Three Yankees file for arbitration
Outfielders Nady and Melky, reliever Bruney could go to hearing
NEW YORK -- The Yankees' Brian Bruney, Melky Cabrera and Xavier Nady joined a group of 111 Major League players who filed for salary arbitration on Thursday.
Of the three players, Nady's situation could be the most prominent. The Yankees have actively engaged the trade market to see what Nady -- a free agent after the 2009 season -- could potentially bring back in a deal, weighing their options in clearing a crowded outfield mix.
There is no rush for the Yankees to deal Nady or fellow outfielder Nick Swisher, however, unless they are overwhelmed by an offer from another club. It remains possible that the Yankees could still head into Spring Training with both players on the roster.
The 30-year-old Nady joined the Yankees at the Trade Deadline last season and was an instant contributor, batting .268 with 12 home runs and 40 RBIs in 59 games with New York.
Including his first-half stats with the Pirates, Nady hit .305 with 25 home runs and 97 RBIs overall and has been envisioned as the Yankees' starting right fielder heading into this season. He earned $3.35 million last year.
Bruney, a right-hander who turns 27 in February, figures to be a piece of the Yankees' late-inning bullpen mix in helping get the ball to closer Mariano Rivera. Bruney was 3-0 with one save and a 1.83 ERA in 32 appearances last season, walking 16 and striking out 33 in 34 1/3 innings.
His season was interrupted by a Lisfranc injury in his left foot while covering first base on April 26 at Chicago; originally feared lost for the year, Bruney opted for rehab and re-joined the Yankees in August for the stretch drive. He earned $725,000 last year.
Cabrera, 24, was the Yankees' Opening Day center fielder but was demoted to Triple-A in August after suffering through a frustrating offensive season.
He batted .249 with eight home runs and 37 RBIs in 129 games and will come to Spring Training expecting to compete with rookie Brett Gardner to be the first center fielder at the new Yankee Stadium. Cabrera earned $461,200 last year.
Salary arbitration figures are scheduled to be exchanged on Jan. 20, with hearings taking place from Feb. 1 through Feb. 21.
The Yankees were triumphant last year in an arbitration case over Chien-Ming Wang, paying him $4 million instead of the $4.6 million the right-hander was seeking. This year, New York avoided arbitration with Wang by signing him to a one-year, $5 million deal in December.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.