Yankees roster plans between now and the All-Star break

The Yankees made an interesting move yesterday when they claimed outfielder Darnell McDonald off waivers from the Boston Red Sox. It didn’t make sense at the time considering that he becomes the sixth Yankees outfielder, but George King of the NY Post got to the bottom of it.

No, they will not be cutting Dewayne Wise like I initially suspected. Instead they will carry six outfielders, but probably only through the weekend. They just want McDonald through the weekend as the Yankees will face three lefties which is McDonald’s specialty (he has a career .277/.345/.441 line against southpaws more than .150 OPS points better than against righties).

After the weekend is over the Yankees will go back to having five outfielders with McDonald likely being the one to go. It might seem silly to claim an outfielder to use him for three games and then cut him, but it does get him away from the Red Sox for the long term. Wise certainly could be the one to go too, but it seems unlikely as Brian Cashman seems to like him, he also plays all three outfield spots, and he has been hitting well of late.

To make room on the roster over the weekend, the Yankees will send David Phelps back down to the minors. Phelps isn’t going to be available over the weekend anyway and the All-Star break is after that so he can go down and finished getting stretched out as a starter. After that he’ll likely return to the Bronx as a starter, Freddy Garcia can go back to the pen (or visa versa) and D.J. Mitchell can go back to the minors.

In the meantime, the Yankees have a double-header on Saturday and a new rule lets Major League teams carry a 26th player on days where teams have double-headers. Expect the Yankees to recall Cory Wade for that with the strong possibility that he will be sent back down afterward.

The only question that remains is who is the player to be demoted once CC Sabathia is activated after the All-Star break as expected. It’ll likely be a pitcher as they’ll have 13 when he returns. Phelps will still be in the minors, Freddy Garcia will still be needed in the rotation, and they will still need a long-man which means D.J. Mitchell is likely safe, at least until Phelps comes back up. That leaves Chad Qualls as the probable odd man out following the All-Star break.

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