Steve Adams over at MLB Trade Rumors took a look at the most active GM's on the waiver wire over the last year. Unsurprisingly, Alex Anthopoulos of the Blue Jays ranked first with 22 claims. The Blue Jays have grown famous under Anthopoulos for claiming players and then placing them back on waivers, which, assuming successful, allows Toronto to move these players into their minor league system. They don't always succeed, but their win/loss record has helped them grab at least the first claim before many other teams. Brian Cashman ranked second overall, with 14 claims, and that was a little surprising. Unlike the Blue Jays, the Yankees have owned a strong win/loss record over the last year, meaning they'd regularly have a very low claim priority. Regardless, the Yankees have found plenty of talent that they liked and other teams passed on. Here's all 14 players from the last year.
Sam Demel RHRP Dan Otero RHRP Russ Canzler OF/1B Jim Miller RHRP Mickey Storey RHRP Josh Spence LHRP David Herndon RHRP Eli Whiteside C Darnell McDonald OF Chris Schwinden RHSP Danny Farquhar RHRP Ryota Igarashi RHRP Matt Antonelli IF Justin Thomas LHRP
As you can see, the majority of these players claimed are pitchers. Of the position players, both Russ Canzler and Darnell McDonald were claimed as parts to aid the Major League team, but Eli Whiteside and Matt Antonelli were eye'd as minor league depth. Because the Yankees have such a low waiver claim, they very often can successfully send these players to the minor leagues. Assuming a team doesn't want these players the first time through waivers, the Yankees will often put them right back on and hope no teams claim them, in which case the organization can send them to a minor league team.
Cashman has done this most often with relief pitchers, and the lack of relief prospects in Triple-A has probably contributed to that. The team's success in finding relief pitchers on the waiver wire is likely another factor in their aggressiveness, Cody Eppley being the biggest name over the last year. Even without major league contributions, many of these players have provided plenty of depth for the minor league teams. With all the injuries to position players this season, as well as the age of the team, I wouldn't be shocked to see the team start to target a number of position players in 2013.