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Yankees sign pitcher off Hank Steinbrenner’s youth team

Dec 22, 2010, 12:34 AM EDT


The New York Yankees have been crowing about how frugal they are lately. Seriously.

First, general manager Brian Cashman talked about how his team’s luxury tax tab was reduced to $18 million this season. “Atta baby. And right now we’re in the $170s,” he said, referring to a 2011 salary number that could actually fall beneath the luxury tax threshold. Not exactly a bunch of penny pinchers, you say? But wait, there’s more.

Also on Tuesday, the Bombers went out and signed a player off of Hank Steinbrenner’s youth team.

The New York Yankees have signed 19-year-old Leonel Vinas to a minor league contract. The right-hander from Long Island was the ace of Hank’s Yanks, a team sponsored by Steinbrenner, co-chairman of the Yankees.

Vinas, who moved to Long Island from the Dominican Republic at age 11, was 12-0 with a 1.12 ERA and 168 strikeouts in 84 innings for “Hank’s Yanks,” according to Bryan Hoch of

Pretty cool story, and Vinas called the chance to play in the Yankee organization a dream come true. He’ll report to Tampa in two weeks to begin his professional career, and will probably start in Rookie ball as a reliever.

Cashman, for his part, made it clear that the signing was not a gimmick move. “This is real,” he told Hoch. “He’s got talent. We’re looking forward to seeing where the talent takes him.”

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  1. apbaguy - Dec 22, 2010 at 12:44 AM

    Happy Christmas to that guy. That’s a nice story.

  2. pisano - Dec 22, 2010 at 12:45 AM

    That’s cool Hank,but you’re a little confused, the big club is in desperate need of pitching the fans aren’t real concerned with your toys in Tampa. Thanks for the effort. No wonder your little brother is ahead of you in line.

  3. frankvzappa - Dec 22, 2010 at 3:56 AM

    just making excuses before another sorry season

  4. mtner77 - Dec 22, 2010 at 4:44 AM

    Wait to go Hankee!

    So what if you missed out on Cliff Lee! “We have this guy on my daughter’s softball team, and he is really, really GOOD! too.

    “Our rotation is now set for the forseeable future”.

    UPDATE: (Rosenthal via twitter): Yankees appear to be pursuing inhouse options for starting pitching.

  5. BC - Dec 22, 2010 at 9:27 AM

    Hey, averaging 2 strikeouts an inning is pretty hot no matter where you are at 19 years old. Let’s see what the guy can do.

  6. jkay123 - Dec 22, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    I don’t see how signing a young pitcher who shows potential is such big news. Im sure 15 other teams did the same exact thing yesterday. Way to put a spin on this as if this compensates for Lee. HS players get scouted by colleges and pro teams on a daily basis, let’s right about that, especially if it’s the yankees. Frankvzappa, yes, another sorry season, 95 wins and lost in the ALCS, if that is sorry, explain every other team aside from tx and SF?

  7. jkay123 - Dec 22, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    excuse me, i mean “let’s write about that”

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