Yankees C Luis Torrens, RHP Tyler Jones, LHP Caleb Smith and LHP Tyler Webb were all selected in the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday morning.
Torrens was selected by the Reds and traded to the Padres, Jones was selected by the Diamondbacks, Smith was selected by the Brewers and traded to the Cubs, and Webb was selected by the Pirates.
In order for any/all of the above players to remain with the team that selected them, they must remain on that team's 25-man roster for the entirety of the 2017 season. If not, they will be offered back to the Yankees.
In the minor league portion of the draft, the Yankees lost RHP Ty Hensley -- a former first round pick -- to the Rays, RHP Kelvin Magallanes to the Royals, and INF Kevin Cornelius to the Cubs.
The Yankees selected C Jorge Saez from the Blue Jays and RHP Colten Brewer from the Pirates in the minor league phase.
Torrens was likely a tough choice for the Yankees to leave unprotected, but it was an understandable risk. The Yankees decided to keep Kyle Higashioka instead as he is closer to major league ready. I will be surprised if Torrens sticks on the Padres' 25-man roster next season despite his talent, after he missed the 2015 season with shoulder surgery and having not played above Low-A ball.
Alternatively, Webb has a solid chance to break camp and the potential to be a special lefty out of the Pirates' bullpen. Webb posted a 3.44 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP in 130 2/3 innings at Triple-A Scranton from 2014 through 2016, striking out 10.3 batters per nine innings during that span.
Finally, losing Hensley, who has undergone two Tommy John surgeries, might result in a slight sting for the Yankees. While leaving him unprotected was not a mistake, it is never easy to see a former No. 1 draft pick (2012) leave the organization.