Six Minor Leaguers Join 40-Man Roster

The Yankees added six players to their 40-man roster, protecting them from being taken in December's Rule 5 draft. Four of the six players were pitchers. The roster now sits at 39 players, should the Yankees sign more than one free agent to a major league contract, a player would have to be removed from the roster.

Danny Borrell
*Yhency Brazoban
Eddi Candelario
Randy Choate
Jose Contreras
Jorge DePaula
Alex Graman
Chris Hammond
*Sean Henn
Steve Karsay
Jon Lieber
Sam Marsonek
Mike Mussina
Bret Prinz
*Scott Proctor
*Ramon Ramirez
Mariano Rivera
Chien-Ming Wang
Jeff Weaver

Michel Hernandez
Jorge Posada

Erick Almonte
Aaron Boone
Jason Giambi
Drew Henson
Derek Jeter
Nick Johnson
Andy Phillips
Fernando Seguignol
Alfonso Soriano
*Ferdin Tejeda
Enrique Wilson

Bubba Crosby
David Dellucci
Karim Garcia
Hideki Matsui
Juan Rivera
*Mike Vento
Bernie Williams

The new players are marked with an asterisk.

Proctor was acquired from the LA Dodgers in the trade that sent Robin Ventura out west. Along with Proctor, a solid right-handed pitching prospect, the Yankees got Bubba Crosby, who will probably be the Yanks' fourth or fifth outfielder next season.

Henn would have been eligibile for the Rule 5 draft this season after being drafted back in 2000. He made 16 starts for Tampa this season and went 4-3 with a 3.61 ERA. Brazoban is a converted outfielder and has been in the Yankees' system since 1997. Now 23, Brazoban saved 18 games this season but had a 5.31 ERA at three different levels.

Vento, Tejada and Ramirez all played in the Arizona Fall League in October and November. Ramirez had a breakout performance, leading the league in strikeouts and ERA, while Vento was among the league leaders in batting average and RBI. Tejeda had a poor Fall season, but he hit .295 for Tampa during the regular season.

The Rule 5 draft takes place every winter and is a method for ensuring that players don't spend their whole careers in the minors. Players that were drafted at 18 or 19 and have seen three years of minor league service are eligibile for the draft unless protected by being on the major league team's 40-man roster. If taken by a team, that player has to remain in the major leagues for the entire season or be offered back to the original club.

Standout Rule 5 picks include Baltimore's Jay Gibbons, Minnesota's Johan Santana, and St. Louis' Fernando Vina.

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