The Yankees have seven starters to fill five spots and with no room in the rotation for the five near major league ready starters down in Triple-A they will have no shortage of bullpen options. That means the Yankees lone un-signed free agent, Luis Ayala almost definitely will not be coming back next year.
The Yankees will likely start the season with Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, Rafael Soriano, Phil Hughes, Cory Wade, and Boone Logan in the pen with Joba Chamberlain back by June. Lefty Cesar Cabral and righty Brad Meyers are a pair of Rule 5 guys that will have a shot to make the pen out of spring training. George Kontos, David Phelps, and D.J. Mitchell will be among the first of the minor league starters that could be called up to pitch out of the bullpen too.
That’s 12 options for seven likely openings in the pen and that’s not even counting Kevin Whelan or the minor leaguers not on the 40-man roster. No room at all for Ayala.