Here’s the question (or two) I’ve been reading: Why did the Yankees leave an open spot on the 40-man? Why not use that spot to protect another prospect from the Rule 5 draft?
Truth is, the Yankees already have too many players on the 40-man.
For every major league free agent the Yankees sign — and they seem likely to sign at least a left fielder, a designated hitter and a starting pitcher — they have to find a spot on the roster. There’s one spot open, but every other free agent addition comes at the cost of someone currently on the roster.
A spot might open by non-tendering Chien-Ming Wang (if that is, in fact, what the Yankees decide to do). Sergio Mitre might be a non-tender candidate as well (just a guess). Other spots could open through trades. Point is, something is going to have to change unless the Yankees are content to sign only one free agent this winter.
It’s very difficult to lose a player through the Rule 5 draft. Four Yankees were taken last year and none stuck. It’s very easy to lose a player through waivers. Steven Jackson, Anthony Claggett and Dan Giese jump to mind as Yankees who were claimed last year. Protecting too many players and having to DFA one of them can be worse than protecting too few players and running the risk of losing one in the Rule 5.