Just after setting their 40-man roster, the Yankees have made a small move to shift things around. The team has claimed outfielder Lane Adams off waivers from the Royals and designated infielder Ronald Torreyes for assignment. The move is a one-for-one swap, so the roster remains at 40 for now.
The Yankees had just acquired Torreyes from the Dodgers earlier in the week and now he will be put through waivers. They must believe that the 23-year-old infielder can make it through and play a part at Triple-A Scranton. Tyler Olson, the left-handed pitcher acquired in the same deal could also be in danger, though he could head into spring training as either a reliever or a starter.
The newly acquired Adams is a former 13th-rounder from the 2009 MLB Draft. He has spent seven years in the Royals system, making a brief MLB appearance in 2014 before he even reached Triple-A. After spending parts of four years in rookie ball, he's never been very young for his level. He's mainly held his own with the bat, but over his last three seasons at the Double-A level he's hit .276/.352/.438 with a career-high 16 home runs this past season. The 26-year-old is an adept base stealer, swiping at least 30 over the last three years. He's a right-handed hitter and has also played all three outfield positions, but he has been primarily in center.
This move makes eight outfielders on the 40-man roster, which seems a bit excessive. Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Aaron Hicks, Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams, Dustin Ackley, and Ben Gamel seem like more than enough depth for the season, especially if Jake Cave is returned by the Reds and with Aaron Judge looming. With this move, either the Yankees plan to DFA him the way they did Torreyes and hope he makes it through waivers or there is a trade in the works. It would make a lot of sense for the Yankees to try and move some of their excess outfield depth for starting pitching or even infield depth.