From Mark Feinsand:The Yankees’ search for a righthanded-hitting outfielder may not be over, but they took a step in the right direction Wednesday night with the signing of veteran Matt Diaz.
Diaz, who has spent his 10-year career battering lefthanded pitching, inked a minor-league deal with the Bombers that includes an invitation to spring training.
If Diaz makes the club, he'll earn $1.2 million. He can earn up to $800,000 more in incentives based on at-bats.
“I’m healthy and I feel like I can go to camp and show what I can do,” said Diaz, who played only 51 games in 2012 after undergoing midseason thumb surgery. “If I can go and do what I do, which is hit lefties and take tough at-bats against them, that’s what the Yankees need and want. It will be a good fit.”
Diaz grew up in Lakeland, Fla., where his father used to lead team chapel services for the Tigers during spring training. Diaz became a big fan of Matt Nokes, so when the catcher was traded to the Yankees in 1990, Diaz switched allegiances and became a Yankees fan.
“My dream in life as a kid was to play for the Yankees,” Diaz said.In 2012, Diaz hit .222/.280/.333 in 51 games for Atlanta.