The Garrett Whitlock reminder is upon us

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You know the story by now. One year and one day ago, the Yankees choosing to not add Garrett Whitlock to their 40-man roster, thereby exposing him to the Rule 5 Draft.

That, of course, allowed the Red Sox to swoop in a couple of weeks later and take Whitlock, who ultimately became one of the most successful Rule 5 picks in the history of the process.

As Whitlock's agent Kent Matthes told WEEI.com when reflecting on the Yankees' decision to expose the pitcher to the Rule 5 Draft, "A lot of teams have roster crunches coming up when it comes to their roster deadline, but the Yankees specifically do. They are deep at the big league level every year. They do a good job of developing prospects. I knew it was going to be a little bit of a coin flip."

Decision day is here again.

Friday marks the deadline for teams to add eligible players to their respective 40-man rosters, defining who they are willing to expose to the same path taken by Whitlock.

For the Yankees, it is a day that perhaps will offer some retrospection considering what Whitlock became.

So, where are they now?

Contreras is currently the Pirates' No. 6 overall prospect (per MLB.com), having been dealt along with four other minor-leaguers in the Jamison Tallion deal.

Gomez pitched in nine games for Single-A Tampa last season and currently sits as the Yankees' No. 10 overall prospect.

Peraza is New York's No. 3 overall prospect, having reached Double-A in 2021.

Vizcaino was one of the players sent to the Cubs in exchange for Anthony Rizzo, living life as Chicago's No. 19 overall prospect.

Needless to say, if any of them evolve into what Whitlock has become at any point in their professional careers, their respective teams would be doing handstands.

This time around, it is the Red Sox who have the perceived roster crunch. Yes, they have seven spots open on their 40-man roster, but there are quite a few eligible players who might very well find themselves getting their names called at the Rule 5 Draft.

While not putting a prospect like outfielder Gilberto Jimenez on the 40-man roster might feel uncomfortable, it seems like a leap for a team to think that they will carry a player who hasn't played above Single-A on the big-league roster for an entire season.

A pitcher like Thaddeus Ward is an interesting case, like Whitlock entering this process carrying a bit of the unknown thanks to Tommy John surgery. But considering the pitcher's upside and production up until the operation, it would seem the Red Sox are OK with patience and a 40-man commitment.

Josh Winckowski and Kutter Crawford? They are two pitchers one would think the Red Sox would also commit to. Frank German, the pitcher the Red Sox got back in the Adam Ottavino deal, probably won't make the cut.

Durbin Feltman is an interesting case. The reliever, who many believed might be big-league ready right out of the gate after being drafted in third-round of the 2018 MLB Draft, finally finds himself back in the major-league conversation.

The 24-year-old managed a 2.96 ERA in 51 2/3 innings of reliefs between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester, striking out 62 and walking 14. There would be a very real chance an MLB club would be taking a Rule 5 chance on Feltman if left off the 40-man.

There is no science to these sort of decisions. Just ask the Yankees.

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