Yankees lose six players to the Rule-5 draft, acquire one
The Yankees’ minor league systems is deep even beyond the flashy prospects, and as a result, they had six players they chose not to protect on the 40-man roster selected by other clubs in the Rule-5 draft. Only one of the six Yankees, RHP Nick Green, was selected in the Major League phase, while five players were selected in the Triple-A phase. The Yankees chose one player of their own in the Triple-A phase in RHP Adonis De la Cruz. A friendly reminder for those who are not familiar with the Rule-5 draft, the teams who select these players must keep them on their active roster of either the Major League or Triple-A team, depending on the phase of selection, or be offered back to their former club. Here is a breakdown of Cruz and who the Yankees lost:
Adonis De la Cruz, RHP, 23
De la Cruz was selected from the Mariners. The converted outfielder had a subpar 2018 season in Single-A , in terms of run prevention, as he posted a 4.71 ERA. However, he struck out 11.8 per nine innings, demonstrated solid control, and allowed only three home runs in 57.1 innings. The Yankees are banking on his solid peripheral stats to hopefully be more telling of his potential. De la Cruz will report to Scranton.
Nick Green, RHP, 23
Green was by far the best player the Yankees lost. Green was selected by Arizona in the Major League portion of the draft, and has a chance to stay with the club who has been actively shipping away players this offseason. Green was acquired from the Rangers in the Carlos Beltran trade in 2016, and has been a steady producer in the Yankees farm system. In 2018, he pitched to a 3.32 ERA in 23 starts between Trenton and Tampa. Green isn’t one of the flashier Yankee pitching prospects, which is why the Yankees opted to leave him available to other teams.
Mark Payton, OF, 27
Payton was a seventh-round pick by the Yankees back in 2014, but has not been able to get past Triple-A. Payton is known for his solid on base skills and his above-average glove, but offensively he hasn’t demonstrated anything that would make him more than a fourth outfielder. However, there is strong chance he sticks with Oakland as he projects as the type of player that fits their Moneyball mold.
Anyelo Gomez, RHP, 25
Gomez is no stranger to this process as he was selected by the Braves last season, and was returned to the Yankees after he struggled in spring training. This time around, Gomez was selected by Boston. Gomez is another likely candidate to be gone for good as his Triple-A selection places him in an ideal situation with Boston. Gomez had a sensational 2017 season where he had a 1.92 ERA in 38 games as a relief pitcher. He also only walked 2.7 per nine innings and struck out 11.1 per nine. An injury plagued 2018 made him an expendable player for the Yankees. Gomez will surely stick with Pawtucket, but there is a strong opportunity for him to find his way into Boston’s bullpen in 2019 as they are actively seeking out replacements for Craig Kimbrel and the recently signed Joe Kelly.
Chris Rabago, C, 25
Rabago was acquired midseason in 2018 from Colorado when the Yankees had injuries to both Sanchez and Romine, leaving their catching depth thin. He only had two hits in 28 at-bats for Trenton, and he was clearly not high on the Yankees’ priority list of players to protect. He was selected by Kansas City.
Alexander Vargas, RHP, 21
Vargas has been with the Yankees since he was 16, and he made it to Double-A in 2018. Vargas had a 4.01 ERA between Charleston, Tampa, and Trenton in 22 games. Vargas was selected by the Chicago Cubs.
Gilmael Troya, RHP, 21
After back-to-back disappointing seasons, Troya had a phenomenal season in rookie ball. The starter turned reliever posted career bests in almost every statistical category. The Phillies may have themselves an absolute steal if he can replicate his newfound bullpen success in the upper minors.
Article by: Ryan ThomsFollow @RyanThoms_ Follow @BronxBomberBall