A Look at Player Options and the Yankees Farm System

Perhaps the most perplexing aspect of minor league baseball can be following the number of option seasons a player has remaining. Recently, it was revealed that a quip in Yankees’ farmhand, Dellin Betances’, contract awarded the parent club an extra option season, which could mean Betances may possibly be sent to Scraton/Wilkes-Barre to at least start the campaign (LINK). Big league clubs are always looking to protect inventory and ,while Betances seems to have found his niche since being moved to the bullpen, the Yankees could give someone else an opportunity to begin the season in New York without the risk of losing the hard-throwing right-hander. Betances, who has just a handful of games at the big league level, has been one of the more impressive arms this spring, tossing  6 1/3 scoreless frames over four appearances, while showing signs that he at least deserves to be in the conversation for one of the final bullpen spots (LINK).

SWB RailRiders vs Columbus Clippers

Due to a quirk in Betances’ contract, the New York product could begin the season in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Player options are an interesting concept; they are put in place in order to prevent clubs from stockpiling their minor league system, as well as to give a player the opportunity to catch on with another organization once all of their options have been exhausted. Players are awarded three option seasons once they are placed on the 40-man roster. As Fangraphs notes HERE, the keyword is option seasons, meaning once a player’s option is used throughout the season, he can then be transferred freely among the Major League and minor league levels without using additional options.

MLBTradeRumors.com, one of the best sites around to help keep you up on all the daily news and notes around Major League Baseball, provided an outstanding look at players within the American League East that are on the team’s 40-man roster, but out of options. If a player is out of options, said individual must then clear waivers, allowing other clubs the opportunity to claim them before he can then be out righted to the minor leagues (LINK).

Players of note that are currently out of options  on the Yankees’ 40-man roster include Francisco Cervelli, who more than likely will win the back-up catcher’s position out of camp, and Ivan Nova, who looks to be a key cog in the Yankees rotation. Only Nova spent time in the SWB pinstripes during the 2013 odyssey, starting three games last season for SWB while going 2-0 with a 2.04 ERA.

Speaking of options, the Yankees made their first official moves of spring, reassigning players from big league camp to the minor league complex across the way. For more information regarding the players reassigned, head on over to Donnie Collins’ blog HERE.

A little more food for thought: while SWB suffered through one of its more challenging year’s during the Yankees affiliation era in 2013, the overall farm system looks to be in good shape as Jonathan Mayo (@JonathanMayoB3) points out HERE.

Mayo states that due to injuries in both Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, combined with hopeful rebound years from  Slade Heathcott and Manny Banuelos, the Bronx Bombers could be in good shape for a positive crusade at all levels. Mayo’s article also includes interviews with Yankees’ vice president of baseball operations, Mark Newman, and 2013 college-draftee, Eric Jagielo.


1 Comment

Very interesting and informative the subject ” Player Options. ” .

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