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Yankees Mailbag: Excitement levels, minor league options, and Jasson Dominguez

The mailbag addresses how promising the upcoming year looks on the eve of the season starting.

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Good afternoon everyone, it’s time for another edition of the mailbag. Now that the endless offseason is over, we’re back to weekly editions of the mailbag, and we’ve got plenty to discuss! Remember to send in your questions for our weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

James D. asks: Am I crazy for actually being excited about this year’s Yankees? Everyone on Twitter seems to think they’ll be a big disappointment. Yes, the offseason could’ve/should’ve gone better, but I can’t help but feel like it’s going to be a good year!

Far be it from me to ruin anyone’s enjoyment. I do get the feeling that the fanbase at large is feeling mostly doom and gloom thanks to how last year ended and the response to that over the offseason. The team didn’t put itself in the best position to rebound into title contention, and that’s an unusual setting for many Yankees fans to grapple with even though this has been the mantra for a few offseasons lately.

All of that being said, the games still have to be played. They may not have perfectly fixed their roster, but this is a revamped team all the same and there’s a decent shot that they make some noise. I have very mixed opinions about what this team should be expected to do, but even if we accept the idea that their ceiling is lower than what it has been in previous seasons their floor is a playoff team. As we just saw from Atlanta last season, sometimes all you have to do is get into the dance, and even if you don’t like that mentality it means that there’s potential in this season.

The idiot that said, “Harper is coming” asks: When the rosters decrease from 28 to 26 after the month of April, I assume many players will be optioned throughout the league to their minor league clubs. Will those options count against the five allotted in the new CBA per season for those players? I would think there may be a loop hole of adding a sixth option in the 2022 season because of the short term expansions of the rosters.

It does indeed mean that the players optioned at the end of April will not count against the five option limit. This was agreed upon in conjunction with the expanded rosters, since it will be a special exception rather than the norm going forward in future seasons.

The Gregorius B.I.G. asks: Dominguez was moved to CF so they could fast track his bat to the majors. Now it’s looking like that bat is still very raw. And the prospect analysts are saying he may have to move to a corner. Would it be crazy to move him back to catcher? At this point, that may be his only avenue to playing a prime defensive position. And he’s probably a few years away regardless of what they do.

I think it’s too early to react this way just yet. Catcher is a grueling position to handle, so even though having a strong bat behind the plate (assuming Dominguez bounces back and starts building towards his sky-high potential) would be a major benefit to the big league team, it may not be in the best long-term interest of the team. Also, the Yankees currently have a number of prospects at catcher that they’re currently figuring out where they all fit, and adding Dominguez to the mix would only complicate playing time. He’s got plenty of room as it stands in the lower levels of the minors to figure things out, and if the defensive concerns become substantiated than it can be dealt with later.