In case you forgot, the Yankees re-signed Stephen Drew to one-year, $5 million contract two weeks ago. Because of the implications the move had on the 40-man roster, the deal was only officially announced today. In order to make room for Drew and keep the roster at 40, the Yankees decided to designate outfielder Eury Perez for assignment.
Perez was picked up by the Yankees from the Nationals this past season and got into a few games with the big league team in September. The 24-year-old collected two hits and stoke a base in only four games for the Yankees and at one point looked like a candidate for the fourth outfielder job in 2015. Once Chris Young was re-signed and Tyler Austin and Mason Williams were place on the 40 to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft, Perez became widely replaceable with a total of eight outfielders on the roster. He has enough talent that he will likely be picked up by another team, but if he somehow makes it through waivers he should be an everyday player at Triple-A.
I had previously identified Eury Perez as a possible DFA candidate along with Gonzalez Germen and Jose De Paula. With Germen already gone after the acquisition of Chris Martin from the Rockies and De Paula likely to be part of the Scranton rotation, Perez made the most sense to be given the boot.
Now that Stephen Drew is officially on the roster, it means that the Yankees don't have enough room for both Jose Pirela and Rob Refsnyder to make the team, as many have been advocating. It's also highly likely that the presence of Brendan Ryan, who is owed $2 million in 2015, means that neither prospect get a shot with the big league club out of spring training. Drew may be making it harder for the rookies to get a shot, but he won't make it impossible. Since he can play the same positions as Ryan, the Yankees can afford to cut ties with the 32-year-old defensive specialist. And as we saw last year with Dean Anna, if someone gets hurt before the season, the team won't be afraid to give an unproven rookie a chance. We just have to hope that Pirela has a better time than Anna.