With the beginning of spring, the Yankees decided to do a little spring cleaning. They released 13 minor league player dispersed throughout their farm system from rookie ball to Triple-A. Among the released were pitchers Christopher Cabrera, Dayton Dawe, Alex Polanco, David Rodriguez, Hayden Sharp, Hector Martinez, and Abel Mora as well as position players R.J. Johnson, Bubba Jones, Jake Anderson, Casey Stevenson, Anderson Feliz, and Daniel Lopez.
Among the infielders, Johnson was a pitcher converted to first base who made his rookie ball debut at the age of 22 this year. Jones (7th round, 2011) never developed any power and only reached Low-A Charleston. Anderson (seventh round, 2010) played one game in High-A Tampa, and only reached Staten Island in 2014. Stevenson was drafted all the way back in 2009, and going into his age-27 season, he only played a total of four games in Triple-A.
It would seem that the Yankees were ready to move on from Feliz after multiple elbow injuries had hindered his career. He had been at High-A Tampa before injuries interrupted his progress and going into his age-23 season, the organization must have felt they needed to make room for some players coming through the system. Outfielder Daniel Lopez, who has been in the system since 2009 and been a staple in the Staten Island outfield for the last three seasons, has also been released.
The Yankees also cut ties with several rookie ball pitchers including Dayton Dawe (15th round, 2012), Alex Polanco (23rd round, 2013), Hayden Sharp (18th round, 2011), Hector Martinez, Christopher Cabrera, Abel Mora, and David Rodriguez.
If you hadn't heard already, the Yankees released first baseman Mat Gamel only days after they originally signed him. It seems unlikely they had much time to evaluate his level of play, since he probably hasn't been cleared for baseball games yet, so they must have found something in his medicals that they didn't like. It's an odd situation, but he hasn't played since 2012 because a series of knee injuries, so he was highly unlikely to offer even minor league depth at this point.
Purges like these happen every year and with the influx of players coming out of the DSL and the draft in June, the Yankees will be able to replace these players fairly easily.