Back when the Yankees' offseason was young and innocent and Juan Soto was still bummin' around the west coast, it seemed like a wise move to take a chance on a slugging right-handed outfielder who'd killed them in the 2022 postseason before falling off a proverbial cliff in 2023 (though he still killed Triple-A!).
Now? That quaint move feels so unnecessary. Soto, Alex Verdugo and Trent Grisham are all around to provide necessary left-handed pop for the big-league Yankees, and their insurance policies at Triple-A include Bubba Thompson and Everson Pereira on the 40-man.
Though we never expected him to be the first player DFA'd with a full 40-man, former Guardians outfielder Oscar González got the boot for Marcus Stroman on Wednesday afternoon. With Luke Weaver's signing still to be officially announced, another one of these is likely coming down the pike as soon as Thursday.
Sorry, Spongebob. There was only room in this locker room for one Guardian who ran through the Yankees like butter in the 2022 postseason, and his name is Cody Morris.
Yankees 40-man roster: Who's next to go after Oscar González/Marcus Stroman move?
González, who posted a 125 OPS+ in 91 games in 2022 and a 53 mark in 54 games last season, will now head to waivers. There's a possibility he clears them; roster spots are precious. That would mean he'd return to Triple-A, but without the 40-man permissions that would allow the Yankees to promote him. As we learned from Estevan Florial's situation last summer, he likely wouldn't get a look, no matter how hard he destroyed the baseball.
With another corresponding move on the horizon, Jeter Downs and Thompson both seem likely to head out before ever really checking in. It's unlikely the Yankees minimize their pitching depth intentionally -- unless they swing a trade for another starter this week using several of their 40-man chips like Pereira, Oswald Peraza and Ben Rortvedt.
Stay tuned, because at the very least, Weaver's got to bump one more contender out of the ring by the end of the week.