2. Oswaldo Cabrera
With the Yankees leaving their shortstop hole vacant, there was ample opportunity for 22-year-old Oswaldo Cabrera to make a lasting impression this spring after being added to the 40-man roster last fall …
… that is, of course, before that opportunity was taken from him thanks to these long-lasting negotiations that seem to be taking place on a treadmill/getting nowhere.
Cabrera could still make the Yankees’ Opening Day roster as the team’s Tyler Wade fill-in, and will have a chance to turn some heads whenever camp does open. His momentum has definitely slowed, though, considering it seemed like he had a serious shot to get some immediate starting reps while Gio Urshela, DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres all settled in.
You know how camp typically looks. The kids play right away while the vets loosen up for a bit.
Now, that schedule might be entirely altered. Whenever Spring Training does resume, there won’t be any time to waste.
Last season, while buried among a pile of shortstop prospects, Cabrera ran like Wade and hit like … well, somebody much better. In 109 games at Double-A, he drilled 24 homers and stole 20 bases, posting an .803 OPS. In a late-season promotion to Triple-A, he OPS’d 1.716 in nine games (LOL), ripping five more bombs.
The switch-hitting Cabrera, armed to the teeth with bat-flipping swagger, certainly had a chance to be an early-camp fan favorite and fill a utility role for the 2022 Bombers.
Alas … there is no early camp for 40-man roster additions, and he’s now floating with the rest of the veterans, legally unable to make his case.