In a way, veteran Marcus Thames and Rule 5 pick Jamie Hoffmann are in the same boat this spring. They’re both right-handed outfielders who will either make the major league roster, or likely won’t be in the Yankees organization at all.
Hoffmann has to stick on the 25-man roster or else be offered back to the Dodgers. Thames signed a minor league contract, but he can opt out if he doesn’t make the major league roster.
“He was brought in to compete for a spot on the 25-man roster,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “And at the end of camp, if he makes it, great. If he doesn’t make it, he’s free.”
Thames has big time power from the right side, and he has considerable experience at the major league level. Hoffmann is a better defensive player, with considerable upside if he can stick around.
“It’s his spot to lose,” Cashman said. “Hoffmann is on the 25, with restrictions. He’s like an out-of-options guy. He either makes it or he loses it.”
Although Hoffmann is “like an out-of-options guy,” he actually does have options remaining. If he makes it through this season on the big league roster, the Yankees can option Hoffmann to Triple-A next season.