Yankees: Minor Leaguers ‘Shocked’ by Recent Release

Steinbrenner Field in 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Steinbrenner Field in 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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New York Yankees minor leaguers were shocked by the news of their release this week.

Though they were well aware of the current environment, Yankees minor leaguers were sure it wasn’t going to happen to them.

After all, they’d gone this long remaining employed by the richest franchise in sports, with their entire season still very much in doubt. Why would the organization’s behavior deviate now?

Unfortunately, the delay in action meant very little — 45 minor leaguers (some of whom would’ve been released at the end of Spring Training, if it had found its ending) were released this week, and they felt blindsided.

“…it sort of was a little bit unexpected, especially at the time, considering everything was going smooth, it felt like,” outfielder Alex Junior told NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty.

“All of a sudden, we got cut. It was a shock,” infielder David Metzgar echoed to the Yankees’ scribe.

Clearly, on some level, minor-league players have felt vulnerable from minute one, only safe at the end of camp because there had been a freeze installed on all transactions. But as they observed the Royals and Twins vow to keep all of their prospects paid and employed through the end of what might be a nonexistent season, that surely quelled their pessimism a bit.

After all, the small-market Royals with an entirely new ownership group had found a way to take care of their prospects. If any team had a built-in excuse to part ways with talent, it was KC, helmed by a man relatively unfamiliar with the ins and outs of this game, operating on a shoestring budget.

Alas, the Yankees fell victim last week to the same mentality that’s become far more pervasive in today’s game than the giving and nurturing mood in Kansas City has.

Next. Pessimism Grows About 2020 Season. dark

Yankees prospects who’ve remained with the organization will continue to earn a $400 stipend through the end of June. No word yet on what happens after that — this year’s five-round draft class and a series of undrafted free agents will be arriving next week, complicating things once more.