If Noesi can muscle his way into the big league rotation and claim the No. 5 spot, then fine. If not, he will work in the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre rotation.
"I don't want to waste his talent as a long man," general manager Brian Cashman said of Noesi, who appeared in 30 games for the Yankees last season but made just two starts and notched a 4.47 ERA over 56 innings.
Cashman took several steps during the Winter Meetings to secure pitchers who might provide bullpen depth and buy more development time for Noesi.
In the Rule 5 draft, the Yankees selected Nationals righthander Brad Meyers, who spent the bulk of last season with Triple-A Syracuse and went 6-5, 3.48 with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 74-to-15 over 96 innings.
New York also bought the rights to another Rule 5 pick, sending cash to the Royals for Cesar Cabral, who has a chance to serve as second lefty out of the bullpen. He held Double-A Eastern League lefties to a .217/.302/.370 batting line last season.
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2004, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Noesi stood sixth in line after the five starters the Yankees had under contract for 2012: C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia.
Of course, the club continued to monitor the trade market, where they sought to deal Burnett and possibly acquire a lefty starter such as Gio Gonzalez of the Athletics or John Danks of the White Sox.
• Pitching for Licey of the Dominican League, Noesi went 3-2, 2.66, notching 24 strikeouts and seven walks in 41 innings. He ranked among the DL leaders in ERA, opponent average (.256) and walk rate (1.6 per nine innings), and he intrigues the Yankees the way Nova did prior to his breakout 2011 season.
• The Yankees also brought two Rule 5 relief hopefuls to spring training in 2011, having drafted power lefty Robert Fish (Angels) and sinkerball righty Dan Turpen (Red Sox). Neither pitcher made the cut.