KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Major League Baseball rosters expand to 40 Thursday, and it's anyone's guess how many players the New York Yankees will add for their final push toward the postseason. But according to manager Joe Girardi, three seem to be a pretty good bet: utility man Rob Refsnyder, pitcher Luis Severino and newly acquired outfielder Eric Young Jr. Relief pitcher Kirby Yates, sent down just two days ago, is another likelihood.
Other than that, Girardi could provide no specifics as to how many new players he will be welcoming when the Yankees arrive in Baltimore on Friday for the opener of a three-game weekend series after a day off Thursday as the calendar turns to September.
"You know, I think we’re going to add to our bullpen, and we’ll add a couple of position players" Girardi said. "Part of this is a lot of guys are already here. And there’s a substantial amount of guys that are on our 40-man who are on the DL."
In regard to Refsnyder, Severino and Young, who was acquired Wednesday from the Milwaukee Brewers for cash, Girardi used variations of the same word: "possible," which in the manager's lexicon generally means "definite."
As for Yates, the righty has pitched well at times in spot duty for the Yankees and struck out four Royals in 1⅓ innings in Monday night's 8-5 loss.
Other possibilities include outfielders Mason Williams and Cesar Puello and pitchers Nick Goody and Bryan Mitchell, who only recently returned to action after undergoing toe surgery in spring training.
One player who will not be joining the Yankees, surprisingly, will be outfielder Ben Gamel, who was traded earlier in the day to the Seattle Mariners for two minor league pitchers, Juan De Palma and Jio Orozco. The trade was particularly surprising since not only had Gamel been named the International League Player of the Year on Tuesday after batting .308 with six home runs and 58 RBIs for Triple-A Scranton, but was also given a glowing review by Girardi before Tuesday's game.
"I think people would probably describe him as a gamer," Girardi had said. "He plays the game hard. He comes to play."
On Wednesday, Girardi said the trade caught him by surprise as well. "That's probably more of a question to ask for [general manager] Brian [Cashman]," Girardi said. "It was not something that was talked about a whole lot until I heard today. I know they're pleased with the arms they got in return. One guy's hit 95, the other guy's hit 96, good curveball. They're a couple of young pitchers that we feel have a chance to develop."