The New York Yankees lucked out this offseason, surviving the Rule 5 Draft despite a clogged 40-man roster and getting to keep slugging third baseman Andres Chaparro against all odds.
That doesn't mean the 40-man is clogged for all the right reasons, though. There are a few fringe prospects we're surprised they haven't pulled the plug on yet, instead choosing to remain attached to their 2019 lines. There are a couple of bounce back candidates who'll struggle to rise above Triple-A this year. And ... there are some high-priced pain points who, ideally, would've already found new homes.
These five players would not be on an idealized version of the Yankees' 40-man roster entering the 2023 season -- and, if spring training shakes out the way some think it will, this list might be prescient.
Honorable Mention: Understand Albert Abreu's 2022 season represented an impressive performance relative to his 2021 season, but ... watching the Yankees wander back to him like an ex-boyfriend they *know* they can fix is getting tiresome. He still has a 99 MPH fastball. He still is shockingly hittable (25 hits in 25.2 innings with the Yankees), even though he cut down on walks. His results still don't match the stuff. He's probably among the season's first DFAs, even though that *terrifies* the Yankees. We get why he's on the 40-man. We're willing to change, too. But ... oy.
5 New York Yankees who should have been left off 2023 40-man roster
Deivi Garcia, RHP
It wasn't too long ago that Deivi Garcia was viewed as Pedro Martinez-esque -- by Pedro himself! -- and was taking the 2020 season by storm. He seemed to have that innate "pitchability" that can't be taught, getting by on guile more than stuff. He had a sense of the moment. He could carve up a powerful Blue Jays lineup without a classic "putaway pitch."
Then, the Yankees thought it would be a good idea for him to start Game 2 of the ALDS, pitch literally one inning, then depart. Did this absolute failure of a "gotcha!" move torpedo his career? Impossible to say. But since then, he hasn't had an iota of confidence or control at Triple-A, nearly falling off the prospect map from such great heights.
How could it have all just ... disappeared? It seems impossible, and yet two years of evidence doesn't lie. Garcia has barely been on the mound, but posted a 3-7 season with a 6.85 ERA, 21 homers, and 68 walks allowed in 90.2 innings in 2021. He followed that up after an offseason of retooling with a 6.89 ERA across two levels and an even worse 7.96 ERA in 37.1 Triple-A innings. 32 more walks. 13 more bombs. 64 innings. He's still striking out over a batter per inning (97 in 90.2 in 2021, 76 in 64 last season), but everything else is ghastly.
From "future rotation cornerstone" to nearly unpitchable in one season, followed by an additional season of data. So "Yankees" it hurts. We wish he'd earned his 40-man spot, but if someone out there can fix him, that person doesn't appear to be in the Yankees' organization.