The New York Yankees have signed free-agent outfielder Matt Diaz to a minor-league contract, reports Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News:
BREAKING: Yankees have agreed to terms on minor-league deal with outfielder Matt Diaz. Invite to big-league camp and will compete for spot.— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) December 26, 2012
The addition of the 34-year-old Diaz gives the Yankees the a right-handed outfield bat they sorely needed to complement their all lefty-hitting starting outfield.
While the 10-year big-league vet is the club's best fourth-outfielder option at the moment, he may not a lock for the position. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports speculates that the club may add another piece to compete with Diaz during spring training.
Diaz had a few very promising seasons with the Braves in his first stint with the club from 2006-2010, but has never escaped the injury for long enough to have any sort of prolonged success. The outfielder appeared in just 51 games for Atlanta this past season because of continued problems with an infected left thumb, hitting a career-worst .222/.280/.333 in 118 plate appearances.
Diaz has always mashed southpaws -- hitting .324/.364/.498 with 31 home runs in 1,026 plate appearances -- so he could be a solid platoon option for the Yankees if he is able to regain the power stroke that has gone missing the last two seasons.