The "Let's Have Fun": Will Warren, RHP
OK, so it's one year early for Warren, who doesn't technically have to be protected until 2024-25. Counterpoint: Live a little?
No, the Yankees don't need to protect Warren this offseason, but adding him to the 40-man is a time-saving maneuver. They're likely going to have to call him up in May anyway, right? So why DFA someone when the time comes when you could've just had Warren approved and in the pipeline from jump street?
Warren, expected to take a major step forward and emerge as the Yankees' top pitching prospect in 2023 after the departures of Ken Waldichuk and Hayden Wesneski, was lapped in the public consciousness by Drew Thorpe and Chase Hampton.
That doesn't mean he wasn't excellent, though.
Warren efficiently disposed of Double-A, posting a 2.45 ERA in six starts and striking out 39 men in 29.1 innings to begin the year. After being promoted, he hit the typical roadblock, but recovered to end his season in dominant fashion. The overall numbers are good, too; 110 Ks in 99.1 innings, alongside a 3.61 Triple-A ERA (and, yes, 47 walks), do an excellent job of papering over his 5.17 June ERA and 6.14 July mark.
The sweeper-heavy righty wrapped the campaign with potentially his two most effective starts of the year; Warren combined for 10 innings, seven hits, 17 strikeouts, and a single earned run allowed across the pair of outings. So what if he doesn't need to be added to the 40-man, by definition? The Yankees will need him next season. This just gives them a head start on things.