The Yankees made very minor changes to the Yankees 40-man roster today by releasing Mike Zagurski, making him a free agent, but the Yankees 40-man roster could have more open slots by the time the World Series is over. Lohud Yankees took a look at the different players and where they stand as they come off the 40-man roster. I’ll go a little further and say which players the Yankees obviously need to make a run for and which players to just let get go. (For this article we’re not going to count Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte since they are retired players. However, Rivera and Pettitte are two names coming off the 40-man).
Who To Keep: Cano, Reynolds, Kuroda, Logan, Granderson, Ryan
Who to Toss: Chamberlain, Hughes, Youkilis, Hafner, Overbay
Why To Stay: Robinson Cano is one of those players that you need to sign so your team doesn’t sink like the Titanic, but of course you don’t give Cano whatever he wants (hint, hint: No $300 Million, 10-years). Mark Reynolds is an obvious choice because he’s a cheap power bat, something you’re not going to find lying around in this year’s free agent market. Although Hiroki Kuroda faltered his final month of the season, he was still a great asset to the Yankees starting rotation. Just, the Yankees should consider giving him less innings. Boone Logan was good lefty in the pen for the Yankees, he just had an injury that got in his way the final month of the season. He’s pitched well in a Yankees uniform, having ERA’s under 4 each year since his arrival. In Curtis Granderson’s case, I would make him a qualifying offer and hope he takes it, just so he can rebuild his trade value in 2014 due to the injuries. I’m aware Brendan Ryan can’t hit, but he really knows how to play shortstop. Signing Ryan gives the Yankees a chance to rest an aging Derek Jeter more often in 2014 and use Eduardo Nunez as trade bait.
Why to Toss: Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes really need no reason as to why they need to leave. They haven’t been effective for the Yankees this season–at all. Kevin Youkilis and Travis Hafner continued to get hurt throughout the season (and Hafner can’t field, which makes his use very, very limited). Lyle Overbay would be a reluctant goodbye. He was great for the Yankees in 2013, but Mark Teixeira is returning next season, so there’s not really a place for him.
Who to Keep: Huff, Cervelli, Nix
Who to Toss: Stewart
Why to Keep: David Huff is very good out of the bullpen, I mean very good. He has issues as a starter but if you put him as a long relief, he’s pretty much shutdown. Cervelli is needed back because the Yankees need (at the least) a back-up catcher. Jayson Nix provides infield depth, but he’s a player that can’t be used every single day because he will wear and tear.
Why to Toss: Chris Stewart can’t hit and he lets too many passed balls go. He’s the type of player that you say, “We let Russell Martin go to Pittsburgh for this?”