1. Oswaldo Cabrera
OK, maybe we should clarify. When we said earlier that Sears had the best chance to make the roster in Britton’s place simply because it’s an easier path for pitchers, maybe we should’ve walked that back.
Because when the Yankees let Tyler Wade go, signed nobody to rotate around the infield, and promoted Oswaldo Cabrera to the 40-man, they were basically rolling out the red carpet for the kid to make the Opening Day roster, providing more bench pop than Wade ever could with the same level of versatility.
The 22-year-old Cabrera (yes, he’s still just 22, too!) tapped into his power in a huge way last season, despite being overshadowed by Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe at short. The kid rocked 29 bombs in 467 at-bats spent mostly at Double-A, though he did manage a remarkable five additional homers in just nine games at the Triple-A level at the end of the season.
The speedy Cabrera brings everything Wade theoretically did, plus emergent pop that’s only likely to increase as he fills out more. With so many of the Yankees’ infield plans in flux, from Gio Urshela’s job security to DJ LeMahieu’s role to Gleyber Torres’ future, odds are Cabrera finds himself in the roster conversation sooner rather than later.
In fact, we’d go so far as to say he’s the favorite this spring, as long as New York doesn’t sign, say, Jonathan Villar to keep his seat warm for a year.