3 Yankees DFA candidates who could lose 40-man roster spot before Opening Day

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Lucas Luetge #63 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

1. Lucas Luetge

PROS: Clearly, DFA’ing Luetge is the nuclear option here, if there’s no one else to transfer and if the Yankees need to clear three spots.

CONS: There’s … nobody left. If it comes down to it, either Luetge or Joely Rodriguez could be the odd man out. Couple earlier spring reports about the Cardinals scouting Luetge (unsubstantiated buzz, but still), as well as rumors of significant trade interest at the end of 2021, and you’ve got yourself a slightly unsecured crafty lefty.

Now, if you’re asking for our take? We’d much rather lose Rodriguez than Luetge, who posted absurd spin rates and exceptional Statcast percentiles in 2021. Rodriguez comes with a sunken cost, though, after the Bombers brought him back at a $2 million price tag after briefly slicing him free.

If the Yankees need a third roster spot, it’s far more likely they find a taker on the trade market for Luetge than outright cut him. Judging by his 2021 usage, though, in which he found himself in low-leverage situation after low-leverage situation despite posting numbers good enough to raise the bar, there might be other teams out there who are more appreciative of what he can provide.

And, again … this would be a brutal maneuver, but “too much talent” is a good problem to have. If slicing has to be done, it’s not going to be one of the new additions. It’ll be the cheaper middle-innings left-hander, and that’s the (not-so-sneaky-anymore) sneakily-effective Luetge.