The Yankees just made a surprise move by trading Martin Prado and David Phelps away to the Miami Marlins for Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Jones, and Domingo German. With useful players coming and going, the trade actually affects the roster in a number of positive and negative ways. It's easy to see all the negatives, but there are also some intriguing positives coming out of this deal as well.
The most glaring thing is the absence of Martin Prado from the roster. The Yankees could have greatly used his versatility to help out at second and third base, as well as in the outfield, but it now means great things for Rob Refsnyder. After months of speculation about when or even if the Yankees will give their second base prospect a chance, they just did the unthinkable–traded a productive veteran to make way for an unproven rookie. While this is certainly great news for Refsnyder, Prado's presence didn't really block him in the first place. If Ref proved to be too productive to stay in Triple-A, they could have moved Prado somewhere else on the field. By getting rid of him, it doesn't just mean they trust their prospect, it means they're going ahead with no viable backup–unless they sign someone like Asdrubal Cabrera now.
Without Prado on the roster, it also means that Chris Young will be the primary backup outfielder on the roster. If something happens to Carlos Beltran, it means that we will being seeing a lot of Chris Young. He looked cool in the limited amount of time we saw him last year, but it seems that a lot of Chris Young is just too much Chris Young. Making him the only thing standing behind Beltran is very risky, unless they truly believe in one of Tyler Austin or Ramon Flores going forward.
Sure, they have Garrett Jones now to also play right field, but he's here to give Mark Teixeira time off. After two years of going into the season without a legitimate backup first baseman, the Yankees have finally had enough. It's clear that they don't trust Teixeira to stay healthy for an entire season because Prado is definitely more useful than Jones, however Jones fills a role that Prado wouldn't be able to and that's what the Yankees wanted. It's unfortunate to see them replace Prado with Jones, but at the same time, it's nice to finally have a backup first baseman that is better than Lyle Overbay.
The idea was briefly floated about, but it looks like Alex Rodriguez as the backup first baseman is just not going to be a thing. They will probably try to keep A-Rod in the DH-role as much as possible, though now that Prado is gone, he will be the primary backup at third base. Less playing time in the field will hopefully help him stay healthy, but if something happens to Chase Headley, A-Rod will be their only option.
Moving Phelps for Eovaldi is a no brainer because, while Phelps was a useful swingman, Eovaldi can fit right into the middle of the rotation. They basically traded their backup starting pitching depth for an actual starting pitcher, so it strengthens their rotation, but also weakens their backend and bullpen. Thankfully, Phelps had one of the most easily replaceable roles in baseball as the swingman out of the pen. The Yankees are likely going to go with Esmil Rogers now and allow Adam Warren, Manny Banuelos, and Bryan Mitchell to compete for the fifth rotation spot in spring training. Maybe at this point they go after Max Scherzer to fill out their rotation, but it's looking more likely that they'll have a rotation of Tanaka/Pineda/CC/Eovaldi/Warren (?) to start the year. We'll see, but pitching is at least starting to fit into place. Let's just hope they're not done at this point.