Morrison heads to Yankees on Minors deal

April 19th, 2019

NEW YORK -- once bristled that he -- and not the Yankees' -- should have been invited to participate in the Home Run Derby.

Two years later, the Yankees may ask the veteran first baseman to take a few swings for them. The club announced on Friday that it agreed to a Minor League contract with the 31-year-old Morrison, who spent last season with the Twins before undergoing left hip surgery.

"He's a guy that has a proven big league track record," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "It's just good for us to get a guy that if we're in a situation, he's capable of doing some damage if he got up here."'s Mark Feinsand reported that Morrison would earn $1 million if added to the big league roster, and that his contract has an opt-out date of July 1. The Yankees have not confirmed the details of the deal.

Morrison will provide additional first-base depth in the wake of 's left plantar fascia tear. Bird became the 12th Yankees player on the injured list Tuesday, at which time rookie first baseman was promoted from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Morrison has hit .239/.325/.427 with 137 home runs over nine seasons in the Majors, appearing for four teams in that span. Originally drafted by the Marlins in 2005, Morrison is familiar with the American League East, having played with the Rays in 2016-17.

He produced a career-high 38 homers with 85 RBIs and an .868 OPS over 149 games for Tampa Bay in 2017, the season during which he griped about Sanchez's inclusion in the Home Run Derby. At the time, Morrison had hit 24 homers to Sanchez's 13.

"Gary shouldn't be here," Morrison said then. "Gary's a great player, but he shouldn't be in the Home Run Derby. I remember when I had 14 home runs. That was a month and a half ago."

While with Minnesota last year, Morrison also took a swipe at Yankees fans, who had heckled him during an April series at Yankee Stadium.

"They didn't like the Gary Sanchez thing with the Home Run Derby," Morrison said. "But you can't fix stupid, you know?"

Asked about Morrison's potential addition on Friday, Sanchez shrugged.

"That's a long time ago. We're way over that stuff," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "Now, he's a teammate and we're going to treat him as a teammate here. We're going to welcome him into this clubhouse. There's no sense of talking about something that happened so long ago."