The Yankees will have 83 players in camp when Spring Training starts. In order to try to narrow down who could start the season in the Bronx and who might start in Scranton it is helpful to know which players have options left. So a big thanks to Chad Jennings of the Journal News for clearing up some roster info for us.
A player having an option remaining simply means that they can be sent down to the minors without any hassle. If a player has no options left then they must first clear waivers before being assigned to a minor league affiliate.
Any rookies without much service time typically have plenty of options left. The players on the cusp who still have options left: Ivan Nova, Francisco Cervelli, Eduardo Nunez, and Cody Eppley. So any of those players can be sent to the minors at any point this season.
The first thing that jumps out at you is that it gives Stewart an edge over Cervelli. If the Yankees decide to carry Austin Romine, even as a backup, they will likely send Cervelli back to the minors, again, rather than risk losing Stewart.
Nova is close to being a lock to make the major league roster. If anything, he would probably start in the bullpen instead of in the minors. However, it does give the Yankees options if he’s struggling big time at some point this season.
Nunez and Eppley are probably still in the same position they were in a year ago where they coach each be shuttling back and forth between the Bronx and Scranton.
• Other helpful notes: Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera can opt-out of their deals if they don’t make the major league roster out of Spring Training. Dan Johnson also has an opt-out, but it probably isn’t until May or June.
• Lefty reliever and Rule 5 pick, Cesar Cabral, has to make the team otherwise be offered back to the Red Sox. However, since he missed all of last season he still has some rehab time left so he can be stashed in the Minors for the first 30 days of the season.