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Monday, November 23, 2015

Rob Refsnyder: will he start 2016 in the minors for the same reason as Greg Bird: service time?

See previous post on Greg Bird:

The obvious example of this was 2015 RoY Kris Bryant starting 2015 in the minors.  How about Joc Pederson of the Dodgers?  Is it so inconceivable that the Steinbrenner Kids would do this to save money rather than play their best players?
Photo of Rob Refsnyder
If it's happening to Rob Refsnyder, does it mean that the Yankees consider Refsnyder a star or does it mean that teams, including the Yankees, will do it with any young players they consider potential starters who could be paid much more than the minimum?


Daniel Moscovitz said...

Refsnyder will make the team if he plays decently in the spring, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. His bat is respected enough where I'm not even sure he has to hit particularly well to make the roster as long as he fields the position. Ackley is going to see significant time in the outfield which means Refsnyder is needed more than just against left handed starters.

As for keeping him down for a short time a la Kris Bryant, it has NOTHING to do with money. They get paid the same (MLB minimum) on the 40-man if they're in AAA or MLB. The difference is control. Kris Bryant didn't play any major league ball in 2014 which meant he only needed to miss what amounted to 8 games at the start of 2015 in order to maintain team control over him for the 2021 season. If the Cubs had played him those 8 games, he could become a free agent after the 2020 season. This is what just happened to the Cardinals with Jason Heyward because the braves had him on their opening day 2010 roster he is now a free agent. If the Braves had delayed his 2010 MLB debut by 8-10 games, he'd be locked up for another season.

Refsnyder is a different story. 1) He's not Bryant or Heyward lets be real and 2) he has not just a September call-up but also a stint in July when he was on the 25-man. Neither Bryant nor Heyward had time served prior to their debuts. To keep Refsynder's 2022 season under Yankee control would require holding him down for a lot longer than 8 games a la Bryant in 2015. Since he's not likely to be a huge star in 2022 nor is it just a matter of 8 games to keep control for that year, there's no reason to worry about service time with Refsynder on opening day.

There IS a guy on the roster though that we do have to worry about service time for, and that's Gary Sanchez. Brian McCann is signed for the next 3 seasons ('16-'18) but it's not too early to think about the Yankees full-time catcher after that. Sanchez did have a September call-up which means it'd be more than 8 games but if the Yankees keep him in AAA till roughly June they can protect his 2022 control counting on him for 4 post-McCann years ('19-'22) instead of just 3 ('19-'21). Even with the departure of Murphy, you have to figure the Yankees are at least considering Sanchez's service time in their opening day roster decisions and may go with Austin Romine for a few weeks in 2016 (who's out of options anyway) to protect control of Sanchez in 2022.

Who knows, maybe Romine does something positive and the Yankees get some trade value out of him. Service time concerns on Sanchez might get us another prospect. Also possible is that Sanchez needs more AAA time, he's not even 23 yet lets not forget. Considering how much playing time a right handed backup catcher would get in the next 3 seasons anyway, I don't view him as blocked by McCann one bit, especially if we protect his 2022 control.

Kenneth Matinale said...

Control is money, so it has EVERYTHING to do with money. Read the previous post, which is the basis for this. The point here is that teams may be jerking players around who are not stars. The practice may be more wide spread than it seems.