The Upcoming 40-Man Roster Crunch

Tuesday Night Open Thread
2014 Draft: Baseball America releases first top 50 ranking
Neither of these guys figure to be on the 40-man next year. (Presswire)
Neither of these guys figure to be on the 40-man next year. (Presswire)

Thanks to long-term contracts and liberal protection of minor leaguers from the Rule 5 Draft, the Yankees have been dealing with a cluttered 40-man roster for a few years now. All of the injuries this season compounded the problem, because for nearly every player who got hurt, someone had to be brought in to replace him.

At this moment, the Yankees have 47 players on their 40-man roster. They can thank the 60-day DL for those seven extra spots. Some spots will be cleared when free agency opens but a bunch will be taken when the team has to protect even more players — most notably top prospect Gary Sanchez — from the Rule 5 Draft. On top of that, the Yankees need to acquire some pitchers (starters and relievers), a catcher, maybe two infielders, an outfielder, a bench, so on and so forth this winter.

Needless to say, Brian Cashman & Co. are going to have to deal with another 40-man roster crunch this winter. Let’s take a look at where things stand and who may be on the chopping block when push comes to shove over the next few months.

Impending Free Agents (13): Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Hiroki Kuroda, Boone Logan, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Robinson Cano, Lyle Overbay, Mark Reynolds, Brendan Ryan, Kevin Youkilis, Curtis Granderson, Travis Hafner

The latest Collective Bargaining Agreement says players officially become free agents at 9am ET the day following the end of the World Series. They got rid of that silly little five-day period during which a player had to formally file for free agency, which was nothing but a time-waster. The day after the end of the World Series, those 13 guys up there will hit the open market — they can’t sign with a new team until five days after the end of the Fall Classic, but that’s another matter — and leave the Yankees with 34 players on the 40-man roster.

60-Day DL (seven): CC Sabathia, Frankie Cervelli, Derek Jeter, Corban Joseph, Jayson Nix, Mark Teixeira, Youkilis

Youkilis overlaps with the impending free agents group and I’m assuming Jeter will pick up his player option and not actually become a free agent. The six non-Youkilis guys have to be activated and leave the Yankees with 40 players on the 40-man roster. So before their offseason even begins, the Bombers will have a full-40-man roster. Hooray inflexibility. but they were already counted in our group of 47, so the Yankees will still have 34 players on the 40-man.

Non-Tender Candidates (five): Matt Daley, David Huff, Cervelli, Chris Stewart, Nix

(Rich Schultz/Getty)
(Rich Schultz/Getty)

The deadline to tender contracts to players who have yet to qualify for free agency (meaning they don’t yet have six full years of service time) is in late November, and players who don’t receive contract tenders become free agents. Those are usually guys who start earning more than they’re worth through arbitration because the system is still based on pitcher wins and saves and runs batted in, old school stats like that. The Dodgers non-tendered Russell Martin because his production was declining and because he’d been getting hurt, for example.

Stewart, who will be arbitration-eligible the first time, is an obvious non-contender candidate with Cervelli plus three young catchers (Austin Romine, J.R. Murphy, and Sanchez) either on or soon to be on the 40-man roster. I guess there’s a chance the Yankees will cut ties with Cervelli as well, but I don’t see it. Maybe if they bring in two new catchers before the non-tender deadline or something.

Huff had a nice little run late in the season but is cut from the Aaron Small/Shawn Chacon mold — be happy with what you got and move on before you get burned. Nix is a perfectly fine (but eminently replacement) utility infielder who played way too much this season, which could move him to the wrong side of the salary/production threshold.

DFA/Release Candidates (four): Vernon Wells, Ichiro Suzuki, Ramon Flores, Joseph

Wells and Ichiro were awful this past season and have been for three years running now. Their salaries and statuses as proven veterans/good clubhouse guys and whatever else should not keep them on the roster. If (and hopefully when) the Yankees find suitable replacements, these two should be given the axe. I can’t stress this enough: you don’t win by having bad players on the team. These two are bad and they should absolutely be on the hot seat this offseason.

I had high hopes for Flores coming into the season — I had him fifth on my preseason list of the team’s top prospects (lol in hindsight) — but he didn’t hit much with Double-A Trenton (.260/.353/.363, 104 wRC+) and there are serious concerns about his long-term power potential. If there was ever a time to sneak him through waivers and keep him in the organization as a non-40 man roster player, this is it. Same goes for Joseph, who made his big league debut this year but also missed most of the season following shoulder surgery. He is likely at the front of what figures to be a very long designate for assignment line. These guys are on a day-by-day basis — they get removed from the roster when a spot is needed, there is no deadline to get rid of them.

Tuesday Night Open Thread
2014 Draft: Baseball America releases first top 50 ranking
  • Pat D

    Sorry, Mike, but at this point, I’m not going to believe Chris Stewart won’t be a Yankee until it actually happens. Even then I’ll still doubt it.

    But I doubt he’s going anywhere right now.

    • Monty

      Stewie was one of Girardi’s incentives. He’s signed a 4 year deal to be Girardi’s binder holder and Catcher until 2017.

    • Nick

      we can all dream

  • mark

    I love this line: “I can’t stress this enough: you don’t win by having bad players on the team.”

    • Vernon Wells

      HEY! Come on now. You think YOU could put up a .495 OPS in 300 PAs?? Ha! I don’t think so. Bad player my ass. That takes SKILL, bro!

      • Captain Turbo

        Mr. Wells, you are no Raul Ibanez.

  • MB923

    I think they should hold on to Ichiro. Still above average defensively, still above average on the basepaths, and he actually hit well against lefties this year. Only player on the team who had a higher BA than him against lefties was Soriano. Though Ichiro was 4th in OBP

    He’d be good to use late in ball games and even get some starts against LHP, which is rare to say for a LHB.

    • mitch

      Ichiro is the only one of the group that is owed significant money. He’s certainly replaceable, but i don’t see him getting DFA’d.

      •!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

        Wells is owed money too. Not a ton, but still something.

        • I’m One

          Yes, but that money doesn’t count against the celery cap, so it’s easier to swallow.

          •!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

            Hey, I’m in. Trust me lol. I’m just saying he’s guaranteed it.

          • Ryan

            But are we sure there will be enough vegetable dip?

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Never. Cashman failed.

  • DERP

    I’d probably get rid of Turley before Flores. Is Brett Marshall safe?

    • dp

      Why would you even say something this dumb? Turley and Flores still have upside…

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Not an indictment of that. It’s managing risk. Like Mike said, you may be able to sneak Flores through waivers. I think it’s less like with the pitchers.

        You may also pull a David Adams and release a guy, but have an “agreement” in place in which he comes back on an MiLB deal. My only hope there is that we don’t have a guy rejecting his fandom over Ramon Flores getting released.

        • Travis L.

          I never liked Flores much anyway. I’m guessing Heathcott, Mitchell, Sanchez, Campos, Burawa, Kahnle, Whitley, Greene and Pirela get the most consideration for a roster spot. With Scottie Allen, Sean Black, Fred Lewis, Diego Moreno, Mikey O’Brien, Aaron Dott, Zach Nuding, etc. getting left behind. Maybe Allen, Lewis, and Nuding get picked.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I’d say the guys that need to be added get added, and anything after that comes from need as the season wears on. A lot of those guys are have value but, in a time of crunch, you have to go with the guys who fill a need, you’re in a danger of losing if not protected, and who you don’t think would last the season on someone else’s 25-man roster. I think they have to fit all three of those.

            Diego Moreno? Diggin’ deep in that barrel, Travis. :)

            • Travis L.

              I didn’t mean that they would protect Moreno, but he is eligible. If they protect Moreno…I quit.

          • dp

            This is what cracks me up…no knows who Flores is going to become so you don’t like him…plain dumb. He is young for AA and Trenton is a terrible park for left handed power especially compared to Yankees Stadium plus he put up a solid OBP.

            • Travis L.

              My bad. It was my opinion of him. Didn’t realize that we all had to be the same. Still though, I DONT LIKE HIM AS A PLAYER and you’ll have to say “ok, different strokes for different folks” and move on with your day. Hopefully Flores makes me eat my words and is a lifelong Yankee, playing well and getting into records books, but right now, I don’t much care for him and would rather have others in his stead. Deal.

              • dp

                Well then continue your foolish thinking…shows your not worth much…ta ta

              • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

                I think the point is more along the lines of questioning why you don’t like him as a player as opposed to rolling over and accepting it. Counterpoints to not liking him were offered. What’s your take? Is that take unassailable given the valid counterpoints mentioned?

                You see, that’s how a discussion or informed debate works.

  • I’m One

    While I agree with your opinions on the value of the players, similar to what Pat D feels, I don’t see one player from your list being removed: Ichiro. Between salary and his potential usefulness as a 4th/5th OF and adding in his “marketability”, I just don’t see him being cut free, although it should happen.

    •!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      I agree, but I think that depends on who they add. If they add some pieces to the OF mix his marketability would go right out the window. Still, I don’t think it’ll happen.

      • I’m One

        Definitely hear what you’re saying and agree.

  • Mark Teixiera – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

    I am Loling at the fact that you believe that the Yankees will try and cut ties with Ichiro/Wells/Stewart and co. Cashman seems really content with having crappy players taking up roster spots.

    • MB923

      I can see Wells being cut. He’ll be paid “only” about $1 million next year, which is about $1 million too much. Ichiro will stay and I hope he does, but in a limited role. Stewart, not sure.

      • Phil

        Wells and Ichiro combined salary Yankees responsibility is 10 Million in 2014. If they get cut Yanks will still have to pay. Ichiro is 6.5 and Wells is 3.5.

        Give Cashman credit he paid a larger part of Wells salary in 2013.

  • Travis L.

    I guess I missed something, as I’ve been trying to keep up with the 40-man roster for the 2014 offseason. I still had open spots on the roster, not sure what I did. Let me know if I’ve missed someone, but I’m listing the players I have on the roster (barring rule V additions, free agent signings, and Jeter’s option).

    1. Adams, 2. Almonte, 3. Banuelos, 4. Betances, 5. Cabral, 6. Cervelli, 7. Claiborne, 8. Daley, 9. Flores, 10. Gardner, 11. Huff, 12. Joseph, 13. Marshall, 14. Murphy, 15. Nix, 16. Nova, 17. Nunez, 18. Nuno, 19. Phelps, 20. Pineda, 21. Ramirez, 22. Robertson, 23. Rodriguez, 24. Romine, 25. Sabathia, 26. Soriano, 27. Stewart, 28. Suzuki, 29. Teixeira, 30. Turley, 31. Warren, 32. Wells.

    Leaving 8 spots open. What did I miss?

    • Travis L.

      33. Kelley

  • EMN

    Mike – I think your logic/math is off. There’s 47 people on the 40 man (that number includes the 60 day DL guys). You take away the 13 free agents and you are down to 34. You do not need to add back the 60 day DL guys because they are already in your 47 that you started with. So they are at 34 on the 40 man before doing anything.

    It’s not great but it’s better than what you wrote.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      There’s definitely still a crunch, but it’s not the impossible puzzle the post leads you to believe it is. For example, I’d expect about 3-4 of those FAs to be back with the team. That gives you 38.

      If I were some of the non-tender, non-big-money-DFA guys, I’d be looking over my shoulder right now.

      • Travis L.

        I cant see starting the season with Huff, Daley and Stewart on this team. To be honest, I’d think Betances is on the verge of losing his ass on this team too. He has great stuff, but cant harness it. His last outing was the most encouraging, but other than that, he has seemed a little too hittable.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Possible for sure. If Betances doesn’t look sharp in Spring Training, he could most definitely be a goner. He wouldn’t be the first once-highly-touted guy somewhere to be let go at the end of the spring when he couldn’t cut it in the pen. Sometimes, you wind up on the recieving end of that. Isn’t that how we wound up with Cody Eppley?

          Huff, Daley, and Betances, more the former two, will go in there pitching for a spot in the org.

          I know we like to be cutesy about Stewart, but I also agree. I also think it’s possible the catcher crunch (CATCHER WARZ PART DEUX!!!) gets resolved before they even report to camp. We’re not carrying five catchers on the 40-man next year.

          • Travis L.

            My 2 cents for the catching situation (or my guess) is that Murphy gets traded (most upside) and Stewart gets non-tendered or traded for an “Shawn Kelley or less” reliever who would end up in AAA as depth (non-40 man depth). Leaving Cervelli and Romine as MLB and BUC, and Sanchez as the 3rd guy.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              I say Cervelli never makes it to Spring Training. Murphy goes back to AAA while Romine backs up…….BRIAN MCCANN. BOOM.

              Stewart gets traded for a middle reliever type somewhere.

              Okay, half of that is plain wishing and not an actual prediction.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                Most likely, Romine and Stewie trade playing time places and Murphy knocks closer on the door. No McCann.

                • Travis L.

                  You think they keep Stewie, even though Cervelli won the job out of ST in 2013?

                  • Wolfgang’s Fault

                    They can’t trade Murphy because he’s their best catcher — he just is. Granted, he’s 21 and probably will take some time to fully grow into the starting catcher gig, but they really ought to be thinking about him in that role now. I’d have Stewart or Cervelli or Dioner Navarro as the veteran behind him, & quite possibly two of those three backing Murph up to start the year. I’d either begin ’14 w/ Romine in AAA & bring him up after he’s started 40-45 games & shown he’s healthy & hitting or if the right deal comes along this winter, I’d include him in it. Murphy is capable of filling in at 3B as well, so there’s added value w/him. If Murphy shows he can hold his own in the show & Romine is still here & plays well enough for the call-up in June, you can then deal or cut one or both of the other catchers — IF the right deal(s) come along.

                    Wells should no longer be on a major league roster as he’s cooked. Yanks will probably have to wait until spring training or even well into April or May to find another team/home for Ichiro, but they should do all they can to find a club that wants him — perhaps in the NL. Besides, now’s the tIme to find out about Almonte, Fernando Martinez, & the two Cubans Garcia & Mustelier in the outfield &/or anyone else who turns up over the off-season.

                    I’m not sold on Betances either. Feels like too little too late. What i saw of him in September left me feeling — meh.

                    They should also leave Banuelos off the 40 man as no way he’ll stick on a ML roster all year as he’s still rehabbing. I’d take that risk. Nix is another guy they could risk leaving off & if he’s taken, find another player who could bring more or less what he does.

  • DERP

    I think Mike added the 60-day DL guys back twice. They were included in the original 47 and then added again after the free agents were taken out. I think there should be 34 spots taken already.

    • DERP

      What the two guys above me said. I think Travis L’s list is correct, with the 34th guy being Jeter if you want to include him.

  • Travis L.

    In Mike’s defense…he did say he was extremely busy this week.

  • Handsome B. Wonderful

    I hope in the Open Thread tonight the theme is remembering the 10th anniversary of the Aaron Boone walk-off in the 2003 ALCS.

    • Dirty Water

      Yeah the Yankees winning the 2003 World Series was one of my all-time favorites. Oh yeah I forgot you got worked by the Marlins LOL.

      • jjyank

        Trolling grade: F.

        Weak game, son. Take it elsewhere.

        • Travis L.


  • Vern Sneaker

    I agree with cutting Wells/Ichiro/Stewart, but let’s leave them in place for discussion’s sake since it’s very unclear that will happen, and I also doubt they’ll non-tender Cervelli. I also agree with Mike’s other cuts (non-tenders/DFAs, etc.). So to start with (not including free agents). we’ve got:

    C: Stewart, Murphy, Romine, Cervelli, Sanchez
    IF: Jeter, Tex, Adams, Nunez
    OF: Gardner, Soriano, Almonte
    P: Banuelos, Betances, Cabral, Claiborne, Kelley, Marshall, Nova, Nuno,Phelps, Pineda, Ramirez, Robinson, Sabathia, Turley, Warren

    Add: Cano (re-signed), Ryan (re-signed), Granderson (re-signed, Reynolds (re-signed), and (hopefully) Kuroda (re-signed).

    That’s 32 — and lots of holes.

    • Vern Sneaker

      Forgot to put back Wells and Ichiro in the OF for now, so it’s 34.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I’ll give everyone on here a shiny internet silver dollar if Ichiro is cut before Opening Day.

      • Travis L.

        Damn…I really wanted one too. (was that too early of a response?)

      • Chris in Maine

        Would love to see the presser where Ichiro thanks the Yankees for “allowing” him to return to Japan for his final season.

      • LarryM Fl

        Let post so i can claim my shiny internet dollar from Mr. Tilapia. But I do not believe he will be DFA until after the All Star break if at all.

      • Preston

        Ichiro being cut is all the reward I’ll need. Keep your silver dollar.

        • RetroRob

          You will not receive a silver dollar and, unfortunately, you will not get your reward. I do not see Ichiro being cut at all.

          He will be the 4th OFer. At least I hope he’s limited to the 4th OFer role and not a starter. Still, even as the 4th OFer, he is going to get way too many ABs.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I also plan on skipping town with a bag of virtual silver dollars come March anyway.

            • RetroRob

              Are virtual silver dollers worth more, less, the same as Bitcoins?

          • Yankee gm

            The Yankees won’t (and shouldn’t) cut ichiro simply because it would be bad form to embarrass him that way. If anything is gonna happen it will occur before the season starts as someone above said “allowing” ichy to finish his career in Japan.

      • ropeadope

        2014 Comeback Player of the Year >>> Ichiro!

        RT, when it happens, please make my silver dollar an Eagle / Maple / Philharmonic (your choice).

  • Frank

    LOL at the Yankees admitting a mistake on swallowing 6.5MM for ichiro or even wells for that matter.

    And how, how are you going to replace chris stewart’s, sorry stewie’s, pitch framing abilities? He’s the Michael Jordan of pitch framing, and that can’t be ignored! #shootme

  • Grover

    Every cut requires a replacement and when your payroll is expected to shrink considerably and Wells counts $0 against, I’m guessing he is making the team unless they can find a taker at or near his $2.4M salary. Ichiro’s affect on the Yankee brand and revenue will continue to be unknown outside of the hallowed halls but do not be surprised if he stays under any circumstance with revenues down 30%+ this year. Stewart is a greater question mark but much easier to replace at similar cost. Romine as a trade chip likely has a greater impact on keeping Stewart than his play and Girardi’s affection. As much as we would like to see McCann or even Salty to a far lesser degree, third base and a plethora of pitching will likely be of greater priority.

  • FLYER7

    Def double counted. There were 40 on roster, 7 on sixty day DL and Cervelli on restricted. That’s 48. Zagurski was optioned already. That’s 47. 13 FAs take it down to 34…then you can talk about new DFAs or non tenders (Daley, Huff, Stewart, Nix, Joseph, Wells, Flores)…The number then should be around 30 or just below to add Rule 5 eligible and new signings…not the crunch it appeared to be…

  • mt

    Will the same team that stubbornly refused to let Joba go in August (before rosters expanded) when Yanks could have used better relief help at the time now turn around and just kick Ichiro to the curb before 2014 starts (because he is diminished to basically the same level he was at when Yanks got him from Seattle?) I don’t think so but would love to be wrong.

    Since Soriano’s defense comes and goes, I can see them wanting Ichiro for his defense and speed as back-up – would love to see those salary dollars btter utilizewd if a $189 million plan is maintained. Best I can see is a trade where Yanks pick up some of salary and Yanks get a useful (infield?) utility piece back or back-end bullpen arm.

    If Yanks simply DFA Ichiro, $6.5 million is a lot to pay for no production if they are trying to keep the $189 million plan intact. In addition, given Arod’s 660 HR bonus of $6 million, if Arod’s suspension is reduced so that he plays at all this year for more than, say, 50 games, a DFA’d Ichiro and Arod’s $6 million HR bonus would both add up to possibly $12.5 million of “waste”.

  • PunkPitch

    Granderson is a keeper, in spite of his BA. Let Cano paddle on down the road. Hughes too.

    • Travis L.

      Two things:

      1. How does one “paddle” on a road?

      2. I’d let Granderson walk, if only because I’m not looking forward to another roster crunch at this time next year and Tyler Austin, Ben Gamel and Mason Williams will all be Rule V eligible. We don’t need Grandy blocking any of them (as long as they improve that is). But, if they don’t…I’m sure there will be other avenues for the Yankees to go.

      • PunkPitch

        1. Use your imagination.

        2. All three minor league outfielders you mentioned are a major downgrade from what Grandy gives you at least for the next few years. Williams is the only one who could amount to being a future starter, and scouts were not impressed this year, like they had been earlier on. Considering the state of the soft cap, Granderson fits – with or without Arod and his big contract. As much as we all like Cano, he wants too much money, for too many years.

        • Wolfgang’s Fault

          If Robbie walks, no way I want Granderson back as this team wouldn’t have a chance in hell of winning 75 games. TIme to really rebuild then, so offer Granderson the one year Q/O & take the pick & if he accepts, deal him when you can. Fill out (rest of) ’14 roster w/scrubs & players in need of re-establishing their value. When they do, deal them for prospects. Wait for deadline in July & deal CC to a contender, try to do the same w/Tex. Look for good character high hustle competitive guys to compete with & set the tone, & deal for & develop a new foundation to build a winning team with. If Robbie is no longer here, time to really use your imagination. Have a Derek Jeter day in September & rebuild the damn team.

  • Eselquetodolosabe

    Like some of you, I’m averse to bringing Chris Stewart back. His offense was a burden for the line-up, and I don’t know if his defensive peripherals can compensate. Romine and Murphy seemed to gain confidence and knowledge as they spent more time at the majors level (tutorship of Stewart-perhaps, and Peña). I’m probably in the minority, but I’d be inclined to go to camp with Cervelli, Romine, Murphy and a veteran (not Stewart-to tempting for Girardi). With Cervelli and Romine sharing duties, Murphy “polishing” in Scranton, and a veteran stashed in Scranton. As for McCann, I’d pass, he’d cost our 1st rounder, and his throwing percentages were not the best. Catching is a position of depth for NY, albeit unproven. I’d rather focus on other areas. Maybe keeping Granderson and so on …,

  • Captain Turbo

    The question is who is the straw that stirs the drink in 2014?

  • SeventhAce

    We’ll all be dead before Stewie is off the 40 man…

  • FLYER7

    Okay we know we probably have as many as 10 spots on 40 man roster assuming 4 FA signings any guesses as to which 6 minor leaguers get added? Sanchez for sure, who the other five? Guesses people…

  • Doug

    If A-Rod is suspended for the year the Yanks could sign Cano,Beltran,McCann,Tanaka,Nolasco,Reynolds, and Balfour. This would put the Yanks back in the playoff mix.

  • Greg

    I totally agree on Wells and Ichiro. They both have such low ceilings at this point that it’s pointless to bring them back. The Yankees can do MUCH better at RF and the 4th OF. But with that said, aren’t they both under contract for 2014? Will the Yankees just eat their combined salary? Or is there some other way to get them off the books.

  • scooter10

    If Cano comes back for $25m, Granderson for $14m, Kuroda for $14m, Reynolds for $5m and Ryan for $3m that leaves about $25m assuming team wants to come in under $189m (before taxes $177m). If you assume another 8-9 players make on average $1m, now you’re down to about $15m. That leaves dollars for either McCann or Tanaka. Probably not both, unless Arod’s suspension is upheld. I personally think it will be reduced to 50 games, which would provide another $8m cushion. I would go with Tanaka.

    My opening day prediction:

    C – Cervelli
    1B – Teixeira
    2B – Cano
    SS – Jeter
    3B – Reynolds
    LF – Soriano
    CF – Gardner
    RF – Granderson

    C – Romine
    IF – Ryan
    IF – Nunez
    OF – Suzuki
    OF – Wells

    SP – Sabathia
    SP – Kuroda
    SP – Tanaka
    SP – Nova
    SP – Pineda/Phelps/Warren

    RP – Phelps/Warren
    RP – Betances
    RP – Claiborne
    RP – Huff
    RP – Cabral
    RP – Kelley
    RP – Robertson

    SUS – Arod (50 games)

    CF – Gardner
    DH – Jeter
    2B – Cano
    LF – Sorinao
    1B – Teixeira
    RF – Granderson
    3B – Reynolds
    C – Cervelli
    SS – Ryan

    • Grover

      Did you capture Jeter’s option in your calculations? Your prediction appears to be substituting Tanaka for Pettite and a return to health and form of essentially the same team. You may be close to what occurs in order to stay on budget but I would expect Cashman is going to put his ass on the line by making some creative deals and lower cost signings for the pitching staff and a upgrade at third base. It may sound counterintuitive with such a weak farm system at the higher levels but I could see multiple prospect traded for one who is annointed the starter until he sinks or swims.