With a pivotal 2023 ahead, the New York Yankees are once again tasked with ensuring every corner of their roster is as efficient as it can possibly be. The last three years have further maginified that this organization takes way too long to pull the plug on some players that just aren't working out.
One can hope Brian Cashman and Co. have learned from that, because the renewed expectations after Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo re-signed, as well as the additions of Carlos Rodón and Tommy Kahnle, leave little room for error, especially in an AL picture that largely favors them.
This team won 99 games last year (somehow in disappointing fashion) and will welcome Rodón, Harrison Bader, Oswald Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera for the entire season. DJ LeMahieu is fully healthy. Aroldis Chapman and Zack Britton, both of whom weighed the bullpen down for 2+ years, are gone.
The Yankees should be better this time around. And they have a pipeline of players that could help the cause, whether it's through promotions or the team using them as assets to acquire more talent. But on a more granular level, the Yankees can easily "upgrade" their big league roster by not giving these guys a long leash.
Note: There are obvious candidates such as Josh Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Aaron Hicks and Ben Rortvedt, but for the time being those remain unrealistic because of the money they're being paid (the first three) or the lack of opportunity they've had (Rortvedt). So we've come up with these players instead.
3 Yankees facing final chance to remain with team moving forward
Many wondered why the Yankees even bothered to bring Albert Abreu back after dumping him off to the Texas Rangers, but here he is. Some fans who don't want him actually pitch might look at his baseball reference page and say, "Hey! A 3.16 ERA, 2.92 FIP and 1.21 WHIP is actually pretty good for his 25.2 innings of work in 2022!" And you wouldn't entirely be wrong.
But Abreu's overall numbers with the Yankees are a 4.66 ERA, 4.92 FIP and 1.30 WHIP. When he's bad, he's bad. When he's good, he's fine. Not exactly electric and not exactly uninspiring. He's susceptible to the long ball. He unravels in a way that's frightening because of how swiftly it happens. We wouldn't say it's a stretch that fans would rather see Greig Weissert, Jhony Brito, Jimmy Cordero or Matt Krook get a chance over him.
The last guy in the bullpen can and (in the Yankees' case) should be better than Abreu. A bad spring should do him in.