The Yankees finalized their roster for the Rule 5 Draft, placing Gary Sanchez, Slade Heathcott, Jose Campos, Bryan Mitchell, Shane Greene, and Dean Anna on the 40-man roster. Several players were left off who are eligible for the draft and at least three of them are very likely to get picked up by another team.
Three relief pitchers by the names of Chase Whitley, Dan Burawa, and Tom Kahnle were left unprotected. While none of them are Earth-shattering omissions, they each could still be useful to the Yankees, but could also potentially break camp with a team looking for some young relievers.
Whitley upped his strikeout rate to 8.25 batters per nine innings and showed overall improvement in his first full season at Triple-A. He had an ERA of 3.06 and a FIP of 3.05, both lower than his career numbers. He could have a shot at breaking camp with the team, so it would have made sense for the Yankees to protect him.
Burawa reached Double-A this season, after missing all of 2012 to injury, and had his best strikeout rate (9.0 K/9), but also worst walk rate (5.73 BB/9). He had his lowest ERA (2.59) by far and a good 3.31 FIP, both better than his career totals. Still, he's 25 and hasn't shown a lot of consistency, so he was left unprotected.
In his first full season at Double-A, Kahnle has shown the potential to be a high-strikeout reliever, striking out 11.10 batters per nine innings this season. His 2.85 ERA and 3.85 FIP marked his second solid year in a row, unfortunately, walking 6.75 batters per nine innings is probably what led to him being left off the roster.
Hopefully the Yankees won't miss any of these guys. Whitley is really the one that could be the most useful, at least out of the gate in 2014. If the Yankees are able to keep him, there's a possibility he could find his way onto the major league roster at some point in the season.