Who should the Yankees protect from the Rule 5 Draft?


Grant Duff making a funny faceNothing gets me excited quite like the Rule 5 Draft, one of baseball’s more underappreciated sources of talent. If you’re unfamiliar with how the R5D works, Wikipedia does a pretty good job of explaining it. Basically, it’s a way to help players stuck in the minors advance their careers. If they’ve been playing pro ball for at least four years (three for college draftees) and are not on the 40-man roster, they’re eligible to be drafted. Their new team has to keep them on the 25-man Major League roster all season, otherwise the player’s old team can take him back if they want. That’s a really quick and dirty explanation, but it’ll do.

The actual draft is held on the final day of the Winter Meetings in early December. This year it’s on the 10th. Even though the draft isn’t for another few weeks, rosters do have to be set fairly soon. I don’t know the exact date, but last year it was November 20th, so it can’t be too far away.

For the most part, teams will use the R5D almost like a temp agency; a means to find cheap labor. They won’t (or shouldn’t) go in looking for a franchise cornerstone, because they aren’t going to get it. The best young players always get protected for obvious reasons. Instead, teams will look for that second lefty reliever, or a backup catcher, or a spare outfielder, or a long reliever, stuff like that. NL teams might look for a veteran hitter to bring off the bench, someone they can hide on their roster all season. Last year, the Yanks lost four players in Major League portion of the R5D, plus two more in the Triple-A phase.

This year, I count no fewer than 37 players in the Yanks’ organization that are R5D eligible. Chances are it’s more, but it can be tough to figure out if some of the international signees are eligible. Now 37 seems like a big number, and it is, but relax, most of them are organizational players that have no business being protected. That said, the Yanks still have some tough decisions to make regarding who’ll protect and who they’ll leave exposed.

Before we get into who they should and shouldn’t protect, we first need to figure out what the 40-man roster situation looks like. As of today, there are 38 players on the 40-man. Brian Cashman has said he plans on “taking it slow” this offseason, so we can assume the Yanks will let all of their free agents hit the market. That frees up seven spots (Damon, Hairston, Hinske, Matsui, Molina, Nady, Pettitte), and the Yanks could easily free up another one by cutting ties with Shelley Duncan the same way they did with Freddy Guzman and Josh Towers.

It looks like Brian Bruney will be back next year (grrr), but not Chien-Ming Wang. That’s another open spot. Jon Albaladejo, Chris Garcia, and Edwar Ramirez all have options left, but I bet at least one (Edwar) goes because they’re easily replaceable. That’s another spot. Juan Miranda qualifies for a fourth option, and he’s worth keeping around.   All told, that would be eleven open spots on the 40-man, but remember that six of those spots will have to be used on replacements for Damon, Hairston, Hinske, Matsui, and Pettitte (Frankie Cervelli replaces Molina, and he’s already on the 40-man), plus assume one more spot for fungibility. That would give the Yanks four spots to use for protecting R5D eligible players.

Three of those four spots unquestionably will be used to protect Austin Jackson, Ivan Nova, and Kevin Russo. Jackson is the organization’s top outfield prospect, and if the Nationals didn’t take him with the first pick of the R5D, the Pirates would gobble him up with the second. Nova was selected but returned by the Padres last year, and the Yanks wouldn’t be so lucky again after his breakout season. Russo is capable of playing five (probably six) positions, and wOBA‘d .371 in Triple-A next year. That’s a guy you keep.

So that leaves one more spot, and about eight players worthy of being considered for protection. Let’s break ‘em down one by one after the jump.

Reegie Corona, IF, 23
The Mariners took Corona in the R5D last year, but they returned him at the end of Spring Training after he failed to win the backup infielder’s spot. A slick fielding middle infielder, Corona flat out can’t hit (.262-.338-.342 career minor league line), so his value comes entirely from his ability to make all the plays at three infield positions. The Yankees already have Ramiro Pena for that, so Corona goes unprotected. He may or may not get selected again, I wouldn’t be surprised either way.

Colin Curtis, OF, 24
A classic ‘tweener, Curtis does several things well but nothing great. He’s not much of a hitter (.264-.364-.375 career line, and his performance has gotten progressively worse as he’s climbed the ladder), and nothing special on defense either. It’s hard to figure out where he fits in the Yankee puzzle both long and short term, but the team has enough outfield depth ahead of him that they can leave him unprotected. I would guess he goes undrafted.

Grant Duff, RHP, 26
Always a guy with premium arm strength, Duff didn’t really garner much attention until this year, when he moved to the bullpen full time. Reports during the season had him touching 99, though PitchFX has him topping out around 96 in the Arizona Fall League. That’s still well above average velocity, and he backs it up with a hard slider. Despite the gas, Duff’s strikeout numbers aren’t eye popping (7.45 K/9 the last two years) and his walk rate isn’t great either (3.64 BB/9 in the same time frame). He’ll be 27 in a month, but he’s worth considering for that final spot.

Zach Kroenke, LHP, 25
Like Corona, Kroenke got Rule 5′d (by the Marlins) last year only to be returned in Spring Training. He enjoyed the best season of his career in 2009, though his peripherals in Triple-A weren’t anything to get excited about (6.8 K/9, 3.7 BB/9). Kroenke works with a high-80′s fastball and an average slider, but he didn’t have much of a platoon split. Given that there’s four lefty relievers (Damaso Marte, Phil Coke, Mike Dunn, Wilkins DeLaRosa) already on the 40-man, Kroenke will be left unprotected and presumably gobbled up yet again in the R5D.

Eduardo Nunez, SS, 22
After four years of forgettable play, Nunez finally broke through in 2009, posting a .322-.349-.433 batting line in Double-A. His best tool is his arm, though the rest of his defense is nothing to write home about. Like Corona, the Yankees don’t have a need for a guy like Nunez with Ramiro Pena around. Someone might gamble and draft Nunez, but there’s virtually no chance of him making through a full season on the 25-man roster, so he’ll be back soon enough.

Romulo Sanchez, RHP, 25
Picked up in the middle of the season in exchange for Eric Hacker, the big righty excelled in an unfamiliar role for Triple-A Scranton after the trade: as a starter. He’s one of, if not the hardest thrower in the system, and at 6′-6″, 260 lbs, he’s an intimidating presence on the mound. When he commands his curve, he can be unhittable. The problem is that his control wavers, and he can pile up big walk totals in addition to his big strikeout totals. Like Duff, he’s definitely worth considering for the final 40-man spot.

Josh Schmidt, RHP, 27
Schmidt had a phenomenal season in Double-A (2.58 FIP, 10.3 K/9) this year, but he’s a sidearming sinker-slider pitcher. Those guys are a dime a dozen, and every organization has about half-a-dozen of their own guys just like Schmidt. No need to protect him, and on the odd chance that he does get picked, it’s no big loss.

Kanekoa Texeira, RHP, 23
The forgotten piece in the Nick Swisher deal, Texeira had a strong, but unspectacular season with Double-A Trenton in 2009. Like Schmidt, he’s a sinker-slider guy, though he throws from a slightly higher slot than pure sidearm. If left unprotected, Texeira’s a real good bet to get picked, but the Yanks have better options for that final 40-man spot. Such is the cost of having a lot of Major League relief options.

Kevin Whelan, RHP, 25
The lone member of the Gary Sheffield trade not to make it too the majors (yet), Whelan is fighting a perpetual battle against below-average control. His mid-90′s fastball-splitter combo is devastating (153 hits and 337 strikeouts in 266 career innings), but he often beats himself with walks (5.4 BB/9) and is prone to hitting the DL. Along with Duff and Sanchez, Whelan is worth considering for that final 40-man spot.

Click here if you want to see my unofficial list of R5D eligible players. As you can see, most of the guys aren’t even worth mentioning, though I’m sure one or two will get popped in the minor league portion of the draft. It’s also worth noting that both Jason Hirsh and Humberto Sanchez – two guys that might have been protected in a normal year – can become six year free agents, but I can’t see the team adding either player to the 40-man to prevent them from walking. There’s better ways to use a 40-man spot, and besides, they could always re-sign them before they even hit the market.

Based on what we talked about above, the three guys I’m considering for that last roster spot are Duff, Sanchez, and Whelan. When sorting out the 40-man for R5D purposes last year, GM Brian Cashman noted that sometimes the best way to keep a player is to leave him unprotected, because if the player does get taken, it’s unlikely they’ll stick on the 25-man roster all season and thus will end up back with the Yanks. Using that logic, Whelan can get left off. He’s the most likely to run into extreme walk trouble at some point during the season, which could easily land him back in pinstripes.

Eliminating Whelan, now we’re left picking between Duff and Sanchez. Both sport premium velocity, but Sanchez a) is younger, b) has a longer track record, c) was working as a starter as recently as two months ago, and d) has prior big league experience (31.1 IP with the Pirates). Duff is a guy that didn’t have his first taste of success until last season, and he’s going to be 27 next month. For the most part, he is what he is. I’d add Sanchez to the 40-man for the aforementioned reasons, but know that regardless of who they protect, the other guy will almost certainly be selected.

Having to make tough decisions about who to the protect for the R5D and who to leave exposed can be painful, but in a way it’s good because that means the team has good depth and plenty of desirable pieces. Of course, the Yankees could still open some more spots by unloading some dead weight (coughBruneycough), easing some of the pain.

Photo Credit: Mike Ashmore

Categories : Minors


  1. AndrewYF says:

    It’s nice that the Yankees’ minor league system is strong enough to have discussions like these.

  2. I will attempt not to freak out when Romulo is protected but Humberto is not.

    I’m crossing my fingers that nobody likes you as much as we do, Humberto.

  3. Moshe Mandel says:

    Terrible job, Mike. It seems like you put 10 minutes into this.

    No, seriously, great stuff, Mike. Cashman alluded to the Swisher deal as the kind of move they could make to alleviate this kind of issue, meaning trading a bunch of these guys for one piece. I could see them making a 3-1 to replace Hinske or Hairston to fill a hole without giving these guys away.

  4. Thomas says:

    Mike, could a team realistically add Kontos and then store him on the 60-day DL since he is out with TJ or is that against the rules?

    • Mike Axisa says:

      A player has to be active for 90 days, minimum, otherwise the R5D rules carry over to the next year. So if someone grabs Kontos and he comes back in August, he won’t pick up the 90 days needed.

      His new team would have to go through the whole process of keeping him on the 25-man roster again in 2011.

      • Amol says:

        True, but he would offer a risk-free opportunity to evaluate his post-TJ value to an enterprising team. If they can stash him on the DL until 40-man callups in September, they’ll have a month to see if he’s worth keeping for 2011 without having to deal with the roster space issues.

      • Thomas says:

        Thanks Mike that clears up a lot.

  5. Greg F. says:

    Good to see you jumping on the Romulo bandwagon, Mike. I’d rather have him than Eric Hacker right now. How did Cashman get back a possibly useful piece for him!?

  6. Moshe Mandel says:

    Also, I would not unload Bruney. The odds of any of the unprotected guys being better than Bruney are not that high. He had a tough year, but he still has a 3.25 ERA as a Yankee. He’s not great, but serviceable.

    • Reggie C. says:

      Yeah. Bruney may have lost ‘pen favor to D-Rob, but Joe G. would probably still go to Bruney before Melancon and Albaladejo. Losing Hughes and Joba from ‘pen duty makes picking up Bruney’s option a no-brainer. Gotta do it.

      Imo, we’re still likely to make a FA pickup to the ‘pen, but that Bruney is probably only second to D-Rob.

      [Mo exists on a different plane]

    • J.J. says:

      yea but it’s not that hes not great it’s that hes flat completely unreliable… sure he shows flashes of dominance but who needs to pay 1.5 mill for that kind of performance. Melancon would work for the big league minimum and still has a chance of being more consistent than Bruney

      • Moshe Mandel says:

        You just described about 75-80% of relievers. Almost all have a major flaw that makes them streaky- good when they can overcome the flaw, but bad when they fall back into bad habits.

    • themgmt says:

      I’d non-tender Bruney and not think twice about it. His one great season had crazy strand rates, unsustainable BABIP and Rivera like HR/rates. His walk rate was a career best and it was still not good.

      He did start throwing his slider harder which has made him more effective than the 4.5 ERA 6BB/9 reliever he was in the past but that also might be contributing to his elbow problems. I’d let him walk at that 1.5M price tag.

      • Bo says:

        Bruney was awful this yr but the guy throws mid to high 90′s and has had some success.

        He’d be instantly picked up if he was non tendered.

        • themgmt says:

          Yeah that’s kind of the point of non-tendering him.

          Let someone else deal with him. Let Melancon take his spot.

          • Meh, if he sucks again this year, Melancon can take his spot in May.

            Keep him around, give him another shot. Doesn’t cost us anything but money.

          • Mike Pop says:

            So, a guy who has pretty nasty stuff and shown he has can pitch well at this level is a good reason to non-tender him?

          • jsbrendog says:

            brian bruney >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> jose veras

            veras made it through a bit of last year, give bruney the same opportunity. The fact that someone was willing to take veras last yr means if bruney stinks someone will still want him. and I’d rather have the choice of sending him where I want then cutting him and letting him go anywhere.

            if he sucks you have that control

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

      You beat me to it, I was about to make a similar comment. Is it really more important to protect Grant Duff than it is to bring back Brian Bruney? If Duff ever reaches the majors… IF he does… Isn’t he, maybe, Brian Bruney?

      Grant Duff is 10 months younger than Brian Bruney, by the way.

  7. themgmt says:

    I think Sanchez would stick for the season with whatever team picks him in the draft if he hasn’t already left for FA

  8. Ace says:

    Is Humberto Sanchez a write-off at this point? Can we safely assume he will, in the words of Chris Farley, never amount to JACK….SQUAT!..????

  9. Ed says:

    A little nitpicking on the middle infield situation. Hairston doesn’t necessarily have to be replaced. We started last season with Pena in that spot. It’s quite possible that anyone significantly better than Pena would rather get a more significant role with a crappy team than a bench role with the Yankees. Hinske choose that approach last offseason.

    If you go into things expecting not to replace Hairston, is it really unreasonable to protect Nunez and Russo?

    Also, the line Nunez put up in AA last year was much better than anything Pena’s ever done. If the team was ok with taking Pena from AA and sticking him on the ML bench, wouldn’t that make Nunez a possibility?

    I’m probably missing something here though, as I really don’t know much about these guys.

    BTW, what does Russo’s future look like?

    • pete says:

      pena is an elite-fielding middle infielder with a good arm. I think most people would agree that that’s more valuable in a middle infielder than a less-sucky-but-still-sucky bat and a much worse glove.

  10. Amol says:

    I think George Kontos might be another player worth protecting. Since he’s still recovering from Tommy John surgery and not due back until May at the earliest, a creative GM might take him, stash him on the DL for the beginning of the season and use an “extended rehab assignment” as extra time to evaluate his effectiveness.

  11. Reggie C. says:

    Keep Romulo Sanchez.

    64 Ks in 64 innings in AAA. Great strikeout rate. Its not in the territory where D-rob resided in his AAA days, but Romulo’s power stuff could translate similarly.

  12. Kiersten says:

    We should protect Josh Schmidt.
    So when he makes it to the majors I can get a Schmidt shirt.
    It would be epic.

  13. Stryker says:

    i don’t see the need to keep bruney around anymore. IMO, that ship has sailed.

    in any case, really well done post mike. and yes, there are RAB readers/fans who care about this sort of stuff.

    • jsbrendog says:

      wait, there are rab readers who dont care about this stuff?

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

      His ship has sailed? 2010 will be his age 28 season. Let’s not let an injury-marred 2009 completely cloud our thinking about this guy. He’s a 27 year old (28 in 2010) reliever with a big arm and an inconsistent track-record but, still, a track-record that shows he can provide very good innings at the MLB level.

      I’m not telling anyone that Brian Bruney is some sort of bullpen savior, but I think a lot of people are losing perspective when it comes to him. Early in the season people thought he was the best 8th inning guy in the league after his short stretch of dominance, and now after his season finished poorly people think he’s cooked. The guy’s 27, he was born the same year as Grant Duff. I wonder, because he’s been around MLB for a few years already, people forget how young Bruney is.

      If you want to get rid of him you have to want to get rid of him for a better reason than “his ship has sailed.”

  14. Bo says:

    Humberto Sanchez is a nice example of why people shouldnt get too excited over prospects.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

      And Alex Rodriguez is a nice example of why people should get excited over prospects.

      The trick is to keep perspective, not to sway too far to one extreme or the other.

      • No, HCM, Rodriguez is a reason to not get excited over prospects. His murdering of baseball history undoes any benefit reaped from his talent and skill.

        Jayson Stark

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

          You know, that’s one meme I never tire of. God that was awful.

          Also… To be fair to Bo, he did say it’s a reason to not get “too” excited about prospects, which I guess isn’t inaccurate and mitigates the wrongness of his comment a good deal, but it’s still misleading to post that comment without explaining that it’s not good to hype prospects too much OR to pay too little attention to their value.

  15. Romulo seems like the smart move.

  16. I’m getting different numbers, probably because I went about it differently. I think there’s room for adding on not just AJax, Nova, and Russo, but also Romulo AND Duff AND Whelan.

    Here’s what I did, show me where I messed up.


    A.) Rather than just counting 40-man spots, I started with the forecasted 25 man active roster.

    Lineup (9)
    C-Posada 1B-Tex 2B-Cano 3B-ARod SS-Jeter LF-Damon CF-Melky RF-Swisher DH-Matsui
    Bench (4)
    C-Cervelli IF-Peña OF-Gardner FLEX-????? (Hinske/Hairston/Cameron)
    Starters (5)
    1-CC 2-AJ 3-Andy 4-Joba 5-Hughes
    Bullpen (7)
    1-Mo 2-Marte 3-Aceves 4-DRob 5-Coke 6-Bruney 7-Gaudin

    Let’s assume that’s the only guys really in this. This means that Molina, Wang, and Nady all walk; Pettitte, Damon, and Matsui all return, and we keep only one of either Hairston or Hinske, or let them both walk and bring in Cameron (or some other type of veteran bat for that last position player spot on the bench).


    B.) We’d then have these 25 other guys to either keep or dump, add or not add to fill out the 15 slots on the inactive roster:

    Position players:
    ALREADY ON (2) – Duncan, Miranda
    POSSIBLE ADDITIONS (5) – Corona, Curtis, Jackson, Nuñez, Russo
    ALREADY ON (9) – Albaladejo, Brackman, WDLR, Dunn, Garcia, Kennedy, Melancon, Mitre, Edwar
    POSSIBLE ADDITIONS (9) – Duff, Hirsh, Kroenke, Nova, H.Sanchez, R.Sanchez, Schmidt, Texeira, Whelan


    C.) My plan: Dump Shelley and Edwar, keep Albaladejo and Miranda, and add on AJax, Nova, Russo, Romulo, Duff, and Whelan.

    Final 15 man inactive roster:
    Position Players (3) – Jackson, Miranda, Russo
    Pitchers (12) – Albaladejo, Brackman, WDLR, Duff, Dunn, Garcia, Kennedy, Melancon, Mitre, Nova, R.Sanchez, Whelan

    Unprotected – Corona, Curtis, Nuñez, Hirsh, Kroenke, H.Sanchez, Schmidt, Texeira


    Where did I screw up?

    • jsbrendog says:

      hirsh isnt on the 40 man as of right now?

    • Rick in Boston says:

      I think Mike is crediting CMW with a 40-man roster spot, which he doesn’t count as since he’s on the 60-day DL.

      • Rick in Boston says:

        I’m actually not sure if he’s crediting Nady OR CMW, but that’s where the difference is I believe, plus Mike is holding one spot free for a fungible type guy.

      • FWIW, I was using Wiki’s 40 man roster for us, which lists 33 players currently on our roster (plus Wang who is still under team control), not the 38 that he said are on our 40-man currently. Wiki has already removed all the players who filed for free agency. As I understand it, if we offer them arb, they count against our 40 man; if we don’t, they don’t.

        I think the difference is here, though:

        …but remember that six of those spots will have to be used on replacements for Damon, Hairston, Hinske, Matsui, and Pettitte… plus assume one more spot for fungibility…

        I don’t think we’d have that many spots taken by “replacements”.

        Pettitte, Damon, and Matsui “replace” themselves. But, one of Hairston or Hinske will not be “replaced”, because we’re not likely to roll with a 5 or 6 man bench during the regular season like we would during the playoffs where we can survive with a 10 or 11 man pitching staff. And, there’s no spot needed for “fungibility”.

        Mike has us budgeting two spots for veteran free agents that I don’t think we actually need or will have room for.

      • Mike Axisa says:

        There’s no DL in the offseason. Wang counts against the 40-man until they non-tender him.

        • So, since the tender/nontender deadline isn’t until mid-December, after the Rule 5 protection deadline, let’s assume that Wang takes up a 40 man spot, whether we eventually keep him or not.

          If we don’t offer arb to any of the free agents (thus, removing them from our 40-man roster, then we have the following on the 40-man:

          1. Alfredo Aceves
          2. Jonathan Albaladejo
          3. Andrew Brackman
          4. Brian Bruney
          5. A. J. Burnett
          6. Joba Chamberlain
          7. Phil Coke
          8. Wilkins De La Rosa
          9. Michael Dunn
          10. Christian Garcia
          11. Chad Gaudin
          12. Phil Hughes
          13. Ian Kennedy
          14. Dámaso Marté
          15. Mark Melancon
          16. Sergio Mitre
          17. Edwar Ramírez
          18. Mariano Rivera
          19. David Robertson
          20. CC Sabathia
          21. Francisco Cervelli
          22. Jorge Posada
          23. Robinson Canó
          24. Derek Jeter
          25. Juan Miranda
          26. Ramiro Peña
          27. Alex Rodriguez
          28. Mark Teixeira
          29. Melky Cabrera
          30. Shelley Duncan
          31. Brett Gardner
          32. Nick Swisher
          33. Chien-Ming Wang

          7 spots as of today. DFA Shelley and Edwar, now we’re at 9 spots. Save spots for Andy, Damon, Matsui, and ONE of Hinske/Hairston/Cameron, and we’re back to 5 spots, meaning we can add AJax, Nova, Russo, and TWO of the people you listed as the candidates for the ONE remaining spot on the 40-man.


    • ColoYank says:

      This looks awfully reasonable to me, except that I have this question: the Yanks aren’t going to sign replacements for all their free agents before the Rule 5 Draft. Doesn’t that open up some more spaces to protect guys, so you can drop them when new free agents are signed over the winter?

      Fill me in on what I’m missing, please.

      • ColoYank says:

        Okay, looks like my question is answered below … why protect anybody you’re willing to DFA? I get it.

      • Dustin says:

        I was about to ask the very same question. How likely is it that Damon, Matsui, or Pettitte signs before the R5D? Especially unlikely for Pettitte–he’ll sign here or nowhere, so we can drag those negotiations out until late December or even into January like last year. Matsui and Damon could be in the same spot as Abreu and others were last year, and if Damon somehow gets a multi-year deal before the R5D, well, we can’t do anything about it, and that’s just another 40-man spot. And bench guys will all be late signees, if we’re looking for help that’s not already in our system, which we may not be, since there’ll always be the mid-season trade market. So as I see it, the spots taken up this season by Damon, Matsui, Molina, Hinske, Hairston, and Pettitte can all be used, at least initially, to protect our system pieces, and then if we have to move on re-signing Damon, Matsui, or Pettitte earlier than expected, we can do that and dump one of the lesser protected players off the 40-man. That is, unless we offer arb to Damon, Matsui, or Pettitte. Will we? Probably not for Matsui at least.

        Also, is Chris Garcia still worth protecting? Would he stay on a 25-man for an entire season, considering his injury history?

    • JMK aka The Overshare says:

      You left out Cody Ransom.

    • Chris says:

      Mike has ‘someone’ taking Hairston’s place. You have Pena taking his place.

      I agree with your approach, and it let’s us protect another player. If you want to upgrade that position, it’s easy enough to pickup someone during the season.

  17. Tony says:

    really down on Bruney huh..

  18. Tony says:

    can’t we just wait to sign our free agents until after the rule 5 draft & manipulate the players that way? Please advise.

  19. mryankee says:

    I wonder if any of these rul V guys can be included in the Halladay deal? Hello boys I missed you all in the previous post so you know I had to say something about my boy Roy.

    • jsbrendog says:

      then go back to that post and say it there.

      • mryankee says:

        I already did but I think everyone is inhere. My boys like yourself and others. Now lets not get off on the wrong foot-I just wanted to throw my Hallday two cents in here and I am now back on topic. I say protect Whelan mid 90 F/b good power pitcher out of the bullpen.

    • ColoYank says:

      I’m reminded of when Marge, trying to give a broad hint to the ever-clueless Homer, called the Jon Waters character “festive.”

      My, doesn’t mryankee seem “festive” today?

      • mryankee says:

        I am festive because I feel like the Yanks are going to do something big. I dont know why I just do-I think Hank is going to get his say and he will say Halladay. This is pure speculation. You might then ask how do they get Hallday at the right price? Old buddy AJ is gonna have a chat with Roy and convince Roy to only accept a deal to the Yanks and voila we get him for 30 cents on the dollar. Sorry I could not hold it in.

    • Hello boys I missed you all in the previous post so you know I had to say something about my boy Roy.

      You are rapidly becoming a parody of yourself.

    • pete says:

      dude. if the yankees are debating whether or not somebody is worthy of being protected from being taken for free, how would he factor into a deal for one of the best pitchers in baseball? Here is why you need to chillax a bit about the whole halladay thing:
      Guys it would take to get 1 year of halladay right now (pick any 3, maybe 4):

      Guys it would take to get however many years of halladay we want next year:
      a whole bunch of pictures of dead presidents

  20. currambayankees says:

    I’ve read that Nunez’s D is pretty good and that he tends to make errors on plays most SS couldn’t get to. What he does is try to make the spectacular play instead of pocketing some of those balls and conceding the hit so I am not sure why you consider his D just average.

    • pat says:

      Everywhere else I’ve read says the same thing. His D is solid and most of his errors come while getting to balls most SS let go up the middle.

  21. Sam says:

    So you think there’s no chance that the last guy protected is Eduardo Nunez? He of the .320 BA in Double-A at the ripe old age of 22? I’d be much more likely to protect him than either Romulo Sanchez. He’s very toolsy and the thing about his defense is that he has well above-average range, but sometimes makes bone-headed plays in the field. At the plate he has good power for a shortstop and has good speed, the one thing obviously lacking is plate discipline. At a bare minimum I want to see what he can do at Triple-A before letting him go elsewhere.

    • Sam says:

      Sorry, didn’t see the above.

    • currambayankees says:

      I certainly would protect this kid in 40 and not let him go. He is the closest SS with a legit chance to supplant Jetes, who lets be honest is not going to be playing SS into his 40 and probably not too many more years. If this kid continues to improve I would love to see the Yankees give him a chance. btw, from what I’ve read about him he’s also pretty clutch with RISP.

      • pete says:

        i’ve only ever heard that nunez is kevin russo with a better arm. When you have derek jeter, alex rodriguez, robinson cano in your inield, rounded out by the rest of the yankees awesome offense, your utility guy should be better in the field, and if that comes at the expense of offense, that’s something you live with. Eduardo Nunez is never going to be a good enough bat to be jeter’s replacement, and since pena is a much much much better defender, you keep pena if you have to make a choice.

  22. Adam says:

    What about Ivan Nova? He was not protected last year, but he has improved greatly. Why is he not even mentioned in this blog? He is a definite.

  23. Charlie says:

    well written, though i really think nunez should be considered a little more. you kinda just scratched him off for no reason. he’s a shortstop that seems to be able to hit pretty well, unlike pena. also, this shit is just really confusing.

  24. [...] probably seen this already since you should be reading them 10 times a day as it is — have their take on the Rule 5 eligible players this year and who should get [...]

  25. boreifs says:

    Nunez will be protected.

  26. [...] The Yankees have five players eligible for arbitration, though they cut two others loose in Josh Towers and Freddy Guzman. The Yanks also have some decisions to make about the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. [...]

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