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  • James Vlietstra

A Deep Roster Dive

by James Vlietstra

February 22, 2024


In a typical year, there are roughly 12 to 15 players turned over out of the 40-man roster. Last August 14, I wrote an article ( that suggested that we could see 25 players (out of 49, due to injuries) removed. Well, as of February 17, there was exactly 24 players remaining on the 40-man, meaning 25 have been removed. 


That number Is inflated a bit due to injuries and the fact that some place holders were known to be temporary. Regardless, as pitchers and catchers have reported, I don’t think many fans realize just how much turnover to the roster there has been. 


The following seven players combined to provide 33 innings pitched or 31 at bats for the 2023 Yankees: Jasson Dominguez, Scott Effross, Luis Gil, Yoendrys Gomez, Jonathan Loasiga, and Luke Weaver. Injuries really ravaged the team. 


There are 14 players that are new to the roster for 2024. The following eight combined for 14.2 innings pitched and 61 at bats at the Major League level in 2023: Clayton Andrews, Clayton Beeter, Jordan Groshans, McKinley Moore, Cody Morris, Carlos Narvaez, Cody Poteet, and Jorbit Vivas. 


Marcus Stroman was brought in as a free agent to be a third or fourth starter, looking to improve upon his 77-76 career record. Caleb Ferguson and Victor Gonzalez are both left-handed relievers that were in the Dodgers' bullpen last season. The biggest moves that the Yankees made were the trades that brought them Juan Soto and Trent Grisham and the trade for Alex Verdugo. 


Clearly the overall roster is a lot younger and hopefully more flexible. Last year’s biggest weakness was their offense. With the addition of Soto, the Yankees have addressed the problem. However, in doing so, they vastly reduced their pitching depth. They are counting on a return to 2022 form from Nestor Cortes and Carlos Rodon. They will probably also need substantial innings from some of their new roster members. 


Health was also a major concert last year, with 2,158 missed games, according to USA Today. The team has already added three players to the 60-day IL: Dominguez, Effross, and Trivino will all miss the first two months of the season. They are all continuing to comeback from injuries that cost them the end of last year. 


There’s been several changes in recent years to the baseball calendar. I’m not exactly sure how these changes will affect Rule 5 eligibility and minor league free agency yet. These changes include the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season, the start of the international signing period changing from July 2nd to January 15th, the Rule 4 June amateur draft taking place in August, and the Arizona and Florida Complex Leagues scheduled to be completed before the draft commences. 


The Yankees have over 80 Rule 5 eligible prospects in their system. These are usually the players that Brian Cashman usually tries to promote or trade at the deadline so that they aren’t lost for nothing. Some of the bigger names on this year’s list include Edgar Barclay, Brendan Beck, Anthony Hall, Justin Lange, Zach Messinger, Ben Rice, Montana Semmel, Jared Serna, Alexander Vargas, and Trystin Vrieling. 


Another new rule that begins this year and has already caused several players to be released is the domestic minor league roster cap. During the offseason the limit is 175. In season, the number drops to 165. This leaves some questions:


Do less players get promoted from the DSL?

Will 25 players get released at the end of the FCL season just in time for the draft?

Will there be less value in AAAA players sticking around in case of injury instead of a more valuable prospect?

Will independent ball become a viable location to try to further a career?

Will catchers like Josh Breaux and Anthony Seigler get cut after the spring training need is over especially because they are behind Wells, Trevino, Rortvedt, Narvaez, Ramirez, and Rice on the depth chart and they have several good prospects ready to advance?

Another important factor for determining the flexibility of a roster for this year and future ones is the the number of waiver options their players have. As a business, sometimes a team will send a player to the minors in order to not lose another player for nothing. 

These are the amount of options available for players on the Yankees roster:





A. Ramirez-3




Effross-3 (Injury rehab does not count as an option)














N. Ramirez-1




Y. Gomez-0


All of these questions that this all brings up will be answered in due time. But for now, sit back and enjoy the daily updates as our long winter is finally wrapping up and games will start before you know it. 



Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Feb 23

Whenever the Yankees acquire a new slugger or impact hitter, I hear fans and NYC Sports Talk hosts gleefully reciting the lineup, inserting the newly acquired slugger's name into it. They'll mention the entire lineup from the top of the batting order, star-by-star, inserting names of newly acquired stars like Juan Soto, or before him, Edwin Encarnacion, and before him, Giancarlo Stanton, etc, etc, etc, into that already "potent lineup, as if this Yankee lineup that now includes this new slugger is a modern day "Murderers Row" that is going to bludgeon every opponent they face every day of the season.

Or an "ace caliber" pitcher is added to a starting rotation that has 4 other "ace caliber" starting pitchers…

Feb 23
Replying to

Assuming health, when Dominguez returns, they will have Judge, Dominguez, and Soto in the outfield with Stanton at DH while rotating in Grisham and Verdugo

In the infield it’ll be Rizzo, Torres, Volpe and Peraza with Cabrera and LeMahieu getting ample playing time as reserves.

Wells/ Narvaez can get a 60/40 split at catcher

Rotation of :

Cole 35 starts

Schmidt 32 starts

Rodon 27 starts

Cortes 26 starts

Stroman 26 starts

Hampton/ Beeter/ Warren the rest

They’ll be pushing 100 wins and hopefully they’ll be healthy headed into the playoffs


Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Feb 22

Of all the Rule 5 eligible players you mentioned, the one that would bother me the most if they lost him would be Ben Rice. He is too good a prospect to lose, especially for nothing in return.

Feb 23
Replying to

I think by the end of the year 3-4 players will be in that category


Feb 22

Alan is correct… Peraza, Gil & Gomez were all given a 4th option year in January.

The roster crunch on the 40 man isn’t a real issue as far as I can see. The team has a total of 10 players possibly up for free agency this offseason (including their options on Rizzo, Trivino & Weaver). Additionally, there are a number of reclamation projects picked up in the last month or so as flyers. As usual, Cashman is trying to catch lightning in a bottle with a few guys like he has done in the past. The organization would likely have little pause in releasing guys like Poteet, Moore, Andrews, Morris if they don’t pan out in 2024.

The bigger…

Feb 23
Replying to

The semantics are so important


Feb 22

Good info!!

Feb 22
Replying to

Glad you’re able to use it


Feb 22

Hmmm you may be right with Vrieling. There’s over 350 players on the spreadsheet, I may have been off by a line.

I’m not a fan of stacking AAA with veterans either.

Trivino doesn’t bother me much. They signed him last second and then put him on 60-day IL immediately. He didn’t cost anyone their spot.

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