Monday, November 26, 2012
The Yankees, who say they do not plan to trade Rodriguez, are trying to land a veteran infielder who can play third and also fill in at short with Derek Jeter coming off surgery on his left ankle.
However, few available players fit that description, and Cashman said Saturday that the Yankees’ intent is not to move Rodriguez off of third base.
“There is no discussion whatsoever about Alex transitioning from third base to DH, part-time DH, first base or any other position on the field,” Cashman said.
“As we approach anyone in the free-agent market or anyone in trades, we’re making sure we have insurance policies, (asking) our what-ifs?”
Eduardo Nunez and Jayson Nix currently are the only backup infielders on the Yankees’ roster.Eric Chavez, who started 50 games at third last season, is a free agent.
So, the Yankees are looking for additional help.
The team has renewed its longstanding interest in free agent Jeff Keppinger, sources say, and also has expressed interest in Stephen Drew, according to CBSSports.com.
Two other infielders – free agent Marco Scutaro and Detroit shortstop Jhonny Peralta - might be even better fits for the Yankees due to their greater experience playing both short and third.
I thought Rodriguez would play third until the Apocalypse. At least that’s when his contract ends.
Keppinger can’t play short and it might be better to have David Adams on the roster in that case, even if he’s not likely to hit as well as Keppinger. At 25, the Yankees probably should evaluate Adams to see where he fits in the future.
Scutaro probably isn’t going to sign anywhere where he’s not guaranteed to start, plus I doubt he’ll sign for one year which is a requirement for the Yankees in 2013. Unfortunately, the Yankees don’t have anyone in the minors who can handle shortstop full-time if the need arises.
If I were the Yankees, I’d try and overpay Drew to sign for one year. He’d get a chance to build up his value as a left-handed hitter playing in a disgraceful bandbox, and as a SS he shouldn’t have any problems handling the rest of the infield. They could guarantee Drew 100 games in the field simply by DHing A-Rod 60 times and Jeter 40 times.
CAIRO projections for Keppinger and Drew as Yankees.
Drew: .245/.327/.393 in 421 PA, .320 wOBA, 9 BRAR, -1 defense at SS
Keppinger: .292/.342/.408 in 374 PA, .331 wOBA, 7 BRAR, +3 defense at 3B, -2 defense at 2B
Keppinger’s probably the better hitter now, and he’s right-handed which might make him a better fit in the lineup. I suppose it depends on whether or not they think Eduardo Nunez can actually play SS full-time if the need arises.
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