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Yankees sign Burt Reynolds

02/22/2012 1:28 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
The Yankees may never have had a player named Smokey in their illustrious history, but the franchise appears to have finally caught the "Bandit."

Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein Tweeted on Wednesday morning that New York has signed third baseman/outfielder Burt Reynolds, who played for the independent Newark Bears of the Can-Am Baseball Association in 2011.

Though not related to the iconic actor who played titular antagonist Bo Darville in 1977's "Smokey and the Bandit," Reynolds does have a strong baseball bloodline - he is the cousin of Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano.

Last season, Reynolds hit .232 with 13 home runs, 36 RBI, and 11 stolen bases for the Bears. Originally a 30th round pick of the Washington Nationals in 2006, the 23-year-old native of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic spent three years in Tampa Bay's minor league system prior to his stint in the Can-Am league.

He also had perhaps the most recognizable name on a team full of them. The 2011 Bears, who were managed by former Yankee outfielder Tim Raines, included four former Major Leaguers - Daryle Ward, Kyle Snyder, Brandon Watson, and Ramon Nivar - as well as a pair of second-generation players with Yankees lineage in Tim Raines Jr. and Todd Gossage, the youngest son of Hall of Famer Rich "Goose" Gossage.

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