The New York Yankees have agreed to a split contract with veteran utilityman Wilmer Difo, according to Robert Murray. A “split contract” dictates that the player earns a different wage based on whether they’re stationed in the majors or the minors. Difo, for his part in this crazy world, will earn $1.2 million if he’s part of the big-league roster. Difo, 30 years old, has appeared in nearly 500 big-league games over the last eight seasons, most recently with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He’s also done stints with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Washington Nationals, with whom he spent the first six seasons of his career.Overall, Difo has batted .250/.311/.353 (75 OPS+) overall with 19 home runs and 24 stolen bases. His contributions have been worth an estimated 0.2 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball-Reference’s calculations. Difo has seen action at a variety of defensive positions, including the outfield. He’s primarily played up the middle, tallying more than 100 appearances apiece at second base and at shortstop. As it stands, the Yankees bench is projected to include some combination of Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Aaron Hicks, DJ LeMahieu, Oswaldo Cabrera, and Oswald Peraza, depending on who Aaron Boone picks to start in left field and at shortstop. Difo could slot into a bench spot should someone get hurt, or if the Yankees trade away Hicks, Kiner-Falefa, or even second baseman Gleyber Torres, who has been subject to trade rumors dating back to last summer.
The Yankees have made several bigger splashes this offseason, retaining captain and home run champion Aaron Judge and adding left-handed starter Carlos Rodón. The Yankees also brought back reliever and old friend Tommy Kahnle on a multi-year deal.