• Issues With Yanks Looking For Bats

    Posted by on June 21st, 2013 · Comments (18)

    Via Jon Heyman

    The other day, one Yankees person neatly summed up their offense in four words.

    “Our offense is offensive.”

    So when the Yankees say they are “open for business,” as general manager Brian Cashman said the other day, it’s clear what they’re seeking from the trade market: hitters.

    The makeshift lineup that had surprised so many folks for two months and kept them afloat has turned into a pumpkin in June, when the Yankees have scored the second fewest runs (54) in baseball and posted the worst OPS (.591). Not very Yankee-like.

    However, in looking for offense, Cashman is confronted with a few issues.

    One is that it’s still hard to know which of the many injured players are going to make it back, and when. Except perhaps Mark Teixeira, whose timetable is listed as “TBD” on Yankees.com, they are all at least a few weeks away, and already there have been surprises and setbacks throughout.

    Should he seek a third baseman (Alex Rodriguez’s rehab is said to be going “fantastic”), a shortstop, an outfielder or something else?

    A second issue is that the Yankees, for now at least, haven’t given up hope of getting the payroll down below $189 million for 2014, which means they’ll likely shy away from folks on big long-term deals.

    Yet another issue — and this is the big one — is that the hitting market looks less than great. The best hitters are largely on the better teams, and thus not going anywhere.

    While the Yankees are “open” to do business, there’s no proof anything serious is taking place yet.

    You have to figure, when Granderson comes back, he’ll be in left (with Wells going to the bench or into a platoon with either Ichiro or Granderson). So, more than likely, the next spot the Yankees need to worry about is third…since you figure MLB is going after A-Rod. But, what about DH and first? I don’t think you can count on Teixiera coming back. So, maybe it makes sense to get someone who is an upgrade on Overbay and/or Hafner?

    I know that I left out catcher and short. But, as long as you have good gloves there, you can live with what you have…Stewart and Nix. They’re not great. Yet, I wouldn’t say they are the Yankees biggest problems.

    Comments on Issues With Yanks Looking For Bats

    1. LMJ229
      June 21st, 2013 | 11:42 am

      Brian Cashman has been long praised for his ability to find the rose among the thorns – Bartolo Colon, Freddie Garcia, Shaun Chacon, and Aaron Small all come to mind as those type of fringe players who contributed. Of course, those four that I just mentioned were pitchers. He has not been nearly as successful with hitters. Let’s see if he can pull it off. And he better hurry. The way this team is going, we may be 8-10 games out by the All-Star Break and then it will be too late.

    2. June 21st, 2013 | 11:50 am

      @ LMJ229:
      The play the Rays, O’s, and Texas between now and the break. It’s possible they could fall another 3 games back or so during that time.

    3. LMJ229
      June 21st, 2013 | 12:05 pm

      Steve wrote:

      You have to figure, when Granderson comes back, he’ll be in left (with Wells going to the bench or into a platoon with either Ichiro or Granderson). So, more than likely, the next spot the Yankees need to worry about is third…since you figure MLB is going after A-Rod. But, what about DH and first? I don’t think you can count on Teixiera coming back. So, maybe it makes sense to get someone who is an upgrade on Overbay and/or Hafner?
      I know that I left out catcher and short. But, as long as you have good gloves there, you can live with what you have…Stewart and Nix. They’re not great. Yet, I wouldn’t say they are the Yankees biggest problems.

      I think we are OK with Overbay at first and Nix at short. In my mind, 3B, OF/DH, and catcher are the biggest issues. Of course, we could play Nix at 3B which would open up a problem at SS. If you are worried about MLB going after A-Rod then you have to worry about MLB going after Cervelli too. The only good thing is, Cashman has a ton of flexibility in the spots he can fill, so he shouldn’t be backed up into a corner looking for something specific. With all that flexibility he should be able to get someone in here that can contribute offensively. There have got to be teams out there that have an abundance at one of those positions. I know the Nationals are carrying 7 infielders for example.

    4. LMJ229
      June 21st, 2013 | 12:07 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      @ LMJ229:
      The play the Rays, O’s, and Texas between now and the break. It’s possible they could fall another 3 games back or so during that time.

      Very possible. It’s amazing that we are still just 2 back in the loss column.

    5. LMJ229
      June 21st, 2013 | 12:16 pm

      With most of our guys expected to come back right around the All-Star break, I was wondering … where would we have to be in the standings to still have a legitimate shot to win the division? If we can somehow play .500 ball between now and then and wind up, say, 6 games out would that be do-able?

    6. Evan3457
      June 21st, 2013 | 12:20 pm

      Good analysis, Steve. Pretty spot on.

      We hope Cervelli is back on time, and that kicks Romine back to AAA. Catcher would then be OK; not a strength, exactly, but not a black hole, either. We hope Jeter shores up shortstop, then Nix can hold 3rd till A-Rod gets back, assuming he’s not suspended/indicted/whatever.

      Granderson kicks Wells into a platoon role.

      What they would then need is a halfway decent RH hitter who can play some 1st, some left field and some DH to platoon with Overbay or Hafner.

    7. Evan3457
      June 21st, 2013 | 12:20 pm

      I wonder if the Twins could be induced to part with Willingham, having an awful season, for a less than ruinous price.

    8. Corey
      June 21st, 2013 | 12:37 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Of course, those four that I just mentioned were pitchers. He has not been nearly as successful with hitters.

      I disagree. Ibanez, Hafner, Martin, Chavez, Thames, Andruw Jones first time around..they’ve all contributed a lot more than they were expected to when they were signed.

    9. Corey
      June 21st, 2013 | 12:38 pm

      Heck Overbay has even played better than I had expected.

    10. June 21st, 2013 | 1:14 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Good analysis, Steve. Pretty spot on.

      I am framing this one 🙂

    11. June 21st, 2013 | 1:15 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      What they would then need is a halfway decent RH hitter who can play some 1st, some left field and some DH to platoon with Overbay or Hafner.

      Kevin Millar…? J/K.

      How about Jeter filling that role when he comes back? J/K, again sorta/kinda.

    12. Greg H.
      June 21st, 2013 | 5:17 pm

      @ Steve L.:
      Jeter and A-Rod will likely DH some when they do get back, forming the RH side of the DH platoon with Hafner.

    13. Evan3457
      June 21st, 2013 | 10:10 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Good analysis, Steve. Pretty spot on.
      I am framing this one

      I believe I have praised you before, on occasion. 😉

    14. LMJ229
      June 21st, 2013 | 10:29 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      What they would then need is a halfway decent RH hitter who can play some 1st, some left field and some DH to platoon with Overbay or Hafner.

      Sounds like Kevin Youkilis … 🙂

    15. LMJ229
      June 21st, 2013 | 11:52 pm

      No more worries, we picked up Brent Lillibridge.

    16. LMJ229
      June 21st, 2013 | 11:55 pm

      Don’t look now but that team everybody picked to win the division is at .500. Glad we got them early when they were going bad.

    17. Ricketson
      June 24th, 2013 | 12:04 pm

      Cashman reportedly saw a potential bat in one of the 67th Annual Old Timer’s Day Game participants on Sunday…

    18. Mr. October
      June 27th, 2013 | 7:02 pm

      When is Kurtis Granderson expeKted to Kome back from the disabled list?
      Steve L. wrote:

      I know that I left out catcher and short.

      Cashman decided not to sign a catcher for just 1 year because he was/is only an “average defender;” a free agent in the 2012-13 offseason at a time when the Yankees were still committed to reducing their 2014 payroll below the luxury tax threshold, that hit .278 with 27 homer runs for the White Sox in 2012.

      Pierzynski is now hitting .298 for Texas.

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