Twenty-four hours have passed since the Yankees reassigned six players to their minor league camp, and now three more will join them. Infielder Thairo Estrada and RHPs Albert Abreu and Jonathan Loáisiga were optioned out of big league camp. Estrada was sent to Double-A Trenton, while Abreu and Loáisiga are moved to Class-A Advanced Tampa.
Loáisiga was the only one of these three to appear in a game. He threw one scoreless inning and recorded two strikeouts March 2 against the Atlanta Braves. He had an impressive season in the minors last year, with a stellar 1.38 ERA in 11 games in the Gulf Coast League (Rookie) and Short Season-A Staten Island. MLB Pipeline ranked him as the team’s No. 14 prospect. The Yankees signed him out of a tryout in February 2016.
Abreu came to the Yankees in the trade that sent Brian McCann to the Houston Astros. Ranked as the team’s No. 5 prospect, his spring was derailed by an emergency appendectomy. He has since resumed throwing, but did not appear in any exhibition games. Despite dealing with a shoulder strain, Abreu threw 53⅓ innings between Rookie, Low-A and High-A before a stint in the Arizona Fall League in 2017. His regular season ERA was 3.38 between the three levels before posting a 2.60 mark in six AFL starts.
Estrada turned heads behind a .301/.353/.392 (107 wRC+) line in 122 games for Double-A Trenton. The 22-year-old also logged innings at shortstop, second base and third base in the Eastern League. Then, in 20 Arizona Fall League games, Estrada slashed his way to being named the No. 10 prospect with a .342/.381/.430 line in the fall circuit. But, Estrada was shot in the right hip during a botched robbery attempt in his home country of Venezuela. He is expected to return to game action in 2018, although the timetable is not clear. Estrada signed for $49,000 in August 2012.
These players were optioned, rather than reassigned, because all three of them are on the 40-man roster. Each was added to the 40-man this past offseason, so they each have two option years remaining. The Yankees can promote and re-option these players as many times during the 2018 season without burning another option year.