You were expecting a blockbuster trade, weren’t you? How about some shocking releases instead? Will that satiate your need for drama, New York Yankees fans?
On Friday, MLB teams needed to make their final 40-man roster decisions before protecting players from the Rule 5 Draft … which will take place at some point whenever there’s a new collective bargaining agreement. It will not take place at the tail end of the Winter Meetings.
For weeks, we were expecting the Yankees to clear significant space to make room for up-and-coming talent they weren’t comfortable losing for free. They did just that, but some of the names included in the shuffle were unexpected.
And some of the names staying? Still kind of can’t believe it. For starters, Miguel Andújar is still here (why?) and Zack Britton, for now, will eat up $14 million against the tax despite the fact he will not be throwing a pitch in 2022.
So who were the top casualties on Friday? For starters, the Bombers traded pitcher Nick Nelson and catcher Donny Sands to the Phillies in a move that cleared two 40-man spots. OK! Somewhat expected.
But the bloodbath came soon after. Say goodbye to Rougned Odor, Tyler Wade and Clint Frazier, all of whom were designated for assignment. Woof. That’s a lot. The team will now have seven days to re-add them to the 40-man roster, trade them, release them, or outright them to the minor leagues. Nonetheless, consider them as good as gone.
The Yankees cut some surprising names off the 40-man roster.
You can’t say you saw Odor and Wade coming. Frazier, though not shocking when you sit down and look at the big picture, is still jarring when you think about what could have been given his talent.
Many figured Odor was becoming a clubhouse fixture due to his outgoing nature and noticeable passion — something this Yankees roster seriously lacked. As for Wade, he was finally starting to show glimpses of what the organization was hoping he would become back when he was a top prospect. Plus, Odor’s salary was being paid for by the Rangers AND Wade was under team control through 2025 for pennies.
As for Frazier, he unfortunately lost his spot on this team after his awful first half of 2021 before vision/dizziness issues plagued him, effectively ending his campaign. It just wasn’t working out.
In the end, the Yankees protected almost all of the guys fans were anticipating. Oswaldo Cabrera, Everson Pereira and Ron Marinaccio were the obvious choices, with JP Sears and Stephen Ridings (!) seemingly coming out of nowhere to earn spots. The roster size is back at 40 for the moment.
What other moves can we expect before Dec. 1, assuming the Yankees want to make more additions before the likely lockout occurs once the CBA expires?