The Yankees couldn’t protect everyone. After stashing as many quality prospects as they could on their 40-man roster to ensure they remain with the franchise, the Yankees lost four players Thursday in the major league Rule 5 draft: pitchers Nestor Cortes, Jose Mesa, Anyelo Gomez and first baseman Mike Ford. Cortes and Mesa were selected by Baltimore, Gomez by Atlanta and Ford by Seattle. While none is a top-shelf prospect, all had intrigue. Ford, a Princeton graduate, split time between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last year, combining to slash .270/.404/.471 with 20 home runs in 126 games. Cortes also rose as high as Triple-A last season, in which the left-handed swingman pitched to a 2.42 ERA with 105 strikeouts in 104 2/3 innings.