State of the 40-Man Roster
Current State of the Yankees 40-Man Roster
by James Vlietstra
February 7, 2022
The MLB owners locked out the players when the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement expired on December 1st. Prior to that, the Yankees were relatively quiet. They re-signed Joely Rodriguez. They traded Donny Sands, Nick Nelson, and Tyler Wade. In addition, Clint Frazier, Rougned Odor, Chris Gittens, Andrew Velazquez, Tim LoCastro, and Greg Allen were all released.
Next, Stephen Ridings, Ron Marinaccio, JP Sears, Oswaldo Cabrera, and Everson Pereira were all added to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft.
Some of the Minor League free agents that were signed with invitations to spring training are Jose Peraza, David Freitas, Jimmy Cordero, Ender Inciarte, Vinny Nittoli, Manny Banuelos, and Ryan Weber.
As of the pause, on business, the Yankees have yet to address their needs at Shortstop or the rotation spot previously held by Corey Kluber. The 40-man roster currently stands at 39, which means they can sign a free agent without needing to make a corresponding roster move.
Here are all the members of the Yankees 40-Man Roster along with a short preview of what we can expect from them this season:
Albert Abreu 26, RHP Out of options. This is the year he needs to step up and claim his bullpen spot with a strong spring or else risk being removed.
Miguel Andujar 27, OF In 2018 he showed what an offensive force he is when healthy. If the universal DH is ratified, his trade value soars.
Zack Britton 34, LHP Underwent Tommy John Surgery in September and is expected to miss the entire year. He will be placed on the 60-Day IL at the conclusion of spring training which will open up a spot on the 40-man.
Oswaldo Cabrera 23, SS The switch hitting shortstop opened up a lot of eyes at AA Somerset last year which earned him the roster spot. He will be competing for the Major League position that was formerly held by Tyler Wade as a super utility backup that can start at short in a pinch.
Aroldis Chapman 34, LHP Is expected to once again be the closer as he enters his walk year. He no longer throws 105 but has learned to pitch more effectively with a fastball that only tops out at 99.
Gerrit Cole 31, RHP Once again will toe the rubber as the ace of the staff, still in his prime. If all goes as planned, he should compete for the Cy Young Award.
Nestor Cortes Jr 27, LHP Cortes has developed into a fan favorite and a reliable #4 type starter
Estevan Florial 24, OF Still a very toolsy athlete. His defense, speed, and arm are well above average. That alone makes him a viable late innings defensive replacement and #4 outfielder. Still struggling with pitch recognition. Will battle in spring for opening day roster spot.
Joey Gallo 28, OF Power, speed, defense, arm, and eye. Managed a 4.7 WAR with a batting average of .199. Poised to be a breakout superstar if he can cut down on his strike outs.
Deivi Garcia 22, RHP Coming off a horrendous season when the team had him tinkering with his mechanics. Was a top 100 prospect a year ago. Fingers crossed that he figures it out.
Domingo German 29, RHP Should continue to be a solid #3 starter. Also could be an attractive trade chip with 3 years of control.
Luis Gil 23, RHP Emerged last year as a viable option out of the bullpen. Still has the potential to be a starter.
Yoendrys Gomez 22, RHP Between injuries and the pandemic has only pitched 23 innings in the past two years and has only advanced as far as Tampa. A successful month or two for the Renegades could lead to an early promotion to Somerset.
Chad Green 30, RHP Has been a key part of the bullpen since his arrival in 2016. Last year before free agency. A trade is possible.
Aaron Hicks 32, OF Injuries derailed his 2021 season. Pros: switch hitter, speed, defense, elite arm. Cons: inability to stay healthy. Signed to a very affordable contract. Could be traded under the right circumstances.
Kyle Higashioka 31, C With the recent trade of Donny Sands, Higashioka and Gary Sanchez remain the only two catchers on the 40-man roster. Obviously this makes Higgy a key player off the bench.
Clay Holmes 28, RHP came on to become a vital part of the 2021 bullpen. With 3 more years of control, hopefully the success continues.
Aaron Judge 29, OF Perennial All Star in the prime of his career during his walk year. I anticipate another MVP caliber season and a $150M+ extension.
Michael King 26, RHP Prototypical swing man. Starter, reliever, send to AAA for a fresh arm.
DJ LeMahieu 32, 2B Gold glove second baseman with 5 years left on his contract. Value decreases if if he’s moved to a corner position for Torres. His position on the team is secure but in limbo.
Lucas Luetge 34, LHP. Was last years feel good story of the year. This year he should help solidify one of the best bullpens in the league.
Ron Marinaccio 26, RHP Drafted by the Yankees in 2017, he’s worked his way through the system and was recently added to the 40-man. Expect him to begin the season at AAA but be among the first pitchers called up when needed.
Luis Medina 22, RHP Ended last year in AA. Has long been considered a future ace with his pure stuff. His inability to throw strikes consistently has held him back. Last year he averaged 5.1 BB/9. If he can harness his pitches, he will make an impact in the Bronx in the second half . My hot take prediction: if he starts 10+ games in the majors, they win the division by 5+ games.
Jordan Montgomery 29, LHP He returned from Tommy John Surgery to once again claim his spot in the rotation. Along with Cortes and German provide a solid back end of the rotation.
Wandy Peralta 30, LHP Another solid arm in the bullpen that should stick around all year.
Oswald Peraza 21, SS Yankees #3 prospect played most of last year at AA before a late season promotion to AAA. If a big name shortstop isn’t signed, will compete for the opening day start.
Everson Pereira 20, OF Opened a lot of eyes hitting 19 HomeRuns in 46 Class A games last year. The real test begins in Somerset.
Stephen Ridings 26, RHP Had a brief 5 game cameo last year and instantly became a fan favorite throwing 100 MPH. Will spend a great deal of time in the big leagues.
Joely Rodriguez 30, LHP Signed as a free agent but will need to perform to stick around.
Gary Sanchez 29, C The much maligned Sanchez is an offensive beast, in his prime, in his walk year. Should quiet the haters… until his next slump.
Clarke Schmidt 26, RHP The 2017 first round pick has struggled to stay healthy. If he finally puts it together has the potential to be a 2-3 starter. I would love to see it.
JP Sears 26, LHP The 8th lefty on the roster had an impressive 2021 campaign in the upper minor league levels. Could see him as an early season call up when they need a 6th starter.
Luis Severino 28, RHP In 2018, he was the Yankees best starter. After years of improperly diagnosed injuries and rehab, he enters 2022 as the biggest wild card. Will he be able to return and dominate or struggle?
Giancarlo Stanton 32, OF After two down years, he returned to form last year. His production actually increased when playing the outfield compared to being the DH. I expect him to play 60+ games in the field and produce his best Yankees season to date.
Jameson Taillon 30, RHP The former first round pick will miss time early in the season as he recovers from offseason ankle surgery. He showed glimpses of greatness last year and if healthy should lead to a handsome free agent payday.
Gleyber Torres 25, 2B Torres was much more comfortable when they finally moved him off shortstop late last season and his offensive production proves it. Wouldn’t be surprised if he was eventually traded
Gio Urshela 30, 3B A couple of years ago his play on both sides of the ball was a pleasant surprise. However, it slipped last year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Andujar at third to get his bat in the lineup and Cabrera caddy for him on defense late in games.
Luke Voit 31, 1B Was the 2020 AL HR champ. Between injuries and bench he never got into a groove last year. They need to either play him or trade him.
Most teams have eight pitchers that make at least 10 starts in a season. As of now, that’s Cole, Cortes, German, Montgomery, Severino, and Taillon. So between Garcia, Gil, Medina, Schmidt, and Sears there’s probably 30+ starts to be had. These are the starts that will determine if they are a Wild Card team again or favorite to win the World Series.
Based on the current roster and assuming healthy, here’s my projected 2022 opening day roster:
Other Starting Pitchers: