Along with Chase Headley, who they acquired from the San Diego Padres over a week ago, the Yankees traded for infielders Stephen Drew and Martin Prado, who they're currently using in right field. Prado is under contract through the 2016 season, but Headley and Drew are free agents after this season.
Derek Jeter is retiring and Brendan Ryan is simply a defensive stopgap who is not likely coming back, which makes the entire infield with the exception of first base open for infield prospect Robert Refsnyder to become the next Robinson Cano.
Refsnyder was part of the University of Arizona's "Fab Five" junior class which consisted of Tampa Bay Rays outfield prospect Joey Rickard, Cincinnati Reds infield prospect Seth Mejias-Brean and St. Louis Cardinals prospects Kurt Heyer and Alex Mejia. That group lead the Wildcats to the baseball National Championship in 2012.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told MLB.com after the trade deadline that with all the short term additions in the infield, he prefers Refsnyder to finish the season in Triple-A at second base.
"I've been pretty consistent about Refsnyder, that my intention is to have him play his year out at second base," Cashman said. "I have played a little bit with him in the outfield just in case we had to pull that rip-cord, but now I'll have him focus solely on second base the rest of the way.
"I've been pretty consistent and reluctant to bring him up," he added. "I'd rather him play the whole year out and prepare potentially to take a shot at the roster next year."
The 23-year-old was an outfielder in college, but was mainly a second baseman in the minors. Refsnyder, ranked by MLB.com as the Yankees' No. 6 prospect, has posted a slash line of .298/.404/.494 with seven homers and 20 RBIs in 46 games at Triple-A after starting the year with Double-A Trenton.
The Yankees have a habit of filling up their lineup with veteran players and should continue to do the same during the offseason. Alex Rodriguez will be coming back and Prado will likely be returning to the infield next season, but Refsnyder will have his chance at second base next season.