As it stands at this moment, the New York Yankees‘ 40-man roster is full. But that doesn’t prevent them from making more moves this offseason once the trade market materializes, allowing the front office to potentially swing deals for bullpen arms or outfielders.
Even if that doesn’t happen, it’s hard to see this 40-man roster remaining static for the entirety of 2023, especially with so many players hanging on by a thread. It also wouldn’t be surprising if we saw some axed from the active roster if/when push comes to shove.
While the Yankees upgraded for the 2023 season, their offense still has a lot of question marks. Will Josh Donaldson become … average? Is DJ LeMahieu healthy? Who will play left field? What’s Gleyber Torres’ status/future? Will Oswald Peraza be an immediate fit at shortstop? Will Giancarlo Stanton be able to last a full season?
Right now, the only constant forces feel like Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, Harrison Bader and Jose Trevino, from an all-around baseball perspective. And that really won’t be good enough.
It’s totally fine if the Yankees enter 2023 with the collection of players they have at this point in time, but it’d be criminal if we’re looking at the same group even midway through the year if there appear to be bumps in the road.
These 5 players on the Yankees’ 40-man roster might not make it through 2023
5. Aaron Hicks
Hicks comes in at No. 5 because it still feels unlikely he’s traded (who will make a deal for him?) or released in the near future. The Yankees aren’t going to wave the white flag in trade talks, nor will they willingly eat the remaining money on Hicks’ contract (~$30 million).
But if he draws the ire of the fanbase again with his poor play, lack of hustle and uninspiring body language? The Yankees might not have a choice — kind of like this offseason when Hal Steinbrenner went the extra mile to re-sign Judge, add Carlos Rodón, and bring back Tommy Kahnle as the groans grew louder.
Nobody’s even penciling in Hicks as the starting left fielder for 2023 despite the fact there’s an obvious vacancy. He’ll be competing for the job with minor-league invites to spring training. He profiles as a bench player/fourth outfielder, but he’s getting paid like a middling starter.
This situation has already reached a boiling point. When it fully spills over, the Yankees may not be left with any other decision than to find a way to offload him no matter the cost.