Dickerson might be a perfect fourth or fifth outfielder for most any other team, but the Yankees abundance of left-handed outfielders makes him redundant on this roster. He cleared waivers when the Yankees designated him last spring, but it’s hard to imagine that happening this time. The Yankees don’t have to put him on waivers right away and can spend roughly a week trying to trade him instead.
At 30 years old, Dickerson has some speed, can play all three outfield spots, and has proven himself against right-handed pitching. In Triple-A this year, he seemed to make a legitimate step forward against lefties, leading to a .316/.417/.515 slash line with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He got a September call-up to New York where he hit .286/.412/.714 in limited at-bats. Dickerson might have made the postseason roster had Brett Gardner not come back from elbow surgery in time to play a role.
Essentially, Canzler fills a need — right-handed power, ability to play all four corners — which Dickerson does not. I would argue that Dickerson is the better player, but on this roster he’s not necessarily the better fit. I wrote a few weeks ago that it was basically inevitable Dickerson would be designated.