Could another Moneyballer join the Yanks?


With A-Rod only missing up to nine weeks due to his hip injury, some might think it imprudent to deal for a replacement. After all, that would entail sending away what could be valuable parts to get a guy who will fill in for a month and then be relegated to bench duty. Then again, there are some in Yankeeland who want to see the bench improve, and this could provide a means to do so. Deal for a capable player who can hold down third base for a month, and once A-Rod is back use him as a player who can give other guys on the Yanks’ aging offense a day off or two.

A few commenters at RAB favored signing Eric Hinske before he landed in Pittsburgh. So what if there was a player comparable to Hinske who would just might be available right now? Via MLBTR, we hear the beginnings of a Mark Teahen to the Yanks rumor. It does make sense. The Royals don’t quite have a spot for Teahen, who has been bounced around the diamond the past few years. He came up as a third baseman, but moved around the corner outfield spots to accommodate for top prospect Alex Gordon. First base is occupied by Mike Jacobs, and behind him are Ryan Shealy and Kila Ka-aihue. The acquisition of Coco Crisp moves David DeJesus to left, and Jose Guillen and his contract are a lock in right. Even the DH spot is filled by (the lighter) Billy Butler.

The Royals plan at this point is to try out Teahen at second, but there is no guarantee that he can man the position on a daily basis. If he can’t handle it, a trade is the most likely scenario. The Yankees have a need at third base, and could later use Teahen to fill in at the corner outfields, and he could probably play second base in a pinch. This means that the Yankees wouldn’t be acquiring him just for a month of service. He can be a utility player and a bat off the bench once A-Rod returns to action.

The problem is that the Yankees will already have a backup corner outfielder in whoever loses the right field job between Xavier Nady and Nick Swisher. It would be tough to find at bats for one of those guys and for Teahen. It would help out a ton if Mark could handle shortstop, but there’s no evidence that he can. That means Cody Ransom is still needed — he’d have to be the utility infielder for the first month, anyway, but he’d be needed afterward to cover most of the infield.

Despite the lack of definitive playing time for Teahen beyond April, he’d immediately give the Yankees one of the most formidable benches in the league. Say Nick Swisher wins the RF job. The Yanks would then have Nady as a big righty on the bench and Teahen as a big lefty. Ransom and Molina would fill the other two bench spots. Both Swisher and Damon could cover center in the late innings, so there would be little hesitation to pinch hit for Melky or Gardner.

While the price tag on Teahen is unknown, it likely wouldn’t be too high. He’s slated to make $3.75 million this season. This might not seem like a lot to the Yankees, but to the Royals, who are at a $75 million payroll and would like to get to around $70, it could mean plenty — especially if he’s relegated to bench duty. A prospect and salary relief should do the job, though Royals GM Dayton Moore, quoted in the linked article, says he hopes for the Yanks to pick up Mark Grudzielanek, which would net his team a sandwich pick.

Given the month the Yanks will miss A-Rod, coupled with the risk that he could re-injure the hip at some point during the season, taking on Mark Teahen for one year would be a good idea. Not only would he give the Yankees an adequate short-term replacement, but once A-Rod is back he’d become part of a solid bench. He’d give the Yankees a late-inning left handed option, as well as someone who can spell players at four, maybe five positions (both corner OF, 3B, 1B, 2B). It sounds like a win-win for the team. The only issue is of what they’re willing to give up to make it happen.

Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. Marc says:

    What do you think (prospect-wise) it would take to get this trade done? IPK? Ajax?

  2. Marc says:

    Aceves or Phil Coke might be a good fit. What positions are the royals in need of?

    • 27 this year says:

      all they need is salary relief. Just give them a bullpen guy and say take it or leave it. Paying 3.75 mil which for them is a lot should seal the deal. Offering someone as useful to us as Coke or Aceves would be too much. The Royals don’t want Teahen on the bench.

      • Mike Pop says:

        Only problem is, who do you take off the 40 man if you give them a guy who isn’t on the 40 man. Who do you DFA?

        • 27 this year says:

          that is true but I am sure one of the many pitchers could go. Jackson probably actually a good choice considering he is already 27.

    • Rich says:

      I’m not trading Coke for Teahen.

  3. Shamus says:

    IPK and call it good. KC is always desperate for young SP…

  4. Mike Pop says:

    Give me Blake DeWitt, I’d rather give up more for him then Teahen. But then again, he may not be available.

    • 65hughes says:

      what do you think it would take for dewitt

      • Mike Pop says:

        They would probably want Kennedy, but that is probably too much to give up for a backup once A-Rod gets back. I really don’t know how good DeWitt can be. I would look into it though.

  5. dkidd says:

    teahen slugged .517 in 2006. what happened since then?

  6. Manimal says:

    If Manny was still unsigned, do you think the yankees would’ve gone after him?

  7. Mike Pop says:

    Berroa baby!

  8. GaryBusey says:

    Let’s also not forget that, granted ARod is back before the trade deadline, they could move Teahen/Nady/Swisher and get back what they lost in this potential trade (theoretically).

    Also, on paper, this might be increasing payroll, but with the pending insurance policy on ARod, the Yanks will probably saving money still after a Teahen trade. Not that this matters, but it does say that they have money earmarked for a 3B that is useable.

  9. mustang says:

    “Say Nick Swisher wins the RF job. ”

    Say that he doesn’t. LOL
    Ok I’m busting your balls
    Man when you guys grab on to something.

    I like the overall idea there is nothing wrong with a strong bench God knows they haven’t had one in years.

  10. anonymous says:

    Anyone watching this Dom vs. Pan game? The Dominican team has Tatis hitting 3rd playing 1st with Hanley on the bench.

  11. Yankee Rebel says:

    “The Royals plan at this point is to try out Teahen at third, but there is no guarantee that he can man the position on a daily basis. If he can’t handle it, a trade is the most likely scenario.”

    Can you please clarify why we would still want Teahan if KC doesn’t think he can play 3rd..?? And if KC wants to see if Teahan is capable of “playing daily” – meaning handle the rigor of a full season – how could they decide that in March so they could then trade him..??

  12. A.D. says:

    I believe Teahan is still under team control for another year or 2. If so they Yankees can play him at 3B until A-Rod comes back, and have insurance on the surgery being able to allow him to play the entire season.

    After the season that Yanks will have a backup plan for LF depending on how various FA pan out. In the Bubba Crosby, or this year Nick Swisher mold of having someone to play the position when bidding for FA.

  13. JM says:

    If the Yankees signed Grudzelanek (or whatever way you spell it…), would they lose a draft pick? If they don’t, then I would definitely sign him over trading for Teahen because Teahen has a career .268 career AVG and Grudzelanek has a .290 career AVG. It’s worth moving Cano (don’tcha know) to third for a month- month and a half….

    P.S. does the 6-9 weeks include Spring Training?

    • Spaceman.Spiff says:

      If we’re gonna move someone out of Grudz and Cano, it better be Grudz. Cano has no long-term options at 3rd with A-Rod signed for the next decade, and his field problems could end up affecting his hitting which we know is so hot and cold. It’s definitely not worth moving Cano if Grudz doesn’t want to try out third.

  14. Jay says:

    Why no love for Cody Ransom? Check out his minor league stats. He may be a better alternative than anybody available for trade before even considering that he doesn’t cost any prospects.

    Also, if what people are projecting is true, and some teams get off to bad starts and want to unload contracts much earlier and much more aggressively than usual because of the economic uncertainty under financial duress, then some very good players might get shaken loose for very little more than the value of their contracts. After all, that’s the way Boston has structured their payroll totally.

    Give Cody and his 5-foot vertical leap and outstanding minor league performance and outstanding performance last year in the majors a chance already.

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