Yankees Announce List Of Non-Roster Spring Training Invitees

We’re less than 2 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Tampa and that’s close enough for the Yankees to announce their list of non-roster Spring Training invitees.  They did so earlier today, officially inviting 25 non-roster players to big league camp.  The group was highlighted by top organizational prospects Aaron Judge, James Kaprielian, and Jorge Mateo, as well as notable prospects Dustin Fowler and Brady Lail and previous MiL signings such as Pete Kozma, Anthony Swarzak, and Vinnie Pestano.  Along with the players on the 40-man roster, the Yankees will have 65 players in Major League spring camp.

Here’s the full list of non-roster invites:

Catchers: Carlos Corporan, Francisco Diaz, Kyle Higashioka, Eddy Rodriguez, Sebastian Valle, Santiago Nessy

Infielders: Jonathan Diaz, Pete Kozma, Jorge Mateo, Deibinson Romero, Donovan Solano, Tyler Wade

Outfielders: Dustin Fowler, Aaron Judge, Cesar Puello

Pitchers: Richard Bleier, Tyler Cloyd, Domingo German, Chad Green, James Kaprielian, Brady Lail, Diego Moreno, Vinnie Pestano, Anthony Swarzak, Tyler Webb… Click here to read the rest

Torreyes Reacquisition Provides A Second Chance To Make A First Impression

Ronald Torreyes 2015

Good defensive position. Courtesy of Getty Images

The minor trade that brought Ronald Torreyes to the Yankees a few weeks ago didn’t make many waves, and the follow-up DFA’ing of Torreyes to clear a roster spot for Lane Adams made even fewer.  But in the wake of yesterday’s crushing news on Greg Bird’s season-ending labrum tear, the Yankees reacquired Torreyes from the Angels and sent Adams packing, shedding some light on their plan to cover for the loss of Bird as Mark Teixeira‘s primary backup at first base.

The primary part of that plan sounds like it’s going to be Dustin Ackley.  Cash was quick to tell reporters that the team would not seek to replace Bird through the MLB free agent or trade markets and that Ackley would be assuming primary backup first base duties.  Ackley has some recent experience there and he was picked up and retained primarily because of his positional flexibility, so the move makes sense for a team that has already established itself as one not looking to spend money on free agents.  … Click here to read the rest

Service Time: A Greg Bird Story

A scant few hours ago, we learned that the man they (read: we) call #GREGBIRD would miss the entirety of the 2016 season due to shoulder surgery. Some have already begun looking for silver linings, generally revolving around the likelihood of Bird spending the majority of 2016 in Triple-A due to the presence of Messrs Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, and Carlos Beltran – but that is little more than scraping the bottom of the barrel for a silver lining. Shoulder surgeries tend to sap power (at least for a year or so), and Bird’s offensive game largely revolves around depositing the ball deep within the right field bleachers. And, of course, this ignores the full season of lost development for a 23-year old.

Oh, and it gets worse.

Due to Major League Baseball’s service time rules, Bird is all but guaranteed to garner a full year of service time in 2016. He is currently on the team’s active roster, which would put him on the Major League disabled list.… Click here to read the rest

Can The Yankees Just Sign Juan Uribe Already?

It’s been about a month since I mapped out the projected Opening Day roster, and not much has changed since then despite the recent acquisition of Aroldis Chapman.  He simply slots into the top third of the bullpen, bumping everybody beneath him down a spot and bumping Jacob Lindgren back to Triple-A to open the season, which probably wouldn’t be a bad thing for him coming off elbow surgery and a lot of missed time.

At this point the roster is basically set with the exception of the final bench spot.  Looking at the makeup and positional depth, there is a need for a backup at third base.  The talk right now is that Starlin Castro could be a possibility if he’s willing to play the position and the Yankees are willing to use him there.  But Castro hasn’t played the hot corner since his early MiL days and only recently converted to playing second base regularly.  Somehow I don’t think the Yankees envisioned trading for him to turn him into a super utility infielder, but the point remains that there needs to be a reliable backup behind Chase Headley and filling that need would be the best use of that final bench spot.… Click here to read the rest

Rounding out the Rotation

Last week, George King reported that the Yankees would look to add starting pitching depth through minor league deals. This has been a strategy for the team in recent years, and it worked out amazingly well with Bartolo Colon (2.1 bWAR in 164.1 IP) and Freddy Garcia (3.5 bWAR in 146.2 IP) in 2011. The Yankees have not had much success since then, albeit not for a lack of trying (Ramon Ortiz, Scott Baker, etc), but it makes sense that the trend would continue. After all, the worst case scenario is that the player opts out of his deal and costs the team a few thousand dollars along the way.

Realistically speaking, the pitchers that are willing to take a minor league deal have some sort of glaring flaw, which is oftentimes of the injury or poor performance variety (or some combination of both). Expecting a repeat of Messrs Colon and Garcia would be optimistic at best – but that should not dissuade us from those pitchers that could potentially be had on such a deal.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees Protect 3, Add Davis, Gamel, And Barbato To The 40-Man Roster

Guess the Yankees weren’t worried about leaving any roster spots open for free agent signings after all.  As the team announced, they added 3 players to their 40-man roster today to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft: Double-A right-hander Rookie Davis, Triple-A righty reliever Johnny Barbato, and lefty-hitting Triple-A outfielder Ben Gamel.  With the earlier move by the Rays to claim Chase Whitley off waivers clearing an extra spot, the 40-man roster is now full.

I’m actually a bit surprised.  I though the depth at their positions would be Barbato and Gamel’s undoing and instead it seems to be the reason they were kept over guys like Jake Cave and Chaz Hebert.  This tells me the Yankees are definitely planning to dip into that depth on the trade market.  … Click here to read the rest

Reviewing The Rule 5 Draft Roster Situation

Tomorrow is the deadline for teams to set the 40-man Major League, Triple-A, and Double-A rosters in preparation for next month’s Rule 5 draft.  The Yankees always seem to be under a 40-man roster crunch and never seem to have enough spots for protection-worthy players who are Rule 5 eligible, and this season is no different.  Here’s a quick breakdown of where the roster stands, what other moves might be made to clear space, and my thoughts on what players the Yankees will, won’t, should, and should not protect.

The Roster: Currently stands at 38 players.  21 pitchers, 3 catchers, 6 infielders (not including Ackley), 7 outfielders (including Ackley), and 1 Alex Rodriguez.

The Potential Casualties: Caleb Cotham, Domingo German

Cotham is a 28-year-old MiL lifer who just made his MLB debut in 2015.  He pitched to a 6.52/6.55 ERA/FIP split in 9.2 innings and gave up 14 hits and 4 homers.  He’s most likely a Quad-A player at best, and the Yankees have enough to righty relief depth to make up for his loss.… Click here to read the rest

The Free-est Free Agents

With the new-ish MLB Draft slotting system, teams are oftentimes forced to choose between signing a noteworthy free agent and a few million dollars in pool money. Signing a free agent that received a rejected a qualifying offer requires a team to forfeit their top pick (unless they are picking in the top-ten) – in the Yankees case, that would mean eschewing somewhere between $2 MM and $2.3 MM in the upcoming draft, in addition to the pick itself. To say that that would serve as a detriment to the team’s draft would be an understatement, given the team’s lingering IFA penalty that already limited the team’s activity this year.

Luckily for the Yankees, there are at least a dozen players that would fill the team’s needs for 2016 without any repercussions (besides the whole decline and injury potential thing, but that’s another story entirely) as they cannot receive a qualify offer due to being dealt at mid-season. We’ll known on Saturday what players were offered and rejected qualifying offers, as well.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees Decline Their 2016 Options, Brendan Ryan Exercises His

As expected, the Yankees declined their pair of $2 million options for next year on Andrew Bailey and Brendan Ryan.  Also as expected, Ryan exercised his $1 million player option for next year, keeping him on the 40-man roster and for the time being in the plans for 2016 as the backup shortstop.

Despite declining the option on Bailey, the Yankees do retain control over him as an arbitration-eligible player.  Nifty little job of contract/team control work there by Cash.  The Yankees very clearly like Bailey and wanted to give him as much time as possible to come back from his shoulder problems and prove he can still be an effective Major League pitcher.  He did the former this past season, throwing 30+ MiL innings and 8.2 innings in 10 MLB appearances.  The latter, not so much.  Bailey posted an 8.31 ERA in his small comeback sample with 10 hits, 5 walks, and only 6 strikeouts in his 8.2 IP.… Click here to read the rest