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Allen, Locastro, Velazquez claimed off waivers as Yankees clear roster space

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The team will have one open spot on the 40-man roster after activating all the players who are currently on the 60-day IL.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

A slew of Yankees were lost to the waiver wire on Friday afternoon. The roster moves weren’t unexpected, considering the Yankees needed to clear space on the 40-man roster and must activate a number of players off the 60-day injured list before Sunday. Sunday is November 7th, the date marking the beginning of MLB’s free agency period.

Here is a brief rundown of the transactions that went down on Friday after Brett Gardner and Darren O’Day declined their respective player options:

  • The Pittsburgh Pirates claimed OF Greg Allen off waivers.
  • The Red Sox claimed OF Tim Locastro off waivers.
  • The Los Angeles Angels claimed SS Andrew Velazquez off waivers.
  • The Yankees outrighted catcher Rob Brantly to Triple-A Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre. Brantly elected to become a free agent in lieu of accepting his outright assignment.

In the wake of Friday’s moves, the Yankees will presumably have one open spot on their 40-man roster after activating Zack Britton, Luke Voit, Miguel Andújar, Clint Frazier, and Aaron Hicks from the 60-day IL. There could be two open spots, should the Yanks decide to decline reliever Joely Rodríguez’s contract option. In addition to making room for the guys who were on the IL, the extra space on the Yankees’ Major League roster could also be used to protect prospects who are valuable to the organization, and thus would be vulnerable in next month’s Rule 5 Draft.

Allen and Locastro are both known for their running speed and ability to play all three outfield positions. Across 15 games with the Yankees, Allen hit .270 with 4 doubles, a triple, 2 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. He also brought a much-needed infusion of energy to the Yankees squad when the Yanks brought him up in July. The Yankees acquired Locastro from the Diamondbacks in July, and along with Trea Turner, Locastro is literally the fastest player in MLB. Unfortunately, his tenure in the Bronx was cut short when he tore his ACL during his ninth game as a Yankee. It remains to be seen how his leg injury will affect his speed.

The loss of Velazquez will undoubtedly disappoint all the Yankee fans who had embraced the Bronx native as a hometown hero. Velazquez’s defensive talent and ability to make tough plays at short also stood in stark contrast to Gleyber Torres’ ongoing struggle to competently field the position.

Brantly served as the Yankees’ third catching option, playing in six games in 2021.