Roster Moves: Yankees sign RHP Johnny Barbato, RHP Rookie Davis and OF Ben Gamel to Major League contracts, select them to the 40-man roster
— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) November 20, 2015
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. We've seen them do it already this year, I think we're going to see it happen again. Maybe it's Gamel, but guys like Slade Heathcott and Mason Williams have to be looked at as trade pieces now just like Brett Gardner.
Davis could be on the fast track to Triple-A if he starts hot in Trenton next year, and that puts him on the Major League radar in 2016. You have to protect a guy like that. His stuff and his command took big steps forward this season and now the Yankees get a chance to see what they really have in him as a Major League prospect.
It'll be interesting to see who slips through the Rule 5 Draft now and who doesn't. I could see a team taking a chance on Hebert or Tony Renda. Have to think the Yankees are counting on Cave to make it through.