sign outfielder Brett Gardner. Both players are lefty speedsters, but Gardy’s power surge of late might put too many zeroes on his price tag.
Granite could be the first next man up for the Bombers in 2020; or, he could prove to be a quadruple-A talent.