When McKinney and Co. were sent away on Thursday, that left Yankees Twitter buzzing about one name more than any other: Jake Bauers.
Bauers seemed like a diamond in the rough when he was first promoted, ranking among the Yankees' leaders in OPS far longer than expected (which was an indictment on just about everything, sure, but Bauers was legitimately in the .800s and performing well). Midway through the campaign, though, the lefty hit an historic wall, which happened to basically coincide with Anthony Rizzo's rehab and fuzzy departure. The spotlight was on Bauers, and his resulting horrific slump left him under .700 in the OPS department at .693; he finished subtracting -0.9 bWAR from New York's moribund offense. That won't play.
So why wasn't Bauers sent packing Thursday? Does that mean he stays, as much of the internet decided in unison? Yes and no. It could mean the Yankees keep him in the system, but it has nothing to do with the prominence of his role moving forward. It likely means they plan to attempt to shop him prior to Nov. 17, and will make their final decision over the next few weeks. Regardless of whether he stays or goes, he won't be a starter next season. Not everyone at Triple-A Scranton has to be someone Yankees Twitter is united behind in full faith, folks.
How Many Players Are Currently on Yankees 40-Man Roster? Open Spots
Thursday represented the easiest portion of the dirty work, but just because six men have departed doesn't mean the 40-man is all the way down to 34 players. Remember all the long-term injured guys who were sent to the 60-day IL and left for dead? Yeah. They're going to have to be dealt with soon.
Entering Thursday, 43 men were either on the 40-man roster or long-term IL (Luis Severino and other free agents have already formally departed). Weber took up one of those IL spots, while Germán and Cordero were both ineligible at season's end (but were still listed among those 43 spots).
Prior to the start of 2024, the Yankees will (presumably) activate Nestor Cortes Jr., Anthony Rizzo, Jose Trevino, Luis Gil, and Scott Effross, leaving Jasson Dominguez (sad) and Lou Trivino on the shelf for a while longer. With the 40-man now at 37, they'll need two more spots cleared to accommodate those activations. A season full of injuries leads to significant overcrowding; more DFAs and non-tenders are on the horizon. Players in danger include Bauers, Higgy, Ben Rortvedt, Estevan Florial, Anthony Misiewicz, Albert Abreu, and Matt Krook.