This year open setting their roster, in time for the Rule 5 Draft next month, the Yankees decided to give Slade Heathcott and Jose Campos precious space on the 40-man roster last year did the same thing this year when they protected Mason Williams. The Yanks took four players total, but the others–Tyler Austin, Branden Pinder, and Danny Burawa–were at least understandable. Williams, has been a mistake mistake from the beginning.
There are good reasons to protect a 23-year-old with elite-level defense, but when factoring in what this team went through last year–injuries, dead roster weight– It would been nice to observe smarter thinking this year. As theoretically useful as Mason might sound, he still can’t hit Double-A pitching (what a shock!), and there’s just no way he’ll see time in the majors in 2015. He’s more likely to be demoted then to be in pinstripes, even in the next two seasons, and if you add him to the list that includes Slade, Campos, Gary Sanchez, and even Manny Banuelos, the 40-man roster could end up looking more like a 35-man roster in terms of actual useful players for the 2015 season.
The decisions by Genius Cashman’s crew likwill likely take away from the Yankees’ ability to add depth at positions of greater need. The Yankees currently have nine outfielders on the 40-man roster, and while Heathcott is likely a lost cause at this point, the team still has Austin, Ramon Flores, and even Eury Perez on the depth chart ahead of him. This seems incredibly excessive, especially when the Yankees still don’t have a fully formed infield and could end up losing two catchers in one offseason between Francisco Cervelli and Austin Romine.
Mason is a huge a mistake by adding him to the roster. An omission by the Yankees might have also made a mistake, Mark Montgomery. The prospective relief ace’s value has gone down in the last two seasons due to a shoulder injury, but he still has the talent that could make him a useful member of the major league bullpen. Sure there’s question marks surrounding him, but there were uncertainties around Tommy Kahnle last year and he had a pretty good season after being taken by the Rockies. If Montgomery’s shoulder is an actual medical issue, but he pitched all year, a team that takes him can easily store him on the disabled list all year and still keep him. If Montgomery is taken and then rebounds it’ll be a huge loss for the Yankees, who once envisioned him as a future big league closer.
We keep hearing about screw ups under Cashman. This is why I throw mud at him. Cashman has been in charge while the Yankees’ farm system has been shot to hell. He is rewarded with another contract and many mistakes are being made again.