The name Dean Anna may not be a household name for fans of the New York Yankees just yet, but it could become one in the near future. Anna was acquired by the Yankees in an offseason trade with the San Diego Padres. By no means was it a move that captured headlines in New York, but it could be a move that could help the future of the Yankees down the road.
With the departure of Robinson Cano to the Seattle Mariners, the uncertain future of Alex Rodriguez, and the recent retirement announcement of Derek Jeter, Anna has an opportunity to make the Yankees’ 40-man roster this season. He was even invited to early spring workouts for the club to try and get a jump on claiming a roster spot. Anna is from Mokena, Illinois and attended Ball State University. He was drafted by the Padres in the 26th round back in the 2008 Draft, but was never really able to crack the 40-man roster out in San Diego.
In six minor league seasons, Anna’s career batting average is .286 and has an OBP of .386. What Anna will bring to the table is a true prototypical utility man, which the Yankees could use within a weak 40-man roster. Anna’s minor league achievements include being a part of three championship teams, 2013 Pacific Coast League Hitter of the Year, 2013 Pitch and Hit Club Chicago Area Minor League Player of the Year, and a three-time All-Star. The Yankees need depth, and Anna might provide that with a successful spring.
Anna is coming off a season where he hit .331, but he remains completely under the radar for now. He is a player that may be vastly underrated, but if given an opportunity will do just enough to help his team win ball games. Once Jeter officially hangs it up and if the Yankees decide to save money up the middle, Anna could be given a shot in the Bronx. He just may need to wear a name tag in the early going.
Nick Schaeflein is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.