The Yankees are one of 11 teams who will have a full 40-man roster going into the end of the Winter Meetings. This means they won't be able to make a selection in the Rule 5 Draft. Unfortunately, there are 19 teams who can still take players from the Yankees, and as Brian Cashman says "we expect to lose some, yeah."
In preparation for the draft, the Yankees placed Gary Sanchez, Slade Heathcott, Jose Campos, Bryan Mitchell, and Shane Greene on the 40-man roster in order to save them from possibly being picked. It seemed that Campos and Mitchell were unnecessary because they are still so far away from the big leagues as neither have seen significant time above A-ball.
Of those who can still be taken from New York, Baseball America identifies Tom Kahnle ("combines a plus fastball with questionable control") and Fred Lewis ("velocity keeps ticking upward, and scouts saw him pitch well in the Arizona Fall League") as the two Yankee prospects who have the best chance of helping a team in 2014.
Dan Burawa ("sits at 95 mph most nights, but lacks a second pitch and strike zone jumps around on him") and Omar Luis ("renegotiated contract makes $2.5 million man eligible for Rule 5, but he hasn't pitched above short-season") are two others who could potentially be stashed for a full year, however it is highly unlikely that Luis is chosen.
Other players who will be eligible for drafting include Triple-A reliever Chase Whitley and the switch-pitching Pat Venditte, who has been recovering from right shoulder surgery over the last year. Both are likely to be picked and could be lost to the organization.
For a complete primer on all the whos, whats, wheres, whens, and whys of the Rule 5 Draft, check out John Sickels' comprehensive preview here.
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