Yankees clear salary and roster space with wave of outrights

MLB: New York Mets at New York Yankees
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

With the Yankees looking to clear some roster spots on their 40-man while also clearing salary, they began their offseason with a flurry of outrights as they’ll allow a group of previous arbitration candidates to either be claimed on waivers or elect free agency. This group of players includes Matt Bowman, Franchy Cordero, Jimmy Cordero, Billy McKinney, Ryan Weber, and most notably Domingo German. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was first on the report, but it wasn’t shocking to see such a large departure.

The Yankees had a lot of players entering arbitration who were ineligible to play down the stretch for a variety of reasons, and moving on from them will open up opportunities for the Yankees to roster players entering Rule-5 eligibility and protect them from being plucked from the R5 Draft.

Yankees Shaping Up to Re-Model Their Roster

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Jun 4, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German (0) throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t surprising to see names like Franchy Cordero and Matt Bowman outrighted, as the Yankees had internal options entering Rule-5 eligibility who likely possess more roster value at a lower cost, and Ryan Weber underwent an elbow procedure that sidelined him for most of the 2023 season. Jimmy Cordero’s suspension was due to a violation of Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy back in July, and while the details of the incident hadn’t surfaced, it’s safe to say that the Yankees wanted to wipe their hands clean from a morally compromising situation.

The most shocking outright arguably came in the form of Billy McKinney, who posted a 101 wRC+ for the team before getting injured, and his outfield versatility and left-handed swing seemed to be traits that the Yankees would like, but he’ll move on once again. Domingo German is the most notable name on this list, and while he may not have been a shocking outright, the high of throwing a perfect game against the Oakland Athletics this past season seems ages ago with the incidents that followed.

After entering rehab following an incident where a drunken and belligerent Domingo German caused a disturbance in the clubhouse, he was inactive to focus on self-betterment in rehab over baseball, the right move given the severity of the incident and German’s unfavorable past. Back in 2019, the right-hander served a suspension that carried through the 2020 season due to a violation of MLB’s domestic violence policy at a party hosted by former Yankee C.C. Sabathia and witnessed by guests at the event.

For now, baseball should remain on the back burner for Domingo German, who has much greater issues to deal with and likely needs the distance away from the game to truly move past his off-field issues. It would have been hard to imagine how the Yankees would re-integrate the veteran back into their clubhouse, and it’s hard to view him as a reliable option in their pitching staff, given the off-field issues.

The Yankees still have decisions to make regarding other arbitration-eligible players and could look to trade out of that pool of players to get a return or just to clear more salary and roster space.

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