While some Yankees fans undoubtedly wish Tommy Kahnle's return season had featured better health and stronger work with inherited runners, eating $6 million to release him ahead of Year 2 wouldn't seem to make much sense.
And yet, on the day Yankee fans were watching the 40-man roster with hawk eyes, given the approaching Rule 5 deadline, they couldn't help but notice that MLB.com's official Yankees roster switched from having two open spots to three sometime in the afternoon.
Ultimately, Kahnle was a fine 2023 Yankee, even if he was somewhat miscast as a fireman. He battled early-season injury issues like Carlos Rodón, but unlike the high-profile lefty, didn't face many speedbumps once he was activated. By the end of September, he'd made it through 40.2 innings with 48 strikeouts, a 1.107 WHIP and a 2.66 ERA. You take that all week long and twice on Sunday (again, provided there aren't any inherited runners involved).
It would make precious little sense for the Yankees to eat cash to make Kahnle disappear, as if his 2023 season had been a problem they were desperate to rid themselves of. And yet ... on Tuesday, fans noticed Kahnle had been removed from MLB's official Yankees roster.
What gave? Odd trade? Shocking release? According to The Athletic's Chris Kirschner, nothing at all. It was just a glitch.
Yankees Roster: Yes, Tommy Kahnle is still on the team.
Now, Kahnle's next hurdle is the non-tender deadline on Friday when, again, it's extremely likely he'll make it through unscathed, no matter what MLB.com thinks.
His teammates Kyle Higashioka, Lou Trivino and Jake Bauers might not be so lucky, though. The Yankees' 40-man roster is currently maxed out, following the additions of Clayton Beeter and Agustin Ramírez on Tuesday evening, though that won't be the case for very much longer. The team would be foolish to carry six catchers into the Winter Meetings. Some prospects will be dealt before too long (Beeter himself is only temporarily "safe"). Several Tommy John sufferers on year-to-year contracts will probably have to follow in Ryan Weber's footsteps and do their rehab elsewhere.
But Kahnle? He might just make it to Opening Day after all, as long as he keeps his right arm frozen and protected during the long winter.