Yankees: Four players with value who should be traded

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
2 of 5
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Mason Williams

The Yankees cast their die in the case of Mason Williams when they brought up Rob Refsnyder as a replacement for Jacoby Ellsbury, who landed on the DL Wednesday with a concussion and neck strain.

The argument is not that Williams should have been called up before Refsnyder. The team made a baseball decision based logically on which player could help the team the most in current time. A decision that is also mindful of Refsnyder’s versatility and ability to play positions in the infield should the need arise.

Instead, the question should turn to whether or not the Yankees have reached the end of the line with a player who was once their top prospect but is still languishing in the minor leagues.

Readers with a better memory than myself may recall that I penned a piece on New Year’s Eve in 2016 wondering if Williams was the odd man out in the team’s outfield plans.

It was true then, and it’s even truer now that Williams appears, for whatever reasons that Williams is merely an afterthought for the Yankees. And that’s not necessarily the Yankees fault.

Williams is currently hitting only .234 for the Triple-A Railriders and demonstrating none of the power that is associated with being an outfielder for the Pinstripes. And this is not the first time Williams had shot himself in the foot when an opportunity was on the horizon.

Drafted by the Yankees in 2010, he has now been with the organization for eight years with only 48 at-bats at the major league level.

Nevertheless, Williams still has that tag around his neck that says “potential.” After all these years, he’s still only 25. He’s also shown flashes of brilliance as recently as last season when he hit an overall .298 with three different teams in the minors.

Thus, he still has value. The Yankees have nothing to lose in trading Williams, and very little to gain unless Cashman can work his magic again. Williams can be a bonafide fourth outfielder for a team that needs one.

The umbilical cord between the Yankees and Williams needs to be cut if only to create a precious spot for protected players on the 40-man roster.