After cuts, Yankees gear up for final decisions

After cuts, Yankees gear up for final decisions

BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Yankees are closing in on their final roster decisions of the spring, shipping 10 more players to Minor League camp and preparing to have lengthy discussions before finalizing their 25-man Opening Day roster on Friday.

New York made seven roster moves after Wednesday's game, optioning right-hander Preston Claiborne and outfielder Zoilo Almonte to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. They also reassigned infielders Russ Canzler and Scott Sizemore, and right-handers David Herndon, Jim Miller and Yoshinori Tateyama to Minor League camp.

The club announced on Thursday that it also reassigned right-handers Danny Burawa and Chris Leroux, as well as left-hander Fred Lewis, to Minor League camp. Thirty-five players remain in big league camp, and manager Joe Girardi said that all of the final decisions will be announced on Friday.

"It's been a fierce camp here, and [they] have had a good camp here," Girardi said. "We always tell them, 'At some point, the phone's going to ring, and you want to be that person who's throwing the best.'"

With infielder Brendan Ryan starting the year on the 15-day disabled list due to a pinched nerve in his upper back, Girardi and his staff will have to choose two backup infielders from the group of Eduardo Nunez, Dean Anna and non-roster invitee Yangervis Solarte.

"I always say, 'If you're playing, you have a chance to show us something,'" Girardi said. "It will probably be a long discussion [Friday] on what we feel the best fits are."

There are four vacancies in the bullpen, and two of them appear to be locked in for right-handers David Phelps and Adam Warren. Right-hander Dellin Betances has pitched well this spring but has a Minor League option remaining, giving the club some flexibility.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has said that the club would prefer to have an additional left-handed reliever, so Vidal Nuno or Cesar Cabral could win a bullpen spot. Right-handers Matt Daley and Shane Greene also remain in camp.

"We're trying to [narrow it down], because people have to pack and get ready for their season," Girardi said.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.