The Yankees announced this evening that they have claimed catcher Eli Whiteside off waivers from the Giants. It’s your move, Russell Martin.
Whiteside, 33, appeared in 12 games with the World Series champion Giants this season and owns a meager .215/.273/.335 batting line and a .608 OPS over 537 plate appearances in the majors. He is arbitration-eligible this offseason, but the Yankees may attempt to slip him through waivers and keep him as a non-roster player.
Whiteside could be in the mix for the backup catcher job during spring training along with former teammate Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli, though he is more likely to open next season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.