We’ll resume the Hot Stove League talk at 10 p.m. ET with a short CC Sabathia-related post. Let’s have some fun in the meantime…
Earlier this week, Chad Jennings engaged in a little bit of idle Yankee chatter. Noting that it’s been 11 years since the last expansion draft — the second-longest such stretch during baseball’s Expansion Era — Jennings wondered who among the current Yankees would be protected in a theoretical expansion draft.
He based his lists upon the 1997 rules and writes:
Here are the rules as they were in 1997: Any player with major league experience is eligible. Minor leaguers are eligible if they’re Rule 5 eligible. I’m not sure if someone like Andrew Brackman would have been eligible — he’s on the 40-man but has no major league experience and has not passed the Rule 5 threshold — but I’m going to bet he would have been eligible. Seems to always work that way with the 40-man.
Each team starts by protecting 15 players. No team can lose more than one player per round, and after each round, each team can protect three more. Any 10-5 players (10 years experience, five consecutive with the same team) have to be protected. So do players with no trade clauses.
In the end, he came up with the following list. Keep in mind that the Rule 5 eligibility protects many of the Yanks’ top prospects including Austin Jackson and Jesus Montero:
Following the first round and second round, teams can protect more players, and Jennings adds the following eight to his list:
So here is what I pose to you for this open thread: Who would you protect in an expansion draft? In other words, who do you see are the 10-18 most important Yankees on the field right now outside of the guys with the 5-10/No-Trade protection?
Debate away, but play nice. I’m quite curious to see how fans assess the state of the franchise both for this season and in the future in light of this question.