Yankees top prospect Gleyber Torres was among six players New York protected from the Rule 5 Draft by adding to the 40-man roster on Monday.
New York also protected RHP Albert Abreu, RHP Domingo Acevedo, infielder Thairo Estrada, RHP Jonathan Loaisiga and outfielder Billy McKinney, while opting not to add LHP Nestor Cortes or RHP J.P. Feyereisen to the 40-man roster.
Prospects who have been professional players for five seasons are eligible to be drafted through the Rule 5 process if they aren't on a team's 40-man roster. The Yankees earlier traded RHPs Ronald Herrera and Nick Rumbelow to clear space on the roster.
Torres, ranked MLB.com's No. 3 prospect, Baseball America's No. 5 prospect and Baseball Prospectus' No. 15 prospect entering last season, is expected to compete for a spot on the 25-man roster coming out of spring training in 2018 despite missing most of the 2017 season due to Tommy John surgery.
Abreu, whom MLB.com ranked the No. 7 prospect in the organization, went 2-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 14 games (13 starts) in the minors last season, going 1-3 with a 4.19 ERA in nine starts with High-A Tampa. The 22-year-old Abreu is 10-16 with a 3.20 ERA in 65 games (50 starts) in his minor league career.
Acevedo, 23, went 6-6 with a 3.25 ERA in 23 starts last season, reaching Triple-A after he recorded a 2.38 ERA in 14 starts with Double-A Trenton. He is ranked MLB.com's No. 6 prospect in the Yankees organization.
Estrada, a 21-year-old infielder who is the team's No. 17 prospect, hit .301 with six home runs and 48 RBIs in 122 games with Double-A Trenton last season, playing most of his time at shortstop.
Loaisiga, 23, went 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA in 11 starts at two different levels last season. He reached Low-A Charleston in 2016, which was his first action since 2013 due to injury.
McKinney, 23, joined the Yankees as part of the Aroldis Chapman deal in 2016. New York's No. 23 prospect, McKinney hit .277 with 16 home runs and 64 RBIs with Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season.
Outfielder Jake Cave, who hit .305 with 20 home runs and 56 RBIs at the Double-A and Triple-A levels last season, was added to the 40-man roster earlier in November.