Baseball America has posted their minor league free agent list. After seven years in the minors, teams have to either put a player on their big league roster, or grant him free agency.
The Yankees are losing 17 players to free agency:
RHP: Paul Bush (AA), Michael Gardner++ (AA), Justin Pope++ (AA), Humberto Sanchez (AAA), Jay Stephens (AA), Jose Valdez (AAA)
C: Brian Peterson (AAA), Chris Stewart (AAA)
3B: Eric Duncan (AAA), Carlos Mendoza+ (AA), Cody Ransom (AAA), Marcos Vechionacci (AA)
SS: Doug Bernier (AAA)
OF: Edwar Gonzalez (AA), Freddy Guzman (AAA), Richie Robnett (AA), John Rodriguez (AAA)
Lots of former Yankees on the list, too, including Justin Christian, Casey Fossum, Sal Fasano, Mark Bellhorn, Matt DeSalvo, Heath Phillips, Chase Wright, Shawn Chacon, Josh Phelps, Kevin Thompson, T.J. Beam, and Jason Lane.
Yes, Kevin Thompson is on the list. When last I heard of him, he had been released from the independent league Newark Bears. Apparently, he was signed to a minor league contract in early September by the Texas Rangers. He played only 5 games with the Triple-A Oklahoma City RedHawks. Before that, he played 14 games for the independent league Fort Worth Cats. (Thompson is from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.)
Strange that the Rangers signed him when there was less than a week left in the season. A "break glass in case of emergency" insurance player, maybe? He seems like an odd choice, since he'd played so little this year. Perhaps they needed him to replace someone who was called up. Usually teams plan for that before September, but perhaps there was an unexpected injury or something.
Or maybe he was going to be their Freddy Guzman. A speedy pinch runner they could call up if they made the post-season. Thompson was supposed to be as fast as Bubba, maybe faster.