Last night was the non-tender deadline, where teams can choose whether or not to offer contracts to their players. This usually happens with arbitration-eligible players because it saves the team from having to hand out a new contract, but it can also be used as a way of simply clearing roster spots, and that's exactly what the Yankees did this year.
With six players on the 40-man roster eligible for arbitration, the Yankees decided to renew the contracts of Michael Pineda, David Phelps, Ivan Nova, Shawn Kelley, and, surprisingly, Esmil Rogers. The 29-year-old right-hander pitched to a 4.68 ERA and 4.17 FIP in 25.0 innings and didn't seem too impressive when he joined the Yankees. He was likely spared the axe due to his new team-friendly deal of only $750,000 in guaranteed money. If he reaches certain milestones he could make up to $1.48 million. As much as the Yankees like him, for whatever reason, it's unlikely that he'll be good enough to reach those incentives.
On the other side of things, the Yankees non-tendered David Huff, Jose Campos, and Slade Heathcott, taking them off the 40-man roster. Even though all three are now free agents and are eligible to sign with whoever they want, it doesn't mean that they won't return on minor league deals. They seem to like David Huff as a lefty specialist, so bringing him back for a third tour in pinstripes is not out of the question. Jose Campos and Slade Heathcott had to go to make room on the 40, but it's extremely likely that the Yankees will try to keep them in the organization. Maybe neither amount to anything, but it's still far too early to completely give up on either of them.
All-in-all nothing too crazy here. Rogers was unexpected, but they got him on such a cheap deal that you can't fault the Yankees for giving it a try. The two prospects are key though as it frees up a 40-man roster bogged down by useless prospects after Mason Williams was added earlier this month.The team's 40-man roster now stands at 36 with one week to go before the Rule 5 Draft. It looks like, barring several free agent signings in the next few days, that the Yankees will be taking a player or two in the draft, which should be somewhat exciting.
How do you feel about the team's decisions? Did they make a mistake? Was this the right call?