Mark Grudzielanek, come on down (and other possible replacements)


While we’re still awaiting official confirmation on the rumors surrounding A-Rod’s injury, silence — and not a denial — out of the Yankee camp is not a very good sign.

Meanwhile, the Yankees may have to fill a very good big hole in their lineup for the first six weeks of the season. Mike and Joe are going to have their thoughts on this problem in the RAB Radio Show in a few hours, but we can start talking about it now. I’m sure Manny Ramirez, Orlando Cabrera and Nomar Garciaparra are cursing themselves for signing contracts within the last few days.

Internal Options

The Yankees have a few internal options they could pursue, and none of them are very promising. They could move Derek Jeter to third base and have Angel Berroa play short. They could stick Berroa at third and hope he can deal. Of course, Angel Berroa is 31 with a career OPS+ of 77 and an offensive line of .260/.305/.378. He has never played third base and generally isn’t very good.

The Yankees could look at the high-jumpin’ Cody Ransom. His teammates believe Ransom is a superior athlete, but that counts for approximately nothing. Ransom is 33 with 183 big league at-bats under his belt. Maybe the Yanks could catch lightening in a bottle.

Finally, we arrive at Mark Teixeira. In 2003, Teixeira, then a rookie, played 15 games at third base. The Yanks could shift him to third for a few weeks and hope he can still field the position. They could then use Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady in some sort of RF/1B platoon. That would be, by far, the best offensive solution to a defensive problem, but I doubt the Yanks are going to start messing around with their new $180 million first baseman from Day 1. (Interestingly, Nady has three MLB games at third base under his belt. They all came in 2005 when he was with San Diego, and I have no idea how he did. I’m guessing that’s not really a viable option either.)

The wild card here is Eric Duncan. The Yanks could just toss Eric Duncan into the frying pan. They already managed to rush him through the system so much so that he’s barely considered a prospect anymore, and they have nothing to lose with him. Both Duncan and Berroa are off the 40-man though, and the Yanks would have to find a corresponding move to get either of them to the Bronx.

External Options

The pickings are slim right now. Despite a slow market, every free agent infielder has signed with the exception of one: Mark Grudzielanek. I’m sure his agent is on the phone with the Yanks right now.

Grudzielanek isn’t a very appealing candidate. He turns 39 in June and has a career line of .290/.332/.395 with a 90 OPS+. During his last two seasons in Kansas City, he has been the definition of league average. That is, however, a far cry above what Berroa or Cody Ransom are likely to provide for the Yanks.

I don’t really know what Grudzielanek’s salary would be either. O-Cab signed for $4 million with the A’s, and he’s their starting short stop for the entire season. Grudzielanek would be a two-month or six-week rental, but he has some leverage because the Yanks need a third baseman.

In a similar vein, the Yanks could explore Bobby Crosby too. The A’s incumbent short stop has been terrible at the dish since winning the 2004 Rookie of the Year, and while he is a short stop, he wants out of Oakland. Maybe a change of scenery and a position shift would kick start him for a year. The A’s, though, have no reason to simply give Crosby to the Yanks even in a salary dump deal.

So that’s that. The Yankees are facing the prospects of starting the season without their clean-up hitter and don’t have much of a back-up plan. With their overhauled rotation, the team is good enough to ride out the storm, but if this — a quad injury last year, a hip injury this year — is a sign of things to come for A-Rod, the Yanks have more than just the next ten weeks about which they should worry.

Categories : Injuries


  1. Moshe Mandel says:

    I think they go with Ransom, and play Damon/Swisher in CF, so that Ransom’s bat is replacing Gardner’s.

    • Let’s explore.

      All offensive wRAA stats are CHONE projections, defensive stats are most recent three year averages of UZR/150 (where available):

      Scenario 1 (wRAA + UZR/150 = total contribution)
      Damon in LF: +8.8 + +22.65 = +31.45
      Swisher in CF: +16.2 + -10.7 = +5.5
      Nady in RF: +6.0 + -6.0 = 0.0
      Total: 36.95 runs above average

      Scenario 2
      Nady in LF: +6.0 + -13.55 = -7.55
      Damon in CF: +8.8 + -15.7 = -6.9
      Swisher in RF: +16.2 + +4.6 = +20.8
      Total: 6.35 runs below average

      Scenario 3
      Swisher in LF: +16.2 + 23.1 = +39.3
      Damon in CF: +8.8 + -15.7 = -6.9
      Nady in RF: +6.0 + -6.0 = 0.0
      Total: 32.4 runs above average

      Scenario 4
      Damon in LF: +8.8 + +22.65 = +31.45
      Gardner in CF: -3.8 + +66.3 = +62.5
      Swisher in RF: +16.2 + +4.6 = +20.8
      Total: 114.75 runs above average

      Now, obviously, this is very crude and hasty, and the figures would be exaggerated due to sample size issues, since none of these guys have extensive playing times in all these positions (particularly Gardner.)

      But the point is, moving Damon or Swisher over to CF doesn’t necessarily make the team better; it may make the team worse. Because while Gardner may indeed be a black hole, he most assuredly makes up for it with superior defense. And, not only are both Damon and Swisher poor defensive centerfielders, they’re both very good defensive corner centerfielders, so we’d not only be downgrading massively in CF, we’d also be taking a big hit in whichever corner Nady takes over for.

      No matter how little Ransom may give us, it may still make sense to leave Gardner in CF and leave Nady (or Swisher) on the bench.

      • Old Ranger says:

        Of course, I heartily concur with your last scenario. Brett in CF and either Ransom/Duncan at 3rd is the most resonable situation. Going with Duncan means making a move with the 40 man but, so does bringing someone else in…don’t like that.
        Good work-up on the situation the team is faceing.

        • Stanton Social says:

          The clear move is getting it over with and trading the entire farm and I mean every single player and just starting over to FLA for Hanley and moving Jeter to 3rd. Or, trading for Pujols and moving him back to 3rd. When Arod comes back he can DH, with a trade of matsui to any other AL team.

      • Moshe Mandel says:

        I dont know. I’ll concede that the numbers suggest to leave it the way it is, which is why I advocated Gardner getting the CF job. But with A-Rod out and much improved pitching, maybe it makes sense to sacrifice some defense for offense.

  2. anonymous says:

    Berroa Sucks.

    No trades just stick Ransom at 3rd for a month. We can live a month without Arod with our rotation.

  3. Hollywood says:

    Is it so insane for them to at least try it out with either Nady or Tex manning third? If it legitimately doesn’t work, then throw Ransom or other assorted subpar players in there. I still have nightmares about automatic outs like Alberto Gonzalez in the Yanks’ lineup for an extended period.

    • anonymous says:

      Nady doesnt even like 1st base. He would be a mess at 3rd. And I really dont like the idea of moving either Tex or Cano. They need to learn to play together and moving one of them just delays the learning curve past the Arod injury.

  4. Jake K. says:

    Ugh, that Arod contract just looks better every day.

    • Yeah.

      Remember when Derek dislocated his shoulder in the 2003 opener on March 31st, and he didn’t come back until May 13th, missing 36 games, and everyone was all, “OMG, why the hell did we sign that stupid fuckface Derek Jeter to that ten year, 189M contract, he can’t even stay on the field, this guy sucks, SCREW YOU CASHMAN!!!!!” Man, that was a fun time, wasn’t it?

      What’s that you say? That never happened, because Derek Jeter is the Prince of Peace and the Heart and Soul of the Game and there’s nothing wrong with his contract, and ARod is an evil baby raper who isn’t worth 37 cents a year? Oh, my bad, sorry I mixed that up. My mistake.

      • Chris says:

        Pete Abe already blamed A-Rods quad pull and cyst on steroids…

      • Jake K. says:

        Sorry, TSJC, but my comment was not an, “Oh, Arod’s a distraction, Arod’s a choker, Arod’s cheater” kind of lament. It was a, “We signed a player already in his 30s to a 10-year contract. What a huge f’ing gamble that is, and it requires a massive amount of luck for it not to end up backfiring. So far, not so much luck.” That OK by you?

        • Meh, a little. But not much.

          Sorry, a steroid scandal, missing a month with a hip injury, and him cheating on his wife with the Ghost of Christmas Past still isn’t enough for me to overlook the fact that he’s still likely to mash the fuck out of the ball for the foreseeable future and keep us in playoff contention. I’m not at the “we’re going to regret this contract someday” stage yet.

  5. Kevin says:

    I think the Yanks best option would be to swap a couple of out of option players in sending Melky to FL (whose OF is Cameron Maybin, Cody Ross, Hermida, & Alfredo Amezega) for Dallas McPherson who was once a top prospect, mashed in AAA last year, & is stuck behind Cantu for playing time.

    • Maybin, Ross, Hermida, and Amezaga are all better than Melky. Why would they want to do that deal?

      • Kevin says:

        Maybin is unproven, Ross has some pop but not much else, Hermida is legit but can’t stay healthy, & Amezega is a grinder who has week long hot & cold stretches. Hermida when healthy is better then Melky & eventually Maybin will be as well, but Melky is better then either Ross or Amezega and is an insurance policy incase Maybin isn’t ready & needs to start the season in AAA.

        • Cody Ross, career wOBA: .349
          Cameron Maybin, career wOBA: .348
          Jeremy Hermida, career wOBA: .339
          Alfredo Amezaga, career wOBA: .292

          Melky Cabrera, career wOBA: .311

          The only one Melky can hold a candle to is Amezaga. But wait:

          Alfredo Amezaga, career CF UZR/150: +19.6
          Melky Cabrera, career CF UZR/150: -9.6

          Oh, and Amezaga also plays 2B, SS, and 3B. Well.

          Sorry, no. The Marlins have absolutely no need whatsoever for a CF who’s worse than the four outfielders they already have, and one who’s already in his arbitration years, no less. No chance.

        • Jamal G. says:

          Would you play Melky Cabrera over Austin Jackson because the latter is “unproven”? Really? Whatever your answer is, now consider that Cameron Maybin >>>>> Jackson.

  6. Jesse says:

    First of all, it’s probably a little hasty to start thinking about this before we have any confirmation that A-Rod actually will be out for 10 weeks.

    But even if he is, don’t we have to start putting some faith in the bench players at some point? Now that Betamit is gone, Cody Ransom is probably the heir apparent to the position of utility infielder, unless Angel Berroa beats him out, something I don’t think will happen, because he’s looked BAD in spring training so far. And I think Ransom could be great, just like Gardner could be great: they’re getting their shot, and they have shown a great ambition to succeed.

    We plundered the free agent and trade market this winter, so now I think it’s time to rely on guys who came up from the farm system before we start jumping to conclusions about signing or trading for discarded spare parts like Grudz or Crosby.

    • Moshe Mandel says:

      Except that I am pretty sure that most of us thought they needed to upgrade the bench anyhow. This just highlights the deficiency, and there are upgrades out there.

      • Jeremy says:

        Right. You either make a move that strengthens the bench for the rest of the season, or you don’t make a move at all. Otherwise you are trading for a spare part for just one month, which is unlikely to work out well.

    • pat says:

      As ben stated above, there is a reason handsome cody ransom is 33 with only 180ishab’s

      • anonymous says:

        Its 1 month. Ransom will give you league average hitting and fielding.

        We dont need to score 12 runs a game. We have pitchers this year. Ransom is fine.

        • pat says:

          Hey I like cody ransom as much as the next guy but thinking he could be great in arod’s place is a bit of a stretch.

          • Chris says:

            His career OPS+ is 102. You’re not going to get close to the same production out of Ransom that you would out of A-Rod, but there’s no one that would give you that.

            • steve (different one) says:

              well, that’s in a tiny sample.

              if he was really a 102 OPS+ player, i don’t think anyone would be worried.

              if he was a 102 OPS+ player, the Yankees would probably have one of the best benches in the majors.

              if he can luck into a 90 OPS+ for a month, everything will be fine.

          • anonymous says:

            How did you interpret league average to mean ‘great’?

            • NickyTheSwish says:

              To say with any certainty that Cody Ransom will give you league average hitting based on a 102 OPS+ in 183 scattered at-bats over the last 8 years is foolish.

              • anonymous says:

                He walks and has good power. Look at his minor league numbers.

                • pat says:

                  From Jesse’s post, the one to which I was referring-

                  I think Ransom could be great

                • NickyTheSwish says:

                  I’m not going to make the assumption that a player can produce at major league average levels based on minor league statistics and neither should you.

                • Jeremy Brown says:

                  then based on what do you assume a player can produce at major league average?

                • anonymous says:

                  You referred to him without naming him while replying to me. Not making it easy on me fella.

                • anonymous says:

                  Hes not in rookie ball. These are AAA numbers. And when he has been called up to the ML he hasnt choked. Hes capable of transferring it. You can base judgment on that.

                • NickyTheSwish says:

                  He’s not a prospect, he’s a career minor league player. You can base future success at the major league level on minor league stats for prospects because you’re assuming that they are developing and have yet to reach their physical prime. Ransom is 33, well beyond the point of being considered a prospect. Not choking in the majors for the 183 at-bats he has had, including the tiny sample of 43 ABs last year which came mostly in September after rosters had expanded, is not something that you can reasonably base judgment on.

            • Stephen says:

              I think that if he was actually league average, he would have more than 180 ABs. He would have found a place to play on a consistent basis already.

              • Chris says:

                If Albert Pujols were any good, he would have been drafted before the 13th round.

                Sometimes people make mistakes, and it happens more often with the fringe players than with the hyped prospects.

    • Chris says:

      I agree. You can’t plan the alternative until you know how long it’s needed. If it’s 10 weeks, it may be worthwhile to find a replacement, but the season doesn’t start for 5 weeks, so it’s possible you’re talking about him missing only 15 games or so.

      In a report like this, I would tend to not question the major facts (i.e. A-Rod will have surgery to remove the cyst), but the details often get messed up, and 10 weeks may turn out to actually be 6.

  7. Jeremy says:

    Hell no on Crosby. He is terrible and owed $5.5 million. Why give up anything for such a bad and overpaid player?

  8. UNION YES. says:

    Aubrey Huff trade involving Swish and a prospect? Huff has played 1B, 3B, RF, LF.

    • anonymous says:


    • pat says:

      HELL to the NO. Dudes gonna be out about a month , trading nick swisher plus a propsect would be absolute lunacy.

      • UNION YES. says:

        The prospect is just a throw in. Orioles need someone at first. We can use Huff at 3rd, move him to right when A-Rod is back. He can DH too. I don’t think this trade scenario is that absurd.

        • A) No.
          B) The Orioles don’t need somebody at first.
          C) Peter Angelos hates us. He’s not trading us anything without charging a hefty premium.
          D) We can’t play Huff in RF after ARod comes back, he’s atrocious there. There’s a reason they play Huff exclusively at 1B/DH.
          E) It is that absurd.
          F) No.

        • steve (different one) says:

          it’s not a very good idea either.

          1. Huff – not really a 3Bman or a RFer anymore
          2. Swisher – hopefully a starting OFer for the next 3 years.
          3. A-Rod, hopefully only out a month
          4. The yankees have a DH

        • anonymous says:

          G5) 8 million dollar salary for April

  9. The Lodge says:

    I Wonder if Brosius can still pick it.

  10. SWB says:

    Love him or hate him ARod generates blog traffic. 303 in the other thread and I’m sure another hundred or so here

  11. mko says:

    Justin Leone could be another internal option…

  12. Remind me, again, we signed this guy for ten years…why?

    I’m not saying Alex isn’t a good player. He’s certainly the best aty the position, and the best that was available that offseason.

    But ten years?

    Seriously, now?

    • steve (different one) says:

      don’t know. but even if they signed him for 8 years, which would have been pretty reasonable IMO, it still wouldn’t really change anything that is going to happen in the next 7 years.

      if it makes you feel better, just pretend it was for 8 years.

    • anonymous says:

      These long contracts are essentially differed payments for an elite players prime years.

    • The Ghost of Darrell Rasner says:

      What’s the difference if he’s signed for a year or 10 and he get an injury like this? Or if we gave him 10 1-year contracts? He’s still the best player out there and we want him. People get injured. To expect that someone won’t get injured over the life of a contract is not pragmatic.

      I hate it whenever someone gets injured and then people start lamenting the contract. Srsly, wtf? What length of contract would be ok for this kind of injury?

  13. steve (different one) says:

    i would guess that Grudz or Easley will be in camp by Monday.

    have to wait and see.

    so much of this depends on how long he is actually going to miss.

    6 weeks? do nothing.

    8 weeks? probably still do nothing, maybe bring in another veteran retread.

    10 weeks? longer? scour the trade market…pray.

  14. Cody says:

    How about Hank Blalock???

  15. YankFanDave says:

    This exposes Cashman’s Achilles’ Heel — not getting bench depth. Since being given broad control, Cashman has consistently left the Yankees with a short bench while the competition, such as the Bosox and Rays, have consistently given themselves a deep and experienced bench. Even the As will have a deeper and better bench than the Yanks. With the number of FA options that were available this off season to add infield depth (better than Berroa) and the lack of major league-ready infield prospects, Cashman looks woefully ineffective on that front. Players get hurt and GMs are supposed to plan for the worse. Cashman seems to plan for the best but stops there too often when it comes to the bench.

    • anonymous says:

      Julio Lugo is making 10mill a year to play the bench.

    • Ben K. says:

      I don’t think it’s fair to accuse Cashman of not beefing up the bench. How do you get a good bench? Good players don’t sit on the bench, and most “good” bench players won’t want to be stuck behind the generally durable Alex Rodriguez.

      The Yankees have a good bench this year. With some of Xavier Nady/Nick Swisher/Melky and then Jose Molina, etc., that’s not a bad bunch. What they don’t have is the ability to replace Alex Rodriguez and still field a good bench, but no team enjoys that luxury.

      • steve (different one) says:

        also, who were the 3Bmen that were available?

        there were a bunch of 2Bmen and a couple of SS’s that were available that everyone wanted to make into utility guys.

        • MattG says:

          Eric Hinske was very available. And I perfect fit. And I said so at the appropriate time (January).

          I suppose he would play one awful third base at this point, but I also suppose he would be far superior to Cody Ransom for six weeks.

    • rbizzler says:

      Yeah, because Alex Cora was a beast for the Sox over the last few years. Now they have 9 mil-per Julio Lugo in that role. And the Rays have the ultra-talented Willie Aybar (who is decent, but not great) in their UTIL role.

      You are right, Cash is incompetent.

    • kunaldo says:

      dude, you can’t get bench depth that will adequately replace a guy like Arod…that’s really unreasonable to expect cashman to get a guy to be on the bench that could start anywhere else at an above average level…

      you don’t expect arod to get injured…you don’t plan for those kinda things…yeah, you have decent guys who can fill in, but you go to war w/ your starters, and hope they don’t get injured…

      cashman does his job by building up the farm system and having tons of trading chips so that if a serious injury happens, he can make a move…not have a superstar riding the pine “just in case”

  16. A.D. says:

    Let Malec, Ransom and Duncan battle for it internally

  17. Jimmy says:

    Don’t you think that they are going to be forced to make a 40-man move if Ransom is at 3rd considering they would then need another backup infielder.

    Sorry to go off topic, but did everybody catch Joba’s line. 5 batters – 1 hit, 4 walks.

    • Ben K. says:

      Probably. They’d in all likelihood go with 3 catchers then or keep Berroa anyway.

      As for Joba, it’s Spring Training. I’ll worry when he does that in April. As long as his shoulder is ok — and I wonder about that sometimes — I think he’ll be fine. More on him later.

    • Nocofella says:

      Not surprised,when he’s not Max efforting the ball…..nevermind. Truth is that line doesn’t bother at all.

  18. Nocofella says:

    Yuliesky Gourriel will defect.

  19. Cody says:

    Aaron Boone?

  20. Evan in NYC says:

    Sign TO. Simple.

  21. Hey, before you start criticizing Cashman on the bench…how would you like to be a ench player on a team where the infield plays 99% of the time?

    Players want playing time. Ergo, no one wants to come to a team where they won’t get much of that.

    • Chris says:

      I agree that complaining about the bench is ridiculous, but players also want to win the world series. They may get playing time in KC, but they won’t have a chance to win.

      • steve (different one) says:

        also, why don’t we wait until we see what Cashman comes up with to plug the hole?

        it’s like we’re criticizing him for playing Ransom for 6 weeks when that hasn’t even happened yet….

      • Sweet Dick Willie says:

        While not the most brilliant sub-set around, most athletes understand that they have a very small window (in terms of years) to earn money, and that they earn more as starters than bench players.

        Thus, given the option to start for a poor team or be a bench player for a contender, most opt for the former. The notable exceptions are veterans who realize they are near the end, and want one last shot at a ring.

  22. leo says:

    Grudz gets hurt all the time because of his bad back, I don’t think he is someone they should invest in as a replacement even temporarily.

  23. Joe G. says:

    According to Evan Roberts on the FAN (a reliable source…*cough, cough*) Nady played 3B in college… and was named ton 3B in the country by BA… put on those infield shoes X-Man.

  24. Jim says:

    The Yanks have officially pissed me off to the point I might cancel my ticket plan. I have bought a 12 game plan for the last 7 years. They decided this year to shift my seats to the last section above right field all the way 5 rows from the top. Pretty much, the crappiest seats in the house. On top of that they assigned 4 Toronto games, 3 Oriols, 2 Tampa, 1 texas, 1 Minn, 1 boston. Total BS!! and your not saving any money on seats…they are the same price a sigle game tix. The guy on the phone said Im lucky. Im lucky? Take the tix and eat em….Ill just buy single games and save a ton of money.

    Sorry guys had to vent a bit. This is total BS.

    • steve (different one) says:

      at first i thought this was because A-Rod has a cyst, and i thought you were a little nutty.

      but vent away.

      if i had to guess, i would guess that the demand is insane b/c it’s just the first season and things will settle down next year and you will get to upgrade your seats.

      just a wild ass guess though.

    • Jim says:

      better seats are onsale for these crappy games for face value already on craigslist. If they were selling out as fast as they want people to think they are, they wouldn’t have sent out an invoice dated march 4, with a due date of March 15…one month from opening day. Last year I hjad the tix and seat location paid for by mid Feb. It might be a risk, but I think their hurting and cant get season tix holders to cough up the dough.

      Sorry to vent,
      Long time very pissed off fan

      • The Yankees are losing 4,000 seats in the New Stadium.

        • Also, you’ve had a 12 game plan for 7 years. I know you’re a “loyal” fan, but to be frank, there’s probably tens of thousands of fans more “loyal” than you, if we’re measuring loyalty in both the number of home games you attend and the number of years you’ve been attending.

          Say I have had a 40 game plan for 15 years. Shouldn’t the Yankees take care of me first? I’m more measurably “loyal” than you are.

          • Jim says:

            so your happy about that way this was all done? I purchased a plan to get decent seats. I was expecting grandstand seats. Ive been around 1st bease way up for years. I wasnt aksing for box seats, but I wasn’t expecting granstand, llast row above right field. there are literally a total of 20 worst seats in the stadium. When reserving a plan I expect to at least get decent seats in the level Im paying for. And there are actually plenty of tix available per the box office. I can downgrade to a 11 game plan with seats in the 200 level for an extra 8,400 dollars. What the yanks are doing is pushing out the partial plans and trying to fill the stadium with full season tix or just to push people to spend more money for better seats. Its a business move, but a move that isn’t loyal to the fan base.

            • Its a business move, but a move that isn’t loyal to the fan base.

              Thanks for ignoring everything I just said.

              What I’m saying is, while they may have screwed you over, they may have done it to ensure they don’t screw other people over even worse. Can you accept that possibility: that somebody had to get screwed over during the move, due to the reduced number of seats and different stadium configuration, and that you drew the short straw because other people had more seniority and bigger game packages than you?

            • Jim says:

              you missed my whole point…read again

              • No, you missed my point.

                The Old Yankee Stadium had a massive, mammoth upper deck with oodles of seats. The new stadium has a smaller upper deck with fewer seats. So, when the other fans with larger and older ticket plans than you were offered their relocation plans first, some of thme chose to leave their old area and move into the new, smaller upper deck (since it’s more cost efficient for them with the rising ticket prices) meaning your option to stay roughly in the same place at the same price point was taken away from you by a fan MORE LOYAL THAN YOU. Leaving you only with the options of taking crappier seats further away, or better seats that are closer but much more expensive.

                Yes, Jim, the Yankees are “pushing out the partial plans and trying to fill the stadium with full season tix”, but no, it’s not just a business move. It’s a loyalty move. Full season ticket holders SHOULD get preference over partial season ticket holders, because they’re more loyal fans. Not because they’re richer, because they’re more invested in the Yankees.

  25. Ross says:

    Where is that confidence poll when you need it? Between the A-Rod injury and Joba’s doing his best Freddy Garcia impression, my Yankee confidence is at a 2009 low!

    • Sweet Dick Willie says:

      Did Joba say his shoulder is bothering him? Because if not, his outing today registers a zero on my concern meter.

  26. Rich says:

    If Tex is willing to play 3B, that’s my preferred option.

  27. [...] Garrett Atkins or Chad Tracy could be fits for the Yanks, but the price for Atkins could be high.  River Ave. Blues likes Mark Grudzielanek or possibly Bobby Crosby as other external options, while ESPN’s [...]

  28. Jimmy says:

    Although an injured ARod is obviously costly to the Yankees, it isn’t like they are going to be struggling for runs if everybody else is healthy (especially Matsui and Posada).

    Damon – Jeter – Matsui – Teix – Cano – Posada – Swish/Nady – Ransom – Gardner
    103 – 120 – 123 – 134 – 109 – 124 – 112/108 (Career OPS+ for the top seven in the lineup)

    Ellsbury – Pedroia – Ortiz – Youklis – Bay – Drew – Lowell – Varitek – Lowrie
    95 – 112 – 138 – 119 – 131 – 129 – 110

    Looks pretty similar. With this year’s staff, it is probably more important that whoever fills in can pick it at 3rd.

  29. MattG says:

    Go get Carlos Guillen. You’ll have to give something good up, but the contract is bloated, and I think you could get away with a B prospect as a headliner, such as McAllister.

    • No. Good, god, no. This is the worst idea since Greedo shooting first.

    • steve (different one) says:


      do you kill the flies in your house with a bazooka?

      • MattG says:

        It would be a terrible thing to acquire a legitimate starter at four infield positions for the bench? If you can afford it?

        Is this not what the ’96 Yankees had with Fielder and Hayes, albeit in April instead of July?

        If you want a great bench, you take on someone’s salary dump with decent-but-not-great prospects, and find playing time for everyone. With the age on this team, they’ll get Guillen 400 at bats.

        • steve (different one) says:

          Guillen is owed THIRTY SIX MILLION DOLLARS over the next 3 seasons. $36M.

          you want to take on that salary b/c A-Rod is out for 10 weeks and then stick that salary on the bench for the next 2.5 seasons??

          hence my analogy.

          you are killing the fly (A-Rod out for 1-2 months) with a bazooka (taking on $36M for a bench player).

        • A) It would be a terrible idea to acquire a guy owed 36M over the next three years to plug a hole at third base we espect to have for about a month or two at the most.

          B) Carlos Guillen hasn’t played 2B since 1999. He hasn’t played SS since 2007, when he played it very, very badly. He played a little bit of 3B last year, also very, very badly. The statement that he’s a “legitimate starter at four infield positions” is blatantly disingenuous. Guillen is a first baseman for all intents and purposes.

          C) When we acquired Cecil Fielder, he was entering the last year of his mammoth contract. We traded Ruben Sierra to get him; Ruben Sierra was also on a mammoth contract at the time. Hence, we both opened a permanent position (DH) and shed an equitable salary (only 3M more for Cecil) in that trade. Trading Ruben Sierra for Cecil Fielder would be wholly different than trading prospects for Carlos Guillen. Carlos Guillen’s contract is an albatross, and it would likely prevent us from adding better players in the coming years, like possibly Holliday or Manny.

  30. Joey H says:

    Ugh this blows.

  31. That’s an interesting idea to start Teixeira at third. I like it, but I wonder if the Yankees and he would consider it.

    • … and then Tex discovers that he’s pretty good at 3B and likes it and wants to stay there, and we promote Miranda to 1B. Then, when ARod comes back, he moves over to SS and Jeter, since he’s Captain America, moves to CF for the good of the team, and both ARod and Jeter flourish in their new positions.

      Next year, Jeter moves over to LF to make room for AJax, who posted a .320/.390/.530 in Scranton and hit a grand slam in his first AB during his September callup, and we trade Miranda to the Royals for supersub Mark Teahen (because the Royals love first basemen) to make room for Jesus Monteroplay at first. And sign Manny to DH.

      1- LF Jeter
      2- 2B Cano
      3- 3B Teixeira
      4- SS ARod
      5- DH Manny
      6- 1B Jesus Monteroplay
      7- C Posada
      8- RF Swisher
      9- CF AJax

      Mmmmmmmmm, that’s good bacon.

  32. Nocofella says:

    Yuliesky Gourriel

  33. Joey H says:

    Remain calm guys. This is not a big deal. Now if Posada AND Matsui were to go down, then we are fucked. but for now, lets get a league average guy to play the hot corner and get through it. It’s not like we have questions in our rotation, with the guys we are going to be putting out there every day we’ll be fine.

  34. The Lodge says:

    We need a 1 month stop gap – that can field the position and then move into the Utility role. Mark Loretta?

  35. ceciguante says:

    it’s amazing how the yanks have this ability to find drama months before opening day. i’d say this team might’ve, over the past couple of years, given the bronx zoo teams a run for its money.

    that’s not to downplay the injury…i’m freaked out too. trying to take heart that players often recover earlier than the initial estimates for missed time. in this context, a 2 or 3 week swing feels like a big difference, since he has 4 wks to heal before missing any games.

    i do blame cashman a bit for consistently fielding a crap bench. we again have an absolute ham ‘n egger at utility IF. i’m not expecting an 95 ops+ utility guy every year, but the littany of garbage players on our bench has been pretty bad in recent years.

    dion james, where have you gone?
    (i know, he didn’t play 3b, just saying)

    • jeremy says:

      If Wade Boggs had been injured coming out of Spring Training in 96′, who would have replaced him?

      The idea that the Yankees need even an above average replacement for Arod, for at most 1 1/2 months of the regular season is silly if you ask me. Let Ransom play and let the rest of the team pick up the slack.

      • ceciguante says:

        can’t recall the exact opening day roster in ’96, but they acquired charlie hayes that year. good example of some nice depth, right there.

        i’m not calling for an above average replacement for arod. but there’s a solid chance that ransom is awful. as mentioned today, he’s not exactly “average” at the plate. i agree we shouldn’t rush to make a move, it’s just frustrating that ransom is the guy in line to take over if any one among jeter, arod or cano go down. and here we are paying for it already. meanwhile, we have about 6 OFers.

    • I like that when Johan Santana is hurting and may miss the beginning of the season, it’s an unfortunate setback, but when ARod is hurting and may miss the beginning of the season, it’s “drama”.

    • steve (different one) says:

      OPS+ Yankee Utility Players During the “Dynasty”

      1996 – Andy Fox – 38
      1997 – Pat Kelly – 78
      1998 – Luis Sojo – 37
      1999 – Luis Sojo – 59
      2000 – Clay Bellinger – 66
      2001 – Enrique Wilson – 63

      this “problem” is getting ridiculously exaggerated.

      • Moshe Mandel says:

        I dont know that this is fair. The Yankees bench used to be a lot deeper. They sat Tino, Boggs, and Oneill at points in 1996 playoffs because they had guys like Fielder and Straw.

        • steve (different one) says:

          who are analogous to Nady or Swisher on the current team.

          the position of utility infielder, which is what everyone is complaining about, is usually a scrub.

          also, teams carry an additional pitcher now, which doesn’t help.

      • ceciguante says:

        mike gallego. homer bush. jose vizcaino. we didn’t exactly have a ton of killers as utility IFers, the bench strength was more OF types like dion james, straw, canseco, glenallen hill, tim raines, chili davis. but those teams had more firepower on the bench, no question. cashman’s let it slide in recent years.

  36. Grab Some Bench says:

    Maybe Enrique Wilson can be coaxed out of retirement?

    Poor A-Roid. Just as he puts his foot in his mouth this happens. He’s like the gift that keeps on giving (bad karma).

  37. Bernard says:

    As I mentioned in the other thread I think Mark Teahen and Brandon Inge would be the best options. Teahen could be had for next to nothing (KC was rumored to nearly DFA him to go after Hudson) and Inge shouldn’t require too extravagant a package of prospects. Both have experience at 3B and elsewhere, Inge can also catch which means no possible risk of carrying Cash as a 3rd catcher.

  38. McCaff says:

    Inge. backup catcher too? to expensive? to much via trade ? hmmm

  39. Jimmy says:

    I’m not hoping for it, but I could see Cash making a move for Bill Hall.

  40. Joey H says:

    Igawa for third base?

  41. Joey H says:

    My GOD! People are acting like he came down with ALS. CALM DOWN. God people are going nuts. They are talking about moving Cano over, his contract security. It’s hilarious.

  42. GG says:

    I’m really going nuts, this is unfair to all of us (not really), the Yanks need to come out and tell all of us what the real deal is…because im lookin at this ESPN stuff and worrying that hes never going to be a top notch hitter ever again. The reality is we just dont know, it could be nothing or everything.

  43. Steven says:

    Dallas McPherson for Eric Hacker and someone else.

  44. McCaff says:

    Aaron Boone

  45. Mike says:

    Not sure if this was already brought up, but Nady did come up as a third baseman, we could put swisher in rf, gardner/melk in cf, damon/matsui in lf for a month and probably be ok. Otherwise, Id bring up Duncan (AGAIN) and build a trade market (AGAIN) for the kid

    • Joey H says:

      You just spelled out disaster.

      • Mike says:

        Disaster? Come on we have all stars at just about every other position and how bad could he really be? Why continually strip our farm system and/or payroll for temp solutions? I have heard the debate for Ransom, but I see overall more upside with Duncan b/c of age and potential trade value

  46. Joey H says:

    Joba said he is fine feels great.

  47. Joey H says:

    “Torn labrum” in the hip.

  48. Rich says:

    Boras says it’s a torn labrum.

  49. Rob S. says:

    Swisher should play third if A-Rod misses any time. Nobody else needs to be moved. As far as moving Teixeira to third goes…are you freakin’ kidding me? No Way!

    • Yankee1010 says:

      No. Swisher is a lefty. So, no.

    • Yeah, we should have Nick Swisher play third base.

      Because he’s a lefty, and he’s been a first baseman and and outfielder in high school, college and the pros, and he’s played third exactly nonce in his life. Putting him at third makes way more sense than moving Xavier Nady or Mark Teixeira to third, even though they were drafted as third basemen and grew up playing third base.

      (rolls eyes)

  50. Gianni Baseball says:

    No, no, no.

    When Aaron Boone went down there was all this internal speculation. Next thing we know we’re talking about trading for Alex Rodriguez.

    a) Derek Jeter will not be moved. Not now.

    b) Count on Nady being used as trade bait.

    c) Yankees have the luxury of absorbing money. Which also would allow them to possibly keep Nady or any other real player they consider trading.

    d) Mark Grudzilanek, at third base, is not a viable option. Unless Cano can scoot over to third and Grudz plays 2b, then maybe.

    e) Mark Tex is a GOLD GLOVE first basemen!!! Why would you change something like that??? GOLD.

    f) Cody Ransom will not be a starter. If he does start, it will be in a platoon capacity.

    g) Are we all talking about the NY Yankees?? We have nothing internal to plug unless Cano moves.

  51. Gianni Baseball says:

    Over, this is all a cover up for not being to produce without some boli.

    I say it takes a week before “speculation arises” that the Yankees are “looking” into the morals clause in every stand player contract.

    Technically, if the Yankees have sound evidence that steriods could have caused this cyst, etc., very similar to what they did with Giambi and his pituitary gland tumor, then they could void his contract.

    “Then he’ll go from A-Roid to A-Void and probably kill himself.”

    • steve (different one) says:

      except Giambi’s contract didn’t get voided.

      • Gianni Baseball says:

        No, you’re right, ,it didn’t get voided.

        But there is a clause in the standard players contract that pretty much states that if you put a substance, whether cocaine or steriods, and you miss time because of it, you coud face discipline action, and that would not be limited to voiding it.

        Look, it may seem crayzy the way I presented it, but if you think it’s that batshit insane, why dont you look it up rather than chalk it up to your gut or whatever lack of a brain you have.

        They explored it with Kevin Brown, they explored it with Jason Giambi. How is that batshit insane. 3 hrs agoo he was out til May. Now its resst and rehab. No shit, in hidsight, its batshit insane. I would assume people with common deency would keep things relevant. Otherwise why isnt anyonejumping on the guy who wants to sign Manny to DH. I think signing a player undder contract is batshit insane, dont ya think.

        Whats up everyones ass? What is Yuri Surcat or whatever replying to all my posts? Get a life. I’m leaving WORK now. Thanks for not letting me not have any fun whatsoever. Tool.

  52. Gianni Baseball says:

    Ohhh or maybe we trade Aj Burnett to the Braves? Yunel Escobar. I’ll take him.


  53. The Lodge says:

    No Surgery. Rest and Rehab as per PeteAbe. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.

  54. Thomas A. Anderson says:

    I don’t know why everyone is panicking. The regular season is meaningless anyway, right? According to half the fanbase, Alex has not gotten a meaningful hit in his life. So this injury silliness is just water off of a duck’s back.

  55. Evan in NYC says:

    Lo Hud says:
    “Yankees GM Brian Cashman just said Alex Rodriguez has a torn hip labrum and cyst.

    They’re trying rest and rehab. The cyst was drained. The hope is he’ll keep playing.”

    *crosses fingers*

  56. Joey H says:


  57. [...] Policy « Mark Grudzielanek, come on down (and other possible replacements) Mar [...]

  58. MattG says:

    I’m telling you, there will be a three way deal that brings Carlos Guillen to NY. Nady is going to…SF…and…somebody…goes to DET for Guillen. See? Its all worked out.

    Guillen will have no problem getting 400 ABs all over the diamond with Nady out of the picture.

  59. Yankee1010 says:

    In theory, if he doesn’t miss any time and he’s able to play through the pain, I guess this is good news. But exactly what does “rest and rehab” mean? Not that anyone has the answers.

    There is something to be said for having the surgery and getting it fixed. Of course, if he’s able to be close to himself at full power for the season, play through the year and get the surgery, you know, right after the season instead of one month before the season starts, then that’s about the best we could hope for.

  60. Gianni Baseball says:

    And if I may say, trading Aj to Yunel is less retarded than actually thinking we can trade for Pujols. I mean, Albert Pujols. he plays first because he wants to, but we’re the Yankees so if we did trade for him (is he 10-5 yet?) we would assume he would just move over.

    If we really did need to trade for someone, one of Joel Sherman’s picks, and I’m not a big fan of Joel, is chone figgins. He would be nice, b/c then we could move him to CF when aroid gets back. i also think teahan is a good ballplayer. beltre is the best defensively, but too streaky offensively. mora stinks, rolen is too banged up, inge stinks, blalock is intriguing, atkins, hall, and tracy cant catch a cold (although they can hit)

    there my semi non sarcastic response. Although it seems like hes going to rehab or whatever. If he missed April would we really have such a void? I wouldnt think so, as long as the person is above average fielder.

    I did campaign to sign Wiggington as a super utility player tihs offseason. If we did, we would have to worry at all. Well, you know what I mean.

  61. GG says:

    whats going on??????

  62. Bill says:

    No surgery for ARod per Cash. Rest and rehab for now.

    If that doesn’t work I think Hank Blalock is probably the best replacement option. While he won’t come close to replacing ARod’s power he would give us some good power at the back of our lineup. Texas also matches up pretty well with us in a trade as they could use some of our minor league pitching depth. None of the big names of course, but some of the mid-level guys that eventually might get lost in the bullpen or rotation shuffle.

  63. [...] Atkins or Chad Tracy could be fits for the Yanks, but the price for Atkins could be high.  River Ave. Blues likes Mark Grudzielanek or possibly Bobby Crosby as other external options, while ESPN’s [...]

  64. [...] River Ave. Blues makes the case for the last available useful free-agent infielder: Mark Grudzielanek. Considering the fact that [...]

  65. Sly Robbie says:

    Offer up Hughes, Horne, and possibly even Ian Kennedy to the Pirates for Andy Phillips. It would be some degree of payback for all the times we have fleeced Pittsburgh, thus creating some good will. This is something the Yankee organization needs to cultivate with other teams.

    Or we can give up “Action” Jackson and/or Mark “Future Farnsworth” Melancon to the Red Sox, even up for Nick Green. This will make up for the incredible wrong what Cashman did this great Yankee by letting him go in the first place.

    Or, we can see if Jeff Kent can’t be coaxed out of retirement.

    Or, we can revisit trade talks with the Brewers re: Cameron for CF, and see if they could throw in Bill Hall or Mike Lamb — all for a bag of balls.

    Or, the most prosperous of ideas — suck it up, let Ransom/Duncan/Justin Leone duke it out amongst themselves until A-Rod gets back. Loser then gets a one-way ticket on the DFA Express.

  66. [...] we discussed who could replace A-Rod if the Yanks’ slugger needs surgery. Buster Olney — in a piece discussing Mark [...]

  67. [...] Cards, the 2009 Draft Order is basically set. The Royals would snag the 44th overall pick if/when Mark Grudzielanek signs elsewhere, but otherwise that’s it for compensation free agents. Ben Sheets isn’t expected to [...]

  68. [...] found out the severity of A-Rod’s hip injury last week, Ben wrote up possible replacements, headed by Mark Grudzielanek. Once surgery became a certainty, Mark Teahen’s name popped up in the conversation. Either [...]

  69. [...] Garrett Atkins or Chad Tracy could be fits for the Yanks, but the price for Atkins could be high.  River Ave. Blues likes Mark Grudzielanek or possibly Bobby Crosby as other external options, while ESPN’s Buster [...]

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