The Yankees’ last roster spot is a real puzzle

Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com reported on the last roster spot and what he reported is mind-blowing. We already know that Dean Anna has made the team and that Joe Girardi hates tweets. But if Matthews is on top of the last roster spot situation, the Yankees have a very unusual situation between Eduardo Nunez and Yangervis Solarte.

Look at Joe Girardi’s words closely from an earlier Matthews post concerning Anna making the team:

“He (Anna) gives you a ton of flexibility,” Girardi said. “He played a very good shortstop for us, he’s a left-handed bat if we give Jeet a day off against a righthander. I wouldn’t be afraid to play him at second or third, if you give [Mark Teixeira] a day off and you move Kelly Johnsonto first. I’d feel comfortable playing him anywhere in the infield. He fits the mold.”

Matthews himself hinted that Anna’s spot is not temporary. So mind blowing situation number one is that, if I read this correctly, Anna has already won what Nunez used to do. Am I reading that wrong? I don’t think so.

If that is correct, then Anna has Spot #24. The last and final spot features one guy on the disabled list, Brenden Ryan, and Solarte and Nunez. Naturally, you would think that Ryan and Nunez have the upper hand because they are on the forty man roster. But the players would not be in limbo if that was set in stone. Ryan further has the upper hand because he has a two year deal for multiple millions.

Mind blowing realization is that the limbo position of Nunez and Solarte is for a temporary position until Ryan is off the disabled list. This is a stunning fall for Nunez as he went from #24 on the roster to in limbo about a temporary position. Both players, according to Matthews have been told not to pack as they were not heading to Houston with the team.

So what is happening here? Matthews reported that Girardi said, “We’ve got to figure out what we’re going to do.” What are those options then if we assume that Anna is safe either way?

The first is that the Yankees are probably right now in the process of trying to find another team to take Ryan or Nunez or both. Otherwise, Solarte, who has options and is on on the 40 man roster would simply have been sent to the minor league camp. If the Yankees can find a taker for Nunez, then they don’t have to DFA him and get nothing for him. If the Yankees find a taker for Ryan, then they have to eat some of that $5 million and maybe get a bag of beans in return.

Ryan on the disabled list at least delays having to deal with him for a bit. So the decision is down to finding a last minute taker for Nunez and if nothing happens there, to DFA him to get him off the roster in favor of Solarte.

Or, conversely, if they cannot find a taker for Nunez, then send Solarte to the minors and keep Nunez around. I don’t know about you, but this is fascinating. Nunez and Solarte are in limbo over the last spot, which may or may not be temporary when Brendan Ryan comes off the disabled list.

Mind blowing.

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at www.passion4baseball.blogspot.com since 2003.

2 thoughts on “The Yankees’ last roster spot is a real puzzle

  1. John C

    I’m beating a dead horse with this canard, but I wonder if the Yanks are paving the way for Drew? While he isn’t great, he sure would solve some IF issues.

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