The Yankees have re-signed RHP Grant Duff (pictured) and LHP Josh Romanski, signed LHP Juan Cedeno and lost LHP Steve Garrison to the Seattle Mariners.
Duff will be 29 when the season begins, and enters another make-or-break year. He threw just nine innings over the course of eight games last season, all of them with Double-A Trenton, before being shut down with shoulder issues. Duff, who had made his Triple-A debut the season before, was also shut down in 2010 due to a stress fracture in his pitching elbow that ultimately required the insertion of a screw. But the potential is always there with the friendly fireballer, and it’s that tantalizing fastball that has led the Yankees to bring him back for another try.
Romanski opened some eyes in his second season in the Yankees organization, pitching well as a starter in Tampa (7.5, 3.16) and a reliever (0-1, 2.04) in Trenton. 25 years old, the heavily inked lefty has inked a deal with the Yankees and could see some time in Triple-A this season, depending on what role the organization slots him in. He can both start and relieve, but it would be hard to see him as a starter in Trenton this year. He likely carries more value as a lefty reliever anyway.
Cedeno, 28, has bounced around the Red Sox, Royals, Tigers and Dodgers organizations. He last pitched last season for the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings of the independent North American League. He has not advanced past Double-A, and Trenton would seem to be a likely destination to start out with if he were to stick with the Yankees.
Garrison’s homecoming surely wasn’t what he was hoping for. The 25-year-old Trenton native pitched for the Thunder last season, and battled injuries and inconsistency along the way. Perhaps his lone highlight is an obvious one, his big league debut against the Seattle at Yankee Stadium. Now, those same Mariners have agreed to terms with the personable southpaw for the 2012 season on a minor league deal. But he’ll have to improve on a 4-8 record, 5.95 ERA and .317 batting average against if he wants to get back to the show.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com