With the Pineda-Campos trade now completed, and the Jones and Kuroda signings official, now is probably a good time to check in on the current roster situation and how the Yankees are managing it.
Truth is, from both the 25- and 40-man perspective, the Yankees are in good shape right now. Working off of the 40-man roster as it stands today, I see 21 guys who are going to be no-doubt inclusions on the initial 25-man to open the season; 10 pitchers (Garcia, Kuroda, Logan, Nova, Pineda, Rivera, Robertson, Sabathia, Soriano, Wade), and 11 position players (Cervelli, Martin, Cano, Jeter, Nunez, Rodriguez, Teixeira, Gardner, Granderson, Jones, Swisher). I would anticipate either Phil Hughes or A.J. Burnett being the 11th pitcher on the staff, but not both of them, to up the number to 22, with the Yankees still looking to add a lefty DH and an Eric Chavez-type to provide some bench and corner infield depth. Those additions would bring them to 24, still leaving them a slot to finish out the 12-man pitching staff with whoever wows the coaches the most in Spring Training.
Using the 40-man to add those players they still need should not be a problem either. Right now, the Rule 5 guys, Cesar Cabral and Brad Meyers, are likely the next in line to go if the Yankees fill their DH spot through a signing. If they somehow do manage to trade A.J. for a bat, that player would simply take his spot on the 40-man and that would work as well. If there are multiple FA moves made, the Yankees would likely look to one of the duo of Chris Dickerson and Justin Maxwell as the next cut to make room. It's unlikely that the Yankees will spend the money to add 3 more free agents, but they have the roster wiggle room right now to do it.
It was a little shaky earlier in the offseason, but right now the Yankees are in a very good position in terms of roster management. They're set up to build arguably the deepest and best 25-man roster in baseball to open the season, and they have the room to do it without having to sacrifice any of the young talent they have on the 40-man roster (Betances, Phelps, Adams, Joseph, Romine, Almonte). And once the season starts, they'll be able to open up a little more room by transitioning Feliciano and Joba to the 60-Day DL.
It's all coming together nicely right now. Just keep the days ticking off that calendar so we can get to pitchers and catchers reporting.
Weekend Open Thread: 1/25/15
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