If you look at the Yankees’ active roster on MLB.com right now, you will notice that they have no shortage of players at any position on their roster. Major-league caliber performers are practically falling out of the depth chart across the diamond.
They have four backup infielders (five if you include Kyle Higashioka), and three legitimate backup outfielders. They may have the best starting rotation in all of baseball, and have a few pitchers competing for the fifth spot, not to mention some interesting young prospects that could soon force their way into the conversation. When it comes to the bullpen, the Yankees have five elite relievers and several average or better secondary arms, to go along with some of those minor-league pitchers who could chip in in relief..
The Yankees are pretty well set. Yet, there can only be nine players on the field at a time, and on a larger scale. only 26 players on the roster at any given time. Brian Cashman has said that his job is to always look for a way to improve the roster. This begs the question; which players currently on the Yankees roster are the most tradeable? Not all of these guys are going to see the field consistently in 2020, so if the Yankees are going to make more moves this offseason, they’re most likely going to have to deal certain players. Here’s a list of which players in my view are the most expendable right now from a team-building standpoint.
Clint Frazier’s time with the Yankees so far has been a roller coaster. While struggling on the field defensively and off the field with a concussion and the New York media, it has not been a smooth ride. Frazier has shown that he has quality offensive abilities, but given the Yankees’ crowded outfield, there has never been a spot for him except for when starters have gotten injured. On top of all of that, Mike Tauchman’s 2019 coming-out party does not bode well for Frazier’s future in New York. If the Yankees were to commence trade talks with another team, Frazier’s name could be the first one put on the table.
Gio Urshela/Miguel Andujar
If neither of these players gets traded, this position battle is going to be the topic stealing all the headlines during spring training in a couple months. The Yankees were pleasantly shocked with Gio Urshela’s performance in 2019. With his tremendous offensive consistency and strong fielding in the hot corner, it should be Urshela’s position to lose. Andujar is coming off a 2019 season in which he was injured for basically the whole season. Given that and the fact that his fielding is a liability, I’d say he is the more expendable of the two.
With the addition of Gerrit Cole this offseason, Happ gets pushed down on the Yankees’ starting rotation hierarchy to at least the fifth spot. He’ll be battling with Jordan Montgomery for that coveted fifth starter slot to begin the season. Happ is a respected veteran and can definitely provide value to plenty of other teams. It would be nice to have that veteran presence in the rotation, but the Yankees have been rumored for a while now to be looking to move him. As roughly an average starter, he could probably help another more than he can the Yankees.
Most Yankee fans will not take kindly to this, but let me clarify by saying I’m only putting him on this list because his value most likely won’t increase much in the near future. He is currently ranked 62nd among MLB Pipeline’s global Top 100, ranked 25th in Baseball Prospectus’ 2019 midseason Top 50, and is the Yankees’ best prospect. Sure, he could plausibly boost his value once he makes his debut. But he has the shine of a top prospect right now, and could bring in an established star as the headliner in a trade. If the Yankees are looking to add anyone, he’d be a good name to boast to potential suitors.
These are all players that can help the Yankees in 2020. However, if dealing a couple of these guys means getting an elite major-leaguer, I think most Yankee fans wouldn’t blink at that opportunity.