Yankees dealing as 40-man roster freeze closes in


With Monday night’s 8 pm deadline for all 30 MLB teams to finalize their 40-man rosters, the Yankees are busy making room for upper-echelon prospects.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman continues to pull some pretty shrewd moves.

This time, trading 26-year-old relief pitcher Nick Rumbelow to the Mariners for two pitching prospects, JP Sears — an 11th round selection out of The Citadel in 2017, and Juan Then, a 17-year-old Dominican native who immediately ranks as the Yanks’ No. 28 overall prospect.

With more work to do before 8 pm on Monday, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com is reporting that the Yankees have also agreed to deal Ronald Herrera to the Rangers for left-hander Reiver Sanmartin.

Herrera, 22, appeared in just two big league games this past season.

With Herrera and Rumbelow departing the organization, the number of available slots for highly-touted prospects to be added to the 40-man roster now stands at four. It is widely believed the club will look to make at least one more trade to open a necessary fifth slot.

Back to Saturday’s trade, this is the third time in recent history that the Yankees have traded with the Mariners, sending pitcher James Pazos and Ben Gamel to the Pacific North West in separate deals.

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During Sears’ final year in college as a junior, the 21-year-old southpaw led Divison I with 142 strikeouts in only 95.1 innings pitched.

Somewhat uncharacteristic for a guy who only reaches the low-90s on his fastball, Sears relied upon a sharp high-70s slider and low arm slot to strikeout batters in bunches between Class A Short-Season Everett and Class A Clinton in ’17.

His impressive stat line included a 0.65 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 51 punch-outs (16.6 K/9) in 27.2 innings pitched during his first season of pro ball.

As for Then, who signed with the Mariners as an international free agent in July of 2016, the 6-foot-1, 155-pound right-hander combines a low-90s fastball, changeup and and breaking ball to keep hitters off-balance.

Though he has a-ways to go in regards to adding body weight, which should improve his velocity and stamina, Then used his smooth delivery to go 2-2 with a 2.64 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 13 starts for the Dominican Summer League Mariners.

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In 61.1 innings pitched, Then struck out 56 batters while holding the opposition to a .220 average — giving up only three home runs all season.