Boxed In: The New York Yankees 40-Man Roster Problems

Gregory PearsollContributor IMay 11, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 04:  Shelley Duncan #17 of the New York Yankees rounds second base after hitting a home run against the Chicago Cubs during their game on April 4, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

With the Yankees struggling at 13-14, changes are badly needed on the team. Unfortunately, due to roster construction, some of these changes may not be possible.

Here's the current 40-Man roster for the Yankees, for your viewing:

 40-Man Roster
 91 Alfredo AcevesR/R6-322012/08/82 
 63 Jonathan AlbaladejoR/R6-526010/30/82 
 * 64 Andrew BrackmanR/R6-1024012/04/85 
 * 38 Brian BruneyR/R6-323502/17/82  15-day Disabled List
 34 A.J. BurnettR/R6-423001/03/77 
 62 Joba ChamberlainR/R6-223009/23/85 
 * 29 Anthony ClaggettS/R6-319507/15/84 
 48 Phil CokeL/L6-121007/19/82 
 * 68 Wilkin De La RosaL/L6-018502/21/85 
 * 85 Michael DunnL/L6-119505/23/85 
 * 70 Christian GarciaR/R6-521508/24/85 
 * 71 Eric HackerS/R6-121003/26/83 
 65 Phil HughesR/R6-524006/24/86 
 * 17 Steven JacksonR/R6-521503/15/82 
 * 31 Ian KennedyR/R6-019512/19/84 
 * 43 Damaso MarteL/L6-221502/14/75  15-day Disabled List
 39 Mark MelanconR/R6-221503/28/85 
 46 Andy PettitteL/L6-522506/15/72 
 36 Edwar RamirezR/R6-316503/28/81 
 42 Mariano RiveraR/R6-218511/29/69 
 30 David RobertsonR/R5-1119004/09/85 
 52 CC SabathiaL/L6-729007/21/80 
 41 Jose VerasR/R6-523510/20/80 
 * 40 Chien-Ming WangR/R6-323003/31/80  15-day Disabled List
 29 Francisco CervelliR/R6-121003/06/86 
 26 Jose MolinaR/R6-223506/03/75 
 * 20 Jorge PosadaS/R6-221508/17/71

  15-day Disabled List

 14 Angel BerroaR/R6-019501/27/78 
 24 Robinson CanoL/R6-020510/22/82 
 2 Derek JeterR/R6-319506/26/74 
 * -- Juan MirandaL/L6-022004/25/83 
 19 Ramiro PenaS/R5-1116507/18/85 
 ** 12 Cody RansomR/R6-219002/17/76  60-day Disabled List
 * 13 Alex RodriguezR/R6-323007/27/75  15-day Disabled List
 25 Mark TeixeiraS/R6-322004/11/80 
 53 Melky CabreraS/L5-1120008/11/84 
 18 Johnny DamonL/L6-220511/05/73 
 11 Brett GardnerL/L5-1018508/24/83 
 * 22 Xavier NadyR/R6-118511/14/78  15-day Disabled List
 33 Nick SwisherS/L5-1121011/25/80 
 Designated HittersB/THtWtDOB 
 55 Hideki MatsuiL/R6-221006/12/74 
 * Not on Active Roster
** Not on 40-Man Roster

SOURCE: New York Yankees' MLB site,


If you notice on the roster, it is currently full, mostly because of the Yankees wanting to protect the young arms in their system, as several are either signed to pro contracts (i.e. Andrew Brackman) or were added so they could be protected in the Rule 5 Draft.

When Posada went on the DL, the Yankees could have called up Kevin Cash, Chris Stewart or P.J. Pillitere to back up Jose Molina- if they had roster space.

Due to the team's willingness to keep Edwar Ramirez, Jose Veras, and all of the young, non majorleague-ready arms in AAA and AA, the Yankees ended up calling up Francisco Cervelli, who is hitting only .190 in Trenton(AA), and is a poor defensive catcher, committing five errors in AA.

Cervelli doesn't deserve to be here—but unfortunately, due to his call-up last year in September, plus his young age(23), the Yankees are stuck with having to call him up to avoid losing a young pitcher to waivers, where he would likely be scooped up by a team desperate for pitching depth such as the San Diego Padres, the Seattle Mariners, and others.

A similar situation is occurring in the infield as well. The Yankees are already thin on depth at 3B/SS, even when Alex Rodriguez gets back. An option they could consider is Kevin Russo, recently activated off the DL, hitting .442 with 8 RBIs in AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre.

Unfortunately, with the Yankees 40-man roster situation, along with their willingness to keep underperforming players such as Cody Ransom, Angel Berroa or Juan Miranda on there, it really hurts them, as it makes it impossible to add anyone.

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The outfield is the worst mess of all. Many people have wanted John Rodriguez (.322 AVG) to be called up.

Unfortunately, due to the excess of pitchers on the 40-man, they are stuck with an outfield of Damon-Cabrera-Swisher-Gardner, with Gardner being the weakest link, but having to be kept because the Yankees do not want to lose any of their young pitchers.

Another question: Who are these pitchers? The ones who are questionable for the Yankees being contributions for the future include:

Steven Jackson (the Yankees won't trust him. Now he's gone, as he was designated for assignment)

Anthony Claggett (gave up eight runs against Cleveland)

Andrew Brackman (still waiting for him. Struggling in A ball)

Christian Garcia (Tampa Yankees, 24 years old, injured)

Michael Dunn (6.75 ERA in AA, at the age of 24)

Eric Hacker (recently designated for assignment)

With all the troubles with the Yankees 40-man roster, it stands to hurt them in the long run.

UPDATE: Kevin Cash added to 40-Man. Erick Hacker DFA'd.


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