3. Matt Sauer
Matt Sauer, the toolsy right-hander from the second round of the 2017 draft, has been around so long that it’s easy to forget he’s still just 23, he’s now healthy, and he’s putting up the type of numbers prospect huggers long ago envisioned at High-A Hudson Valley.
Sauer’s a beneficiary of the 2021 Rule 5 Draft being axed, not a victim. If the proceedings had gone on as scheduled, he likely wouldn’t have been selected, though there’s a chance the Yankees would’ve lost him; he posted a 4.69 ERA across 111.1 innings with 127 Ks last season, split between Tampa and Hudson Valley.
Now? Sauer’s a high priority, dominating High-A in his second crack at the level. He sports a 3.39 ERA in 14 starts (71.2 innings) along with a 1.10 WHIP and 85 strikeouts. Known for his big, bending breaking ball, he’s managed to pull the whole arsenal together ahead of this year’s deadline, leaving the Yankees with a (you won’t believe this) decision to make!
Do they trust Sauer’s 2022 adjustments enough to give him a roster spot at year’s end? Or would they rather bank on their depth yet again and attach the injury-prone breakout arm to one of many deals that are sure to go down?
They already survived one chance at losing Sauer for nothing when the 2021 festivities got canceled. Do they want to risk the Rule 5 Reaper arriving for him this winter?