Friday is the deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players, and the Yankees do not seem to have any difficult decisions to make. After releasing Nathan Eovaldi and Dustin Ackley last week, the remaining arbitration eligible players each have reasonable cases to receive contracts from the Yankees.
Note: Player's estimated arbitration figure in parenthesis provided by MLB Trade Rumors.
Dellin Betances ($3.4 million)
The Yankees are rumored to be interested in signing an elite free agent closer, with Aroldis Chapman on the winter wish list, but tendering Betances a contract is a no-brainer. Betances has become one of the top relievers in the game himself, enough so that Yankees GM Brian Cashman has indicated the club would be content with Betances controlling the ninth inning if they do not sign Chapman, Kenley Jansen or Mark Melancon. In a monetary sense, Betances making one-fifth the salary of his potential bullpen mate for virtually the same production is a major value to the Yankees.
Didi Gregorius ($5.1 million)
There was a time when tendering Gregorius a contract might have been seen as risky, but that ship sailed midway through the 2015 season. Since that time, Gregorius has cemented himself at shortstop. And at just 26 years old, he has a chance to continue to improve across the board. If it wasn't for two top prospects in the Yankees' farm system -- Gleyber Torres and Jorge Mateo -- Gregorius would be a potential candidate for a contract that buys out his arbitration years. In truth, that could still happen considering Gregorius' ability to ramp up his salary with another fine season in 2017 and the chance the Yankees trade one of the prospects.
Aaron Hicks ($1.4 million)
Hicks figures to be a part-time player once again in 2017, but the price tag and the notion that he has upside if given full-time reps makes him a relatively easy choice to receive a contract. The Yankees outfield will be quite fluid because of inexperience in right field and there remains the potential for an opening if the club is able to trade left fielder Brett Gardner. Hicks should be an important piece to the roster in 2017.
Tommy Layne ($1.2 million)
After Layne was claimed off waivers, he solidified the Yankees' need for a left-handed middle reliever. Layne proved to be valuable, recording 10 holds and a save in 29 appearances. He was much better against left-handed hitters (.570 OPS) than he performed against right-handed hitters (.750 OPS) in 2016, which indicates he should be used mostly against left-handed hitters. Layne does have one thing going against him and that's a slew of young left-handed relievers on the 40-man roster. So if Cashman needs a roster spot, Layne could be non-tendered.
Michael Pineda ($7.8 million)
Once considered a player the Yankees might sign to a long-term deal because of his immense talent, Pineda now enters his final arbitration season with a longer commitment seemingly out of the picture. If the Yankees had a deeper rotation in terms of experienced starters, Pineda might be a prime trade candidate, but some of the team's rotation depth is inexperienced or in the minor leagues, meaning the team will have him penciled into the middle of the starting staff. Further, his contract will not be a financial burden, and who knows, maybe Pineda turns in a solid full season, which would make him valuable.
Austin Romine ($900K)
Before the Yankees traded Brian McCann, along with the then-impending addition of Kyle Higashioka to the 40-man roster, it might have been suggested that Romine was a non-tender candidate. Now, Romine seems to be the favorite to maintain his backup role behind Gary Sanchez. Romine performed well in that capacity last season before Sanchez was called up and the cost is minimal in the scope of the entire payroll.
Adam Warren ($2.3 million)
When Warren returned to the Yankees in the Chapman trade, he quickly slotted into a set-up role, but was also asked to secure more than three outs in some appearances. Warren's ability to pitch as a starter and reliever provides immense value to the Yankees at a very reasonable cost. Their decision on how to use Warren next season will probably not be decided until the rest of the roster is filled out this winter.