Sunday, January 19, 2014

Who Gets The Cut If Masahiro Tanaka Signs Here?

I got to talking on Twitter this morning, because I believe in being social on social media which is rare for some reason among beat writers and people who cover the team, and I got thinking who exactly would be cut off the 40 man roster if Masahiro Tanaka were to sign with us? The cuts are becoming less and less obvious these days so I looked a little closer.

Just in case you did not know the Yankees, or any team, have until 5:00 pm ET on Friday January, 24 to make this official with Tanaka. That deadline includes signing him, passing the physical, and getting him on the 40 man roster. With the DFA of Vernon Wells and non tenders of Matt Daley and company the obvious choices are no longer obvious when it comes to who stays and who goes.

Here is a list of possible candidates to take the honor of losing his spot for the betterment of the team and for Tanaka to don pinstripes:

David Huff is a candidate, just not a very likely one or one that makes a ton of sense. The Yankees need pitching and really they need all the depth they can get after last season and losing Huff doesn't make sense right now. Huff can be a starting pitcher or a long man in the bullpen and makes a ton of sense for the Yankees to keep around at least through Spring Training. Unless he agrees to a minor league deal, which I can't see, then I say keep him around for a few more months.

Honestly I think we have far too many options in the infield and for the bench, as silly as that probably sounds, but I think they will all be safe in the Tanaka fallout. Dean Anna, Eduardo Nunez, and Brian Roberts are pretty safe at least until Spring Training. There is a small possibility that Nunez could be cut but I really cannot see it this early.

The cut I think comes from the plethora of outfield options that we have on the 40 man roster. Obviously four guys obviously come to mind that are safe but what about Ichiro Suzuki, Ramon Flores, Slade Heathcott, and Zoilo Almonte? I can't see the Yankees taking the media fallout of simply cutting Ichiro and with Slade and Zoilo seemingly the "future" of the Yankees outfield I see them staying put, which is bad news for Flores. Flores was a non tender candidate this January and made the cut which makes him an obvious choice here to clear a 40 man roster spot.

Flores doesn't do anything specifically and necessarily great but does a lot of things well making him pretty valuable. The problem is he is primarily a left fielder and has not developed any power in his career. If his speed numbers were impressive you could make the case for him but those have been lacking as well in his career, finding him on the roster without a spot to play and that will hurt when the Yankees roster crunch really hits them, like if Tanaka signs with us on Friday.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)