Who is eligible for the Yankees postseason roster?

Open Thread: Walk this way
DotF: Montero's big day

When the Yankees designated Aaron Laffey for assignment, it created a free 40-man roster spot. The Yankees can use this spot in many ways, and may, in fact, eventually re-add Laffey (if he clears waivers and is outrighted to AAA). With the August 31st postseason roster deadline looming though, it could be that the Yankees are saving that for a player currently not on the 40-man roster who they might, just might, like to have on the playoff roster. Jesus Montero and Manny Banuelos immediately come to mind. But the Yankees don’t need to use that 40-man spot on either, even if they fully intend to use one or both in the postseason. In fact, neither has to be on the 25-man roster on August 31st.

That might sound a bit confusing, because it runs counter to the old maxim that playoff roster have to be set by midnight on August 31st. While that is technically true, there are a number of exceptions to the rule. In fact, given the way MLB has created the rules, there are few limitations on what players a team can add to its postseason roster.

The eligible pool

Indeed, the active roster as of midnight on August 31st constitutes the immediately eligible players for a team’s postseason roster. Those include all players on the 25-man, plus any players on the disabled list, bereavement list, suspended list, or any other type of inactive list. Any of those players can be added to the postseason roster prior to any series.

The wild cards

Here’s where the rules open up. If any player in the eligible pool is injured at the start of any series, the team can substitute any player that was in the organization on August 31st. This is not limited, then, to players on the 40-man roster. It’s not even limited to players on the 40-man roster at the time of the substitution.

If the Yankees swung a trade in September and used that player every day from September 1 through the end of the season, it would not matter. He would not be postseason-eligible. But a player on the High-A Tampa roster would be eligible, whether or not he was ever on the 40-man roster prior to the series. (Though the Yankees would obviously have to add him to the 40-man roster before they could substitute him.)

The substitutions can be any player for any player. That is, they do not have to be position player for position player and pitcher for pitcher. That occurs in only one instance, which we’ll get to in just a tick.

Postseason substitution

Before every postseason series each team can submit a new roster, from its pool of eligible players. Teams can swap players in and out before each series without restriction.

If a player is injured during a postseason series, the team can substitute him immediately. This bears the position player for position player, pitcher for pitcher requirement. The substitution can be anyone that was in the team’s organization on August 31st, regardless of current roster status. The catch is that the injured player becomes inactive not only for the current series, but for the next one as well. In other words: get hurt in the ALCS, miss the World Series.

The Yankees situation

If the clock had just struck midnight on August 31st, rather than August 22nd, here’s how the Yankees’ eligible pool would break down.

Active Roster: Luis Ayala, A.J. Burnett, Bartolo Colon, Phil Hughes, Boone Logan, Hector Noesi, Ivan Nova, Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, CC Sabathia, Rafael Soriano, Cory Wade, Francisco Cervelli, Russell Martin, Robinson Cano, Eric Chavez, Derek Jeter, Eduardo Nunez, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Andruw Jones, Nick Swisher, Jorge Posada

Disabled list: Joba Chamberlain, Pedro Feliciano, Freddy Garcia, Jeff Marquez, Damaso Marte, Sergio Mitre, Reegie Corona, Ramiro Pena, Colin Curtis

That gives the Yankees a pool of 34 players from which they can choose. But it really opens eligibility to the entire organization. We know that Chamberlain, Curtis, and Corona will not return. Therefore, the Yankees have at least three substitution spots. They could, therefore, add both Banuelos and Montero to the postseason roster before any series, regardless of whether they’re on the active roster, or even 40-man roster, on August 31st. There is a chance that every player on this list, save for Marquez and Garcia, ends the season on the DL. That will give the Yankees carte blanche to create their postseason roster.

Chances are, of course, that the Yankees won’t take advantage of their ability to substitute. Maybe they bring up a burner, as they did in 2009 with Freddy Guzman. There’s a chance, though an outside one, that they take Montero as an extra bat off the bench (and those chances could increase should they make the World Series). But right now they’re quite set in terms of position players. They’ll also likely reduce to an 11-man pitching staff, and so will be set there, too. If something goes awry between now and the end of September, though, the Yankees have their options. Who knew that having a crowded disabled list could come in handy at crucial moments?

Open Thread: Walk this way
DotF: Montero's big day
  • 28 this year

    Who’s the fastest runner in the system? Perhaps, it would behoove the Yanks to call them up just for that one moment. Mesa perhaps?

    • Carl

      Trenton’s Ray Kruml leads the Yankee’s system with 37 SB

      • Shuffle Cards for fun

        How exactly is that pronounced?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder


  • jay h

    mason williams for the postseason roster.

    • 28 this year

      I think he would have to be added to the 40 man so doing so now would leave him with only 3 option years of development, he might need more time than that. Thats the only reason I didn’t suggest him but rather Mesa.

      • jay h

        I know. I was just kidding

        • 28 this year

          i know but its not out of the realm of possibility. Essentially, pick the fastest guy. Or better yet, sign Usain Bolt on August 31st and give him a month to learn how to steal a base. you never know. At the very least, it would be really fun to watch and even if it doesn’t work out, I would applaud the creativity.

          • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

            if they were to even consider that Usain Bolt idea they would have done that by now.

            • Tom O
              • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

                31/48 in steals and 0 for in the postseason. Is that really something to brag about?

                • MikeD

                  No, it’s not, and I’m sure that’s Tom O’s point. The Usain Bolt idea has been attempted in MLB before with Herb Washington, who did not have a very high success rate of stealing bases. As great at Bolt is, a speedy professional baseball player will steal at a higher success rate than the world’s fastest runner.

      • Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

        Never mind the fact that Williams doesn’t even have a full season of lower minor league ball yet. He was just drafted last year……

        If you want speed, you bring up a guy like Golson or Dickerson.

        • jay h

          still just kidding

  • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

    Where’s my DOTF dammit! lol

    • Carl

      I’m sure Most will happen to learn that Montero had ONE HELL of a day at the office playing both games of today’s DH. Had 2 BOMBS and 7 RBIs as Banuelos won his first game for Scranton. A 3 run Bomb and a Solo shot to go with 2 singles and a double. He is on fire this month!!!

      • Carl

        Laird had a Hell of a DAY as well. Going deep both games and driving in 5 RBIs for the day. Garcia got the win in the 2nd game going 4 innings, 8 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk and 0 Ks. throwing 59 pitches.

      • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

        Not to mention that he finally pushed his OPS past the magic .800 mark.

    • mbonzo

      I have one but I feel like this is the wrong place to put it, totally off topic. Its awaiting moderation.


      It came out pretty well, nothings as good as Axisa’s but its better than nothing.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Golson is the guy to bring up and play late inning D in the post season. He can steal a base and throw out runners at 2nd/3rd/home from any outfield position.

    Any video of Montero’s HR’s last night?

    • David, Jr.

      He is an ideal 4th outfielder and could start for several teams. It isn’t good for him, but again shows the awesome level of overall talent.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        I’m not sure if his slightly better baserunning and outfield arm skills make him a better choice over Chris Dickerson’s slightly better batting skills and lefthandedness.

        They’re both eminently capable defenders, good enough to be an LIDR for Swisher. They’re both fast enough to be good pinchrunners for Posada/whomever, but neither one is truly a SB artist. Golson’s arm is better, Dickerson’s bat is better (which probably wouldn’t mean much, but if you PR/PH him in a tie game and he has to stay in and comes to bat again later in extras, you’ll be glad it’s Dickerson and not Golson).

        I bet Dickerson gets the nod, but neither choice is a poor one.

  • infernoscurse

    justin maxwell

    • Monteroisdinero

      he’s done for the year-injury.

  • Bronx Byte

    Just keep Burnett off ANY playoff roster.

    • methatguy

      agreed if burnett is on the post season roster it’s a waste of space