The New York Yankees, against all odds, actually did some significant work at Friday's non-tender deadline.
After filling their 40-man roster to the brim, thanks to the additions of Clayton Beeter and Agustin Ramírez on Tuesday, New York trimmed things back to 36, finding a taker for Jake Bauers on the trade market before declining to offer new contracts to Albert Abreu, Lou Trivino and Anthony Misiewicz.
Trivino was no surprise; his Tommy John rehab will knock him out for the bulk of 2024, his final season before free agency. Misiewicz was surprising, though only because most fans forgot he was even eligible/had survived the initial roster purge that resulted in the likes of Domingo Germán and Jimmy Cordero being tossed to the wolves. Abreu? Losing him was downright shocking, considering how often the Yankees have inexplicably faught to get his 99 MPH nothingball back. In 1974, Abreu would be the game's most dominant hurler. 2023? Avoid the center of the plate, beloved.
Letting four players seek greener pastures -- especially Bauers, who had an .800+ OPS for portions of 2023 and could've been retained as a depth piece -- sure seems like an indication the Yankees plan to meaningfully upgrade (or, at least, turn over) their roster this winter. They could start almost immediately, first sifting through the list of players that other franchises rejected on Friday to find some hidden gems.
One discarded name stands out among the rest -- and we'll get to that -- but there are several solid fits for the Yankees' new-look 2024 roster who became free agents against their will this week.
3 recently non-tendered new free agents Yankees should pursue
Adam Cimber, RHP
If it feels like Cimber has been a stone-cold killer within the Yankees' division for years, it's because that's more than just a feeling. Excepting 2023, the 33-year-old proto-submariner has been as nasty as it gets since joining the AL East with the Toronto Blue Jays, posting ERAs of 1.69 during the 2021 season's second half and 2.80 in 77 games in 2022 (with an un-reliever-like 10-6 record).
In 2023, things fell apart, as yelling, "Cimber!" meant he was plummeting to the earth. His ERA ballooned to 7.40 in 22 first-half games; a shoulder strain felled him for the season in mid-June.
Maybe Cimber hit a career wall. Maybe the age of 32 marked the end of his effectiveness. Or, far more likely, he battled shoulder issues during the season's first two and a half months, was never right, and finally called it. The Jays had no interest in absorbing Cimber's escalating cost, which would surely have included a raise on the $3.15 million he made last season entering his final year of arbitration ability. The Yankees should flex their muscles and mock the Blue Jays' thriftiness here. Whether the gambit works or not, that's a small price to pay for a proven AL East competitor.