If it’s true that the Yankees intend to start the season with only 13 position players on the roster, there are going to be some players that we’d expect to see on a big league roster get squeezed out, which leaves some interesting decisions left to be made. Some legit MLB players are going to be released, traded or sent to Scranton (of course, having that kind of depth is a good problem to have). But before we get to what to do with the players who won’t be in the Bronx on April 1st, let’s look at who will be.
Here are the Yankees Opening Day positions players, MBP version:
Most of those are obvious of course, so let’s look at some of the more dubious choices first, particularly those outside the starting nine:
Higashioka is a better player than Chirinos, so there shouldn’t be too much discussion there.
Wade is the only player who can play shortstop other than your starter. Let that be a lesson to you about how valuable shortstops are – Wade will have a major league job over players who are better players – but just the fact you can put him in the lineup with a 6 next to his name makes him both valuable and necessary. Wade also gets the nod over Estrada as he can be used as a pinch runner – Estrada cannot.
What I just said about Wade – replace his name with Gardner and replace position number 6 with position number 8.
Dietrich has been a better than league average left handed hitter for six seasons and has experience at 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and LF. The Yankees do not have anyone else in camp who checks off all those boxes, which makes them expendable and makes Dietrich very valuable to a team going with a four man bench.
Where does that leave Tauchman, Ford, Bruce, and Andujar? Put a pin in that, we’ll come back to it at some point.
Did I miss something? Let me know.
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