Monday evening was the deadline for Major League teams to set their 40-man rosters prior to the Rule 5 Draft. Clubs had to make some tough decisions on whether or not to add some of their Rule 5 eligible prospects to their 40-man rosters to protect them from the draft.
The Yankees were one of the last teams to announce their roster moves, but made some of the most notable moves of the day.
The Yankees made the following roster moves:
•Added OF Estevan Florial, RHPs Deivi García, Luis Gil, Brooks Kriske, Luis Medina, Nick Nelson & Miguel Yajure to the Major League roster
•Released OF Jacoby Ellsbury
•Designated 1B Greg Bird & LHP Nestor Cortes Jr. for assignment
It was expected that the Yankees would add some of their top prospects to the 40-man roster, but it is a bit of a surprise that they added seven players in total. Florial, Garcia and Gil were all expected to be added to the 40-man roster, but it was unclear as to what other players the team would elect to add before the deadline.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Yankees made some big moves to accommodate the transactions.
We all know how terrible Ellsbury’s deal turned out for the Yankees. The Bronx Bombers signed him to a seven-year, $153 million contract in 2014, and was nothing but a disappointment. Injuries have derailed his career, as the now 36-year-old has not appeared in a big league game since 2017.
Although they are cutting ties with Ellsbury, the Yankees will still be responsible to pay the remaining $26 million on his current contract.
Additionally, the Yankees announced that both Greg Bird and Nestor Cortes Jr. were designated for assignment.
Bird has also been a player who has been hampered by injuries. The 27-year-old appeared in just 10 games during the 2019 season, and has not appeared in more than 82 games during his four big league seasons.
Cortes Jr. made 33 appearances for the Yankees in 2019, posting a 5-1 record with a 5.67 ERA. He served in a long-reliever type role and had times where he showed that he was a big league quality pitcher.
It will be interesting to see what happens with Bird and Cortes Jr. Will they accept a minor league assignment, or are their futures in baseball with other clubs?
Time will only tell.
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