On Tuesday, the New York Yankees set the stage for Aaron Judge’s coronation as captain, making his nine-year contract official with a barrage of tweets, hype videos, and graphics.
That was the easy part, though. The 40-man roster had an empty space on it just waiting for Judge’s arrival, and no further cleanup was necessary to announce his captaincy.
Carlos Rodón, on the other hand? His move to New York couldn’t be made official until the Yankees pulled off a trade or DFA — big or small — to get him a roster spot, something they’ll need to do once again when they announce Tommy Kahnle (or any of the bullpen moves Judge hinted at on Wednesday).
Lo and behold, shortly after the Judge presser wrapped, the Yankees announced a press conference for Rodón tomorrow at 10, while everyone was still in town from the first one.
At that point, fans watched the clock and waited. What would it be? Bryan Reynolds? Something with Domingo Germán, since it seemed like Rodón was going to steal his number?! Something completely out of left field to help fill … well, left field?
NYY sign Carlos Rodón, DFA Junior Fernández off Yankees 40 man roster
Nah. Nope. Turns out, the Yankees instead cut bait with the player who’d spent the least time in the organization, letting former Pirates/Cardinals reliever Junior Fernández go.
When the Bombers signed Fernández, we all had a fun time during the doldrums of the offseason speculating about how his turbo sinker could make him the next Clay Holmes under Matt Blake’s tutelage. Got another one from out of the Pirates’ clutches! What a gift!
Eh. Instead, fans will now hope Blake didn’t impart any wisdom upon him before he departed, taking his career regular-season ERA of 5.17 elsewhere.
Next up in the 40-man roster shuffle? Relievers like Matt Krook, Jhony Brito or Jimmy Cordero, plus more established names like Lucas Luetge, Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia.
Will the Yankees deal Luetge/Schmidt in the coming days to announce Kahnle, or will they slice someone like Brito back into the free agent pool effortlessly? TBD. For now, the Bombers have taken the simplest way out.