In comment 13530067
| in players and getting under tax before the start of the 2018 season. Robertson would be a good get. Don't forget the Yankees have about a dozen good prospects they won't be able to protect once this year over. It's the right time to package a few of them and maybe one blue chip for 2018 help.
Once again, no- there are not "about a dozen good prospects they won't be able to protect once this year is over."
The likely count is closer to 3 or 4. The Yanks have slowly been adding guys who needed protection as the year has gone on (Montgomery, Smith, Wade, Fowler, Frazier, etc.).
If you look at this link (I would note that Torres and Abreu are not on the list, but does need protection), we can ID the following guys who likely need Rule 5 protection:
Littell, Acevedo, Estrada, McKinney, Feyereisen, Torres and Abreu. Polo and Tarpley are probably on the edge.
There are arguments for the following, but they are not likely to be protected: Cave (too many better guys ahead of him), Crawford (underperforming), Cortes (not enough "stuff"), Avelino (underperforming).
Taking that list together, there are 6 "definites" and two "probables" that need to be added.
We also know that Clippard, CC, Pineda, and Holliday will all be FA at the end of the year. We also know that Fowler and Bird are on the 60 day DL and must be added back at the end of the year. It probably goes without saying that Choi and Cooper would likely be dropped then. We also have no idea if Tanaka exercises his opt-out clause or not. That means that the Yanks will have 4 definite spots opening.
That would likely mean that the Yanks would add Torres, Acevedo, Littell and Abreu without any trouble.
We also know that Cashman has been successful trading Rule 5 eligibles- I suspect that he can probably get someone useful for Feyereisen as a ML ready reliever and maybe trade one or two more.
That would leave McKinney, Estrada, Cave, Polo and Tarpley as the guys who would be possibilities of being taken in the Rule 5 draft.
With that said, I believe that Cave can be a minor league FA (more than 6 years in the minors and not the 40 man roster). Polo might be as well.
So, no- the picture is nowhere near as dire as you portrayed. Yankee prospects eligible for Rule 5
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