Once the lockout is lifted (between now and 2023), the New York Yankees are expected to make additions via free agency and trades, which would create a bit of a roster crunch. Right now, their 40-man roster is at 39 and plenty of jobs are up for grabs.
The Bombers still need to add a shortstop, a position currently occupied by nobody. A change at first base is coming. Ender Inciarte might disrupt the current outfield situation. The rotation and bullpen will feature a number of new faces competing for supremacy.
This will not be the same 40-man roster come 2022 Opening Day and we’re not going out on a limb to assume at least five players’ spots are in jeopardy with the impending changes only being held up because the league can’t get its priorities in order.
Nobody knows what’s definitively next, but there have been warning signs and crumb trails leading us to the next series of Brian Cashman moves.
Some players will be let go for good reason. Others because life is unfair. And more because of a logjam at a certain position.
Because if sweeping changes aren’t en route to address the shortcomings of this roster, then we might be looking back at this list saying “What the f—?!”
These 5 Yankees might have trouble holding onto their 40-man roster spots.
5. Deivi Garcia
What to do with Deivi Garcia. The young right-hander (22 years old) was a revelation during the shortened 2020 when he stepped into the rotation to deliver gutsy performances when every win mattered. In six starts, he averaged over five innings per outing, finished with a 4.98 ERA, 4.15 FIP, 1.19 WHIP and 33 strikeouts in 34.1 innings.
In 2021? He made two stops at the MLB level — an underwhelming showing against the lowly Orioles and a disaster against the Tigers — and went 0-2 with a 6.48 ERA, 4.85 FIP, 1.44 WHIP, and seven strikeouts in 8.1 innings. But that wasn’t even the worst of it.
Whatever mechanical change was made to Garcia’s windup destroyed him in Triple-A, where he went 3-7 with a 6.85 ERA and 1.88 WHIP (!!!) across 24 games (22 starts), totaling 90.2 innings. He walked 68 batters. Again, we don’t know what happened.
And if he can’t be some sort of a hybrid between spot starter and multi-inning reliever for the Yankees, we just don’t know why they’d continue wasting a 40-man spot on him. Garcia’s name has come up in trade talks as an additional piece in potential larger deals, too, so that could end up being his fate.
But if he proves nothing during spring training, the Yankees might not have a problem squeezing him off the roster if they don’t see a fit for what they need at the moment.