Good morning Fackers. Freddy Guzman and Josh Towers were both outrighted yesterday, refused minor league assignment, and elected free agency. Guzman pinch ran twice in the postseason, had one plate appearance (immediately after A-Rod's game-tying HR in the 11th inning of Game 2 of the ALCS), and did not steal a base or score a run. Towers appeared in two regular season games and pitched 5 1/3 innings. allowing three runs. Hey, I didn't say it was big news, just that it was news.
This should come as no surprise. Not only did neither figure into next year's plan, but the Yankees need to begin clearing 40 man roster spots in preparation for the Rule 5 draft. The 40 man roster needs to be finalized by November 20th and the draft will take place at the Winter Meetings in early December. Austin Jackson, Kevin Russo, Zach Kroenke, and Ivan Nova are amongst those that need to be added to the 40 man to prevent exposure during the Rule 5 Draft.
The Yankees ended the regular season with a full 40 man roster, plus Chien-Ming Wang and Xavier Nady on the 60 day DL. By my count, the loss of Guzman and Towers combined with free agency filings by Nady, Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Jose Molina, Jerry Hairston Jr, Eric Hinske, and eventually Andy Pettitte leave them with 33 spots spoken for.
Shelley Duncan, Edwar Ramirez, and potentially Jonathan Albaladejo are also candidates to be outrighted, though Ramirez and Albaladejo have options left. The Yankees hold a $1.25M option on Sergio Mitre that Joel Sherman has said they will exercise, though I can't imagine why.
Brian Bruney and Chien-Ming Wang are candidates to be non-tendered, but the non-tender deadline isn't until December 12th, so I can't imagine their fate will be decided before the November 20th 40 man roster deadline. For now, Sherman thinks that they will offer a contract to Bruney because he price is somewhat reasonable (~$1.5M) but not to Wang despite a favorable prognosis from Dr. James Andrews.
However many spots the Yankees open up, don't expect them to fill them all by the 20th. They'll still need some open spots available to add free agents as they're signed, so there's little sense protecting a fringe guy in November if he's only going to be cut in December.