The New York Yankees, as they always do, passed when their turn to make a selection came up in Wednesday night’s Rule 5 Draft, the first such event held since 2020, when the Red Sox famously swiped Garrett Whitlock and the Guardians took Trevor Stephan from the Bombers.
Both of those men have become staples of their teams’ respective bullpens, and while the Yankees seem to have gotten off lighter this time around, they did lose a few notable names — one to Boston, and one to the Mets.
Ahead of the proceedings, the Yankees opted to protect a number of upcoming minor-league free agents (Matt Krook, Jimmy Cordero) instead of the majority of their Rule 5 eligible prospects (players drafted in 2017, international stars of the same age). When the deadline came three weeks ago, all the Yanks did was protect top prospect Randy Vásquez, fresh off a no-hitter in the Double-A playoffs.
This was in direct contrast to last fall, when they sliced numerous names off the roster — famously Clint Frazier and Rougned Odor — to make room for a massive 40-man shuffle, only for the Rule 5 to be canceled. Some luck.
2022’s edition of the annual merry-go-round was unpredictable for some (the Phillies and Dave Dombrowski stole former top prospect Noah Song from the Red Sox midway through his naval service), but went according to plan for the Yankees. In the MLB portion of the draft, the team lost impressive (but lower-on-the-totem-pole) reliever Zach Greene to the Mets and right-hander Wilking Rodriguez to the Cardinals.
Also gone? High-A reliever Ryan Miller to Boston, an erratic right-hander who came from independent ball and posted a 5.75 ERA last season with 50 Ks in 36 innings (1.31 WHIP). Toolsy, but not much more.
Yankees lose players in 2022 MLB Rule 5 Draft tracker, keep Andres Chaparro
Additionally additionally, you can add right-hander Nelson Alvarez (Tampa Bay) and infielder Oliver Dunn (Philadelphia) in the Triple-A phase of the draft. Done? Done. Exhale.
Greene was an obvious candidate to move, featuring a so-called “invisiball” fastball in the style of Chad Green. A consistent performer with the Yankees, Greene went a hilarious 9-0 at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season, whiffing 96 in 68.1 innings. If he wasn’t the Yankees’ highest priority, it’s certainly good for Greene personally to join Stephen Ridings in Flushing. He’ll have to stick all year, lest he be return to the Bronx.
Anyway, uh, here’s an absolute beast the Yankees did keep: Andres Chaparro, who has some of the best and most consistent exit velocity in the high minors. Guess no last-place teams wanted to stash a slugger all year long? Their loss! The Yankees left Chaparro unprotected and reaped the rewards of their risk.
Also still in the Yankees’ system? Right-hander Matt Sauer, who’s battled injuries since being selected in the second round in 2017, but “broke out” with a 17-strikeout game this summer at Double-A Somerset, racking up 134 whiffs in 109 innings. He stays, too. Nice.
The Yankees took a few risks heading into Wednesday night, but ultimately came out nicked rather than shattered. Chaparro should be fun to watch in the years to come, too, and has another year to prove he deserves a chance to be Josh Donaldson’s replacement (or, at least, a bench power threat).