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Yankees Mailbag: Roster sizes, options to sell, and our deadline coverage

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The mailbag has been opened, and your latest questions have been answered.

New York Mets v New York Yankees - Game One Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Good afternoon everyone, let’s open up the mailbag for more of your Yankees questions. Remember to send in your questions for our weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

David E. asks: In this day of the far more brittle major league players, wouldn’t it make sense for MLB to increase 40-man rosters? It seems that change would help to alleviate the ongoing 40-man crunch, with players going on the IL, or at least being dinged up on a regular basis.

I don’t think the 40 man is as much of a concern, since the IL allows for players to be juggled on and off of it and injuries are the main area of concern here. The active roster size is a different matter, however, and the one that I would focus on. MLB added the 26th man and adjusted the September callup size to 28 down from the full 40-man fiesta that it was for a number of years, but I think the easier solution would be to just make the 28-man roster the official size with limits on the amount of pitchers that could be carried.

Messing with the roster sizes has been historically not feasible because of the NL and the lack of a DH making the restricted rosters significant for pinch-hitting decisions, but the days of pitchers hitting appears to be numbered. When the DH finally arrives for good there I think MLB could address this concern, but until this loophole gets closed there’s not much they could do.

Andrew M. asks: Last time the Yankees became sellers they had pieces worth selling (Beltran, Chapman). Do the Yankees even have any pieces that would really fetch anything in return outside of Cole and Judge, which are untouchable I would think?

This is my concern should the team trail into seller territory — the value they would actually get back for most of their players isn’t very enticing. Before his recent slide I would’ve said Chapman was a great candidate to get flipped (again), and Zack Britton could be a great add for a contender, but the relief market is hardly as rewarding as it was in 2016 when the Yankees cashed in so it’s not like they’d be able to fully reload just off of trading those two.

The only other options that I could see being feasible would be Gio Urshela and Luke Voit, and if they entered the conversation I would be hesitant to deal Urshela. The peripherals haven’t been great for Urshela this season, but it would be hard to find a third baseman to just plug back in for 2022 — if you were to justify shopping him, it would be that they got him for nothing and he still wound up giving them some solid play. Voit would be possible to flip, though the market hasn’t historically been generous for bat-first first basemen so again there wouldn’t be any blue chip prospects coming into the system.

Chris T. asks: I love the potential trade partner posts, but how about doing one on the Yankees themselves as sellers. Who is plausibly available, which contenders could use them, and what kind of return is reasonable to expect?

We did discuss the idea of profiling the Yankees’ options as sellers (more in-depth than I just did), but left the idea open because at the time they were on one of their upswings and any true discussion of the team as sellers would have to come close to the deadline. Management has only confirmed this for us with their rhetoric — it’s going to take the wheels falling off for this to be a possibility, so for now we’ve been focusing on what they say they’re looking at.

To pull back the curtain a bit and inform the audience on our plans, today we ran the final team-wide potential partner post that we have outlined. From here we’ll go into specific player targets, with a recap of the actual action post-deadline. If things are still looking dire in a week or two, we’ll revive the idea of breaking down their options to sell. Let us know whether you think that road map makes sense, or if there are other pit stops you’d like to see.

The idiot that said, “Harper is coming” asks: Who SHOULD get fired? Someone should get fired. Who is most deserving?

We’ve been getting plenty of variants of this question recently, so to give my two cents on it: I’m not comfortable calling for a specific person’s job from the outside with next to no sources/info on what that person is doing right or wrong. There’s obviously some things we can judge, mainly track records, and whether you think that Cashman or Boone has failed in some specific way that warrants them leaving you’re within your right to think so.

I personally just can’t break down how much of this is a Cashman problem or a Boone problem or a Hal problem with the mess that this year has been — so much of what is going on compounds on itself and makes everything look bad. I don’t think the whole band will be back next year if things don’t get significantly better fast, and I can’t argue against that. I just don’t know who specifically bears the brunt of the blame for all of this.

Except for Randy Levine. Fire him into the sun.