Yankees add six players to 40-man roster
The latter of those moves saw the Yankees acquire infielder Dean Anna from the Padres (and add him to the 40-man roster) in exchange for RHP Ben Paullus.
Anna, who turns 27 next week, hit .331 with nine homers, 73 RBI, and 38 doubles for the Padres' Triple-A affiliate in Tucson last season, splitting time between second base and shortstop but also getting reps at third base and in the outfield as well. The left-handed batter was a 26th round pick by the Padres in 2008, and is a career .286 hitter in the Minors.
He comes to the organization in exchange for Paullus, a 19th round pick in 2011 who was 6-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 38 relief appearances (71.2 innings) between Class-A affiliates Charleston and Tampa last season.
In addition to Anna, the Yankees added five of their own Minor Leaguers to the 40-man roster: RHPs Jose Campos, Shane Greene, and Bryan Mitchell, outfielder Slade Heathcott, and catcher Gary Sanchez, considered by several outlets to be the organization's top prospect.
Four of the five spent at least part of last season with the Double-A Trenton Thunder, helping them to the Eastern League championship, while Campos - who you may remember as the "other" player acquired in the Michael Pineda trade - returned after missing most of 2012 with an arm injury to pitch to a 3.41 ERA in 87 innings at Charleston.
The team did make one other 40-man move, outrighting infielder Corban Joseph off the 40-man roster. Joseph, who played two games for the Yankees as the 26th man in a doubleheader last year, spent most of the season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, hitting .239 with six homers and 19 RBI in 47 games before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in June.
With the additions, all six players are now exempt from the Rule 5 Draft, which takes place on the final day of the Winter Meetings (this year, Dec. 12) in Orlando. Players are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft if they are not on an organization's 40-man roster and have played professional baseball for four years (if they were signed at age 19 or older) or five years (if they were signed at 18 or younger).
Mitchell and Greene were two of several Thunder pitchers who became Rule 5 eligible this year, and among notable names who were left unprotected are RHP Chase Whitley, who spent all of 2013 at Triple-A and pitched to a 3.06 ERA in 67.2 innings, LHP Fred Lewis - who spent 2012 mostly at Trenton and pitched 11 scoreless innings in the Arizona Fall League - and RHP Tommy Kahnle, who led the Thunder with 15 saves and was ranked as the organization's No. 20 prospect by MLB.com heading into 2013.