The Yankees announced that they’ve designated outfielder Jake Cave for assignment. His roster spot will go to infielder Neil Walker, whose one-year Major League deal has now been announced by the team.
Cave, 25, enjoyed a strong season between Double-A and Triple-A this past season, hitting .305/.351/.542 with 20 homers through 437 trips to the plate. Given his strong track record in the minors and previous interest from other clubs — the Reds selected Cave back in the 2015 Rule 5 Draft, though he didn’t crack their big league roster — it stands to reason that he could be of interest to other teams now that he’s lost his spot in the Bronx. Baseball America has ranked Cave among the Yankees’ top 30 prospects on multiple occasions, noting that he can play all three outfield spots and has average tools across the board, perhaps with the exception of his power.
Outfield depth isn’t much of a concern for the Yankees even after losing Cave, with Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Jacoby Ellsbury all ticketed for the 25-man roster. The team also has Clint Frazier and Billy McKinney as 40-man options looming in the upper minors in the event should injuries arise.