Trying to find the dead weight on the Yankees' 40-man roster is like trying to find shells on the beach. Oh, look, over there! Yeah, that one! Oop, that's a shell! It's very easy, is the point being communicated here.
The 2023 Yankees have found an interesting stride right at the end of a lost season after promoting Jasson Dominguez, Austin Wells, Everson Pereira and Oswald Peraza to join Anthony Volpe. They shouldn't enter 2024 riding too high and feeling like their offseason work's already done, though. Champions aren't entirely youth-based. The Yankees need depth, for chemistry purposes and as annually necessary injury insurance. The Yankees need bullpen and rotation arms. The Yankees need so much big-league talent to sustain themselves over a full season, rather than an (admittedly fantastic) nine-game stretch against the Tigers and Astros.
Even being generous, an initial sweep of the current 40-man roster reveals a large amount of clear upgrade opportunities -- not to mention the free agents who'll soon be leaving.
The Free Agent Departures Who'll Help Clear Spaces
These guys don't even technically belong in this exercise, but just to give you the full scope of which players you can expect to depart the Yankees' 40-man roster this spring, we'll add Frankie Montas, Wandy Peralta, Keynan Middleton, Luis Severino, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa. It's highly unlikely any of the five return, giving the Yankees 12 obvious spaces to fill (our projection has them dropping someone currently on the 60-Day IL). They should be able to both acquire big-league talent and protect prospects to their heart's content.
As for the other eight spots they should be able to clear relatively easily...