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Yankees Sign J.C. Romero to a Minor-League Contract

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 15: J.C. Romero #16 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch in relief of the the injured Roy Oswalt #44 during the game against the Florida Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on April 15, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Marlins won 4-3. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Romero had been designated for assignment by the Phillies last month and was signed by the Nationals to a minor-league contract. Then, after posting a 1.29 ERA in seven appearances for triple-A Syracuse, Romero reportedly asked out of his contract because it was unclear whether the Nationals were going to promote him to the majors. And so minutes after Washington released him from his contract, the Yankees signed him today to a minor-league deal, and he'll reportedly be available tonight for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. It's consistent with the Yankees' strategy of signing whatever pitchers they can to low-risk contracts and hoping a few work out. If they do — like Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia have so far — great. If they don't — like in the case of Kevin Millwood and Carlos Silva, neither of whom is part of the organization anymore — life goes on. (In semi-related news: Mark Prior is pitching again.) In sixteen and a third innings for the Phillies this year, lefties hit .208 off of Romero, while righties hit .297. The lesson here: If you're left-handed and can pitch even a little, there will always be a team willing to take a chance on you. [Hardball Talk/NBC Sports]

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Photo: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images