The Four Corners of Third Base Hell

Barbarisi: Cashman lacked authority to make offers at Winter Meetings
Astros claim Mickey Storey off waivers from Yankees

The loss of Alex Rodriguez to a left hip injury has turned a needy yet straight-forward offseason into a chaotic mess that has left the Yankees scrambling for solutions at four everyday positions. We already knew they needed a right fielder, a catcher, and a DH, but adding a third baseman on top of it while trying to avoid spending precious 2014 dollars could prove to be impossible. The way I see it, the Yankees are going to wind up plugging their third base hole in one of four ways. Let’s break each of ‘em down.

(Denis Poroy/Getty)

The Trade Market
Trading for help on the left side of the infield is tough these days, especially since the Padres have said they will not move Chase Headley following his monster year. Even if they were open to it, I don’t think the Yankees have the pieces to acquire him unless San Diego is open to taking a bunch of Single-A outfielders. We do know this much: teams have been calling Brian Cashman in an attempt to take advantage of the team’s situation following A-Rod‘s injury.

“I’ve had a few of maybe the names I wouldn’t have thought of – lesser names that I wouldn’t have an interest in – volunteer their services for that position,” said Cashman on Tuesday. “I’ve had some people suggest, ‘Hey, my guy who plays second base, he can swing over to play third.’ That type if stuff. I don’t have an interest in stuff like that … I did have one (ridiculous trade offer), which I assume has everything to do with (A-Rod’s injury). I’m no longer talking to that club.”

Potentially available trade targets could be guys like Chris Johnson (now that Eric Chavez signed with the Diamondbacks), Jamey Carroll, Chris Nelson with the Rockies, and I suppose Juan Francisco with the Braves. All flawed in their own way, but they are guys who could help weather the storm early next season without costing an arm and a leg to acquire. They can’t all be Mike Olt.

Mark Reynolds & Kevin Youkilis
Of the remaining free agent third base options, these two right-handed hitters stand out as the best. They both have their strengths and weaknesses — I recently wrote a Scouting The Market post for both players (Reynolds, Youkilis), so I’ll just refer you back to them for the specifics — and reports indicate that both are willing to take a one-year contract. That’s pretty important to the Yankees these days. If they’re willing to spend premium dollars for a solution at the hot corner, one of these two is their guy.

The Scrap Heap
The free agent third base market is funny. There was no true top tier this offseason, no Adrian Beltre or Aramis Ramirez types, so Reynolds and Youkilis are tier one. The guys who usually make up tiers three and four are tier two this winter by default. It’s pretty grim. I’m talking about guys like Jack Hannahan (brilliant defender, can’t hit), Alex Gonzalez (coming off knee surgery), Scott Rolen (probably going to retire), Placido Polanco (bad back), Casey McGehee (been there, done that), and Chone Figgins (lolnope). The crop of minor league free agent third basemen (Josh Bell? Ruben Gotay? Andy LaRoche?) isn’t all that inspiring either.

(Jordan Megenhardt/MLB.com)

Internal Options
The Yankees do not have a high-end, or even just a solid third base prospect on the cusp of the big leagues. David Adams most closely qualifies as one of those and he has played a whopping 37 games at the hot corner in his career. Corban Joseph has played 43 career games at third but he’s nothing more than an emergency option at the position because he doesn’t have the arm for it. Eduardo Nunez has the tools — arm strength and first-step quickness — for third base but just can’t seem to do anything right defensively. With the Yankees saying they want to keep him at shortstop, it appears as though he’s a last resort option at third.

I do wonder if the combination of A-Rod’s continued breakdown and Dante Bichette Jr.’s miserable season will make the Yankees consider moving Tyler Austin back to third base. He was drafted as a catcher and moved to third immediately as a pro, but this season the team shifted him to right field in part due to the presence of Bichette at the same level. Austin has the bat for any position and if he can handle the hot corner defensively, it’s something they should seriously consider. At the same time, there’s no much going right with Austin that you don’t want to screw it up by having him change positions yet again.

If the Yankees were to go with an internal option, Adams is probably the team’s best hope for a league average (or even just slightly below) performance next season. I’m not very confident he could skip over Triple-A and do it, but I guess stranger things have happened. And who knows, maybe Adams surprises and hits well enough that he makes the team think twice before dropping nine-figures on Robinson Cano after the season. His nature position is second base, you know. At the very least, I expect the Yankees to import some veteran competition for the kids if they’re unable to sign Reynolds or Youkilis and can’t swing a trade. At least make Adams or Nunez or whoever earn it in camp.

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Barbarisi: Cashman lacked authority to make offers at Winter Meetings
Astros claim Mickey Storey off waivers from Yankees
  • Elton Cod

    I think we need at least two players who could play both 3rd and 1st, because Tex is due for an injury in June, and Swisher is probably gone.

    • gc

      How exactly is Teixeira “due” for an injury? Last year was really the first year, other than 2007, that he ever missed any considerable playing time. And he’s been basically good for anywhere from 500 to 700+plate appearances every year of his career.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Elton Cod = Vicente Padilla

      • Elton Cod

        Exactly – now he’s due. Don’t you know how statistics work? I really don’t feel like explaining it.

        • JMK

          Whatever your warped belief may be, what you’re referring to is not “statistics.”

          • Elton Cod

            Yeah, my Bayesian algorithm predicted you would say that.

            • JMK

              You impress me with your Google skills.

              • I Live In My Mom’s Basement

                You’re being toyed with.

        • gc

          Since he’s due and all, what exactly are the odds of this injury happening, since you’re the expert on statistics? Please be specific.

  • Mattingly’s Love Child

    I know Heyman doesn’t know jack, but he said something about the Braves looking for LF/lead off types. I’m sure my trade proposal sucks, but would Gardner and someone else(CoJo?) be a possibility for Prado? Can Prado even play 3b well enough for that to be worth it?

    • Preston

      This has been suggested before and I don’t get it. We are scouring the trade market for cost controlled OFers right now. Why would we trade one away? Gardner and Prado are pretty comparable players in talent, but Gardner has an extra year of team control. Sure we could use a guy who can play all over the diamond like Prado, but not at the expense of Gardner. I also don’t think the Braves would make that trade. Prado can play both LF/3B and the braves have holes in LF and 3B, they need him.

      • Kosmo

        Prado is a .300 hitter with pop and is a very good defensive LF. Granted Gardner runs better and is a better defender but to claim they are comparable players talent wise is a stretch. To date Gardner has had 1 good season, Prado a handful. I´d take Prado for Gardner in a heartbeat.

        • Preston

          In 683 career games Martin Prado has been worth 15.8 WAR
          In 475 career games Brett Gardner has been worth 15.2 WAR

          According to WAR Gardner is by far the superior player. If you don’t believe in WAR because you don’t buy into Gardner’s super human defense/baserunning stats, then the two equal out. Either way, it’s two years of Gardner for one year of Prado, and 2014 is when the need for a cheap player really kicks in, so I repeat the trade makes no sense.

          • LarryM., Fl.

            The Braves are looking for a lead off especially an OF. I thought about the trade but it puts us in the same place plus Pardo makes more money than Gardner. Now, Hal is breaking his bank to get all the pennies out for Youk.

    • Kosmo

      I thought Prado was replacing Chipper who retired? I can´t imagine Ben Francisco would be the Braves starting 3B this season.

      But if a Prado for Gardner trade was on the table I´d say pull the trigger.

      • Preston

        Then we need two OFers next year and three in 2014, and Martin Prado would be a FA next year too. Doesn’t make any sense to me from the Yankees perspective or the Braves.

        • Kosmo

          Good point, I didn´t check on Prado´s contract status.

    • jesse

      I like Prado, but I definitely wouldn’t do that, especially for just 1 year of Prado.

    • JMK

      You can dislike Heyman for any number of reasons, but it’s not like he’s completely off the mark all the time. He breaks quite a bit of news, whether you care to admit it or not.

  • Mark in VT

    What about the Japanese guy that the Yanks bid on last year, but the deal fell through? Has that been brought up yet? (Forgive me if I missed it)

    • Peter North

      This came up yesterday, I think. The kid’s a SS and someone in the Japanese press said that he can’t play 3B. Something like that.

      • Bo Knows

        he’s 30, not really a kid

  • Rich in NJ

    I’m fine with Nunez, especially if they can add a power bat in the OF.

    • LK

      What about this offseason indicates to you that they’re going to add a power bat to the OF?

    • JMK

      I’d be OK with Nunez if they signed Hamilton, traded for Posey and added Wil Meyers.

  • Preston

    I’ve wondered about Austin moving back to 3rd as well. Not that it would help us this year, but since 3 of our top four prospects are currently OFers, it would make a lot of sense to see if Austin could make the move back. On the other hand, we also need a long term option in RF, and the other two OFers would be better used in CF where their bats play up. I also recall reading an interview with him, where he said that things just clicked when he moved to RF, so I would definitely be wary of messing with that, I could understand how 3B might be a lot more demanding and thus take away some of your focus at the plate.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      IF, and that’s IF, Austin raked in AA immediately, then he’d be a bit closer than we all think.

      Being able to play both those positions would not be a bad thing.

      This is why, if the team really is looking the trade route more, I feel they need to think long and hard as to what they’re doing. If these kids truly have some potential, and I think they do, I certainly don’t want them moved for 1-2 year fixes at positions.

  • Kosmo

    Chris Nelson´s name has come up a few times during the WM. Although he seems like a real butcher at 3rd.
    What about jeff Rutledge?

    I`m all for letting Adams take a crack at it. He has a rep for being a hard worker.

    I´m also wondering if Moustakas is a possibility? Royals are looking for SP and are reluctant to part with Myers. Nova,Phelps and 1 other piece might get it done.

    • Rich in NJ

      I would be ok with Adams as well.

    • MatUk

      Problem is we don’t have enough SP depth to trade two cheap starters.

    • Preston

      Moustakas was a big time talent, but in over 200 games he’s been below league average offensively. I’m not ready to trade away 9 years of team control over two talented SP for Moustakas. I also don’t think the Royals want to sell low on a guy who was supposed to be a franchise cornerstone type player, especially after their experience with Gordon as a late bloomer.

      • Kosmo

        Nova and Phelps are back of rotation SP.

        • Preston

          You need back of the rotation starters, and if you’re going to cut costs you need to not pay Joe Blanton prices for them. Mike Moustakas might not ever hit the way he was supposed to, a lot of prospects don’t (see Smoak, Justin) and I’m going to have to see more than one years worth of UZR before I believe he’s a +16 run fielder. If we’re trying to find cost controlled big league players, we shouldn’t do it at the expense of the cost controlled big league players we have.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Really glad you said this.

            • MannyGeee

              Preston has been on fire this week. Stop it with the fucking logic already… You’re makin the trolls mad.

        • Ted Nelson

          And Moosetacos has been a bad 3B so far too. Nova has had far more big league success.

      • JMK

        Two hundred games really isn’t a huge sample size. I agree with you though; I don’t think they’d shop him unless they got a big-time high ceiling pitcher in return. The Yankees can’t offer that.

        • NYCSPORTZFAN

          its called taking a chance. U got Nova, whos completely fallen down to earth and given us more then we ever thought we’d get, and u got Moustakas, whos got bigtime potential, and has a small sample size, and could end being a bigtime player down the line.. I’d take my chances and pull that trigger.. Nova is just a guy whos been figured out and i have a feeling hes not even gonna beat out Phelps and/or be back in the minors before to long.. I’d take a chance on Moustakas if its even a possiblity..

  • Get Phelps Up

    Signing Reynolds as a DH and Swisher for RF would make it much easier to have Romine as the starting catcher and Nunez/Adams as the 3B for the first month of the season.

    • 0-fur

      Swisher will get mutpile years that the Yankees won’t offer and Reynolds might be too expensive for the Yankees budget.

      Too Expensive for the Budget… That literally hurt to type.

      • Get Phelps Up

        Swisher can be signed if they let Granderson go. As for Reynolds he probably will only require a 1 year deal.

        • 0-fur

          Even if they trade Granderson away I don’t think they will go over any 1 yr deals.

          • Get Phelps Up

            They don’t have to trade him.

            Let him go next offseason as a FA.

            • 0-fur

              The Yankees aren’t offering any contracts over 1 year. Swisher will get a multi year contract.

              • Preston

                Maybe they aren’t, but maybe they should. Swisher for around 15 in AAV is a good investment. It would still be possible to get under 189 with him on the books.

                • 0-fur

                  Should and would are two totally different things. You have to look at what we know as fans (which isn’t much) combined with the bahavior we have seen. All that points to no contracts over 1 yr. That could change tomorrow but for right now that just doesn’t seem to be the direction they are taking.

                  • Preston

                    Wasn’t the offer to Martin for two years? http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/russell_martin/
                    Not being willing to go multiple years for Keppinger, Schierholz, Youkilis etc. has no bearing on a player of a much different caliber.

                    • Robinson Tilapia

                      This.

                      One of the biggest issues I have with the sky-is-falling crowd here is that they seem to forget the names the Yanks didn’t acquire AS WELL AS the names the Yanks re-signed THIS OFFSEASON.

                    • 0-fur

                      At a relatively low AAV. Your comparing two different types of contracts. Swisher will get a longer deal at a higher AAV AND the Yankees have yet to make a peep about Swisher. I’m a big fan of Swisher but it looks like he will be playing elsewhere.

                    • 0-fur

                      Robinson,

                      THIS

                      Where in any of my posts do I say the Sky is Falling? No where? Okay, thank you for the completely random thought.

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  It’s an interesting thought. I’m not sure why that’s not getting more discussion.

                  I’d take the next four years of Swisher over the next four years of Curtis. Maybe I’m crazy in that.

                  • Preston

                    Absolutely not alone, Swisher has been super consistent, and there really isn’t one red flag you can point to. Granderson has been all over the place and his declining defense and rising K rate are both huge red flags.

                    • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

                      Well there’s one “red flag” that gets pointed to all the time by some around here…

                  • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod

                    With you on this 100%. Once I got over my post-ALCS unfair anti-Swish rage I’ve wished the Yankees would bring him back. I’d definitely take him over Grandy for 4 years.

                  • MannyGeee

                    Yup. Say what you want about swishes Octobers, dude is steady as they come from April to September. And a lot of fun

                    • Herby

                      Yep…was steady as they come beginning of last year…

  • 0-fur

    What’s Graig Nettles up to these days?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      He looks crazy old. There are few things that will make you immediately feel older than realizing Nettles looks like someone’s grandfather.

    • vicki

      working on his hall of fame speech.

      • adjusts batting gloves

        I loved Nettles when I was six, but he’s not going to be giving any speeches at the HOF except as a guest.

  • jim p

    Purely a desperation speculation question, but:

    If Cano moved to third (athletic, has the arm), unlikely as it may be, would there be a 2nd baseman in the system or on the market to fill that role?

    Maybe not relevant this year, but if they don’t resign Cano we’ll be needing someone at second in 2014, anyway.

    • Preston

      David Adams and Corban Joseph are both actually 2b, who have been tried out at 3b because the team thinks that’s where there might be an opportunity for them to play. So if Cano were moved to 3b, they could both play their more natural position.

      • Monty

        I don’t know how accurate this is from wikipedia….

        “Adams attended Grandview Preparatory School in Boca Raton, Florida. Baseball America rated Adams as the second-best high school third baseman in the United States”

        • Preston

          He’s apparently looked good at 3b in his 37 games there. CoJo not so much.

    • 0-fur

      One of the better ideas I’ve heard lately. Maybe Kelly Johnson or Ryan Theriot for 2nd or just let internal guys like Joseph & Nunez battle for 2nd.

      • Preston

        Forgot about Nunez, obviously obvious solution. The guy has the range, and 2b is a much easier throw. Although I think Scot Boras would pitch a fit if we tried to move Cano to 3B a year before he hit FA.

        • 0-fur

          True, but Boras can go lick Hank’s taint :)

          • Preston

            Agreed

        • Kosmo

          Boras has little to do with it. Cano a GG 2B would not offer his services especially in a contract year.

          • 0-fur

            He doesn’t need to offer his services. A team is allowed to tell a player he is playing a new position. Might not be the nicest thing to do but a team has the right.

            • Kosmo

              I don´t think so ! A team might ask a player if they´d be amenable to such a position change, but I´m sure said player has a right to veto such a move. It´s in Cano´s best interests to remain at 2nd base.

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

                A player can’t veto a position change. They can make a fuss like Michael Young, but not veto it. I don’t think any team would specifically write a position into a contract.

                • 0-fur

                  Thank you. The only thing a player can do is not show up and then he doesn’t make a penny.

                  • Preston

                    I don’t think forcing him is the best idea, but if your brought him in and talked about how being a 3B maximizes his long term value it might work. Boras made the same argument when he told the Nats that Bryce Harper was an OFer, not a C.

                    • 0-fur

                      It’s not the best idea but they can. Nationals did it with Soriano a few years back when they traded for him and moved him from 2B to LF.

                    • Robinson Tilapia

                      They “can,” but again, I can’t imagine how that’s what’s best. Dealing with big stars, and I am certainly not Phil Jackson or Joe Torre, does mean a combination of setting limits and massaging a bit of ego.

              • Cris Pengiucci

                Not sure he can “veto” a move. He has a contract to play for the team, not play a position on the team. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t put a really big stink about it. I’m not sure the Yankees would try to have him make the change, but I don’t think it’s the worst idea in the world. If they re-sign him long term, he may end up there anyway.

                • Kosmo

                  That´s the key “if they resign him“. Do you think Cano would move to 3rd this season AND then resign a multi-year deal with NY ?

                  • Cris Pengiucci

                    I think he’d move back to 2B once A-Rod came back, with the understanding that when A-Rod is no longer able to play the field (full time DH, not half and half), then the position is Cano’s. Helps him and the team long term.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              And, still, that might not be best for business for anyone. I actually do want Cano back after his contract is up.

              • Cris Pengiucci

                I’d prefer trying Adams at 3B to moving Cano until A_Rod comes back, but this isn’t a totally insane suggestion. But the timing couldn’t be much worse with Cano’s contract coming up and he want to maximize his value.

    • Bo Knows

      Yankeeanalysts actually did an article asking the same thing. The problem is that your going to have Cano forced to learn a completely unfamiliar position, and then shore up 2B with someone (say Nunez) who has issues playing consistent defense. You going to end up with two well below average positions defensively (which will be 3 because Jeter is going to be a 39 yr old SS)

      it’s not worth it, I’ll take the elite defensive 1st, 2nd baseman and a below average 3rd and Short over having an elite defensive 1st baseman, and terrible defending SS, 2nd Baseman and 3rd Baseman.

      • toad

        makes sense.

  • kenthadley

    Hope you realize “weather the storm” doesn’t mean until Arod gets back….he’s done as an everyday 3B….it means until we can come up with a good long term solution. It now looks like Celerino Sanchez, Jerry Kenny, Rich McKinney, and Bobby Cox will battle it out for a while.

    • 0-fur

      I think it’s time to put the same label on A-Rod that we put on Pineda. “Anything the Yankees get from him will be a bonus.”

    • Kosmo

      I´m still steamed over the McKinney for Bahnsen trade.

      • kenthadley

        yeah….that SOB didn’t make it to May…..of course, Pineda didn’t make it to April, so history repeats itself again.

    • Dave in VA

      I’d take a half season of Sanchez and then bring up David Adams, instead of any of those other three. Bahnsen-for-McKinney was an effin’ distaster, just as I was beginning to follow the team. OTOH, it did lead to dealing Charlie Spikes for Graig Nettles (which looked like a win-win on paper until Spikes flamed out after 1973)… I loved Nettles as a Yank and still think he was the best defensive 3B of his time, but he played in an era of all-time great all-around 3Bs.

  • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

    Three team trade that has Asdrubal Cabrera coming to the Yanks, maybe another player, Yanks giving up prospects and Cano going somewhere.

    • 0-fur

      Yankees have already lost way too much offense to ship Cano or Granderson anywhere.

      • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

        Depends who you’re getting back (obviously), but if you really believe Cano wants 180+ million, and 8+ years, I would never in a heart beat go past 6 years with Cano.

        • 0-fur

          Seems more likely that they would just let both go via free agency than to trade them.

          • Gonzo

            If you don’t the value of Cano’s contribution at a 2013 run at premium, you can get much more from trading Cano than letting him go via FA.

          • Cris Pengiucci

            I don’t know. If the best return is a trade and they want to do what’s best for the on-field product while getting under $189MM in ’14, then that’s what they should do. It may hurt this year, but could be better in the long run.

            • 0-fur

              Like everything else. It depends on the return. Seems that the Yankees have taken a big enough PR hit for being thrifty. Trading their best player wouldn’t be wise.

              • Cris Pengiucci

                But they shouldn’t be listening to the fans or MSM (BTW, I’m not in NY, so I don’t know how much they’re getting beat up in the press every day). They should lay out what they feel is the best plan and excute. If that means trading Cano &/or Granderson now, so be it. It could significantly help the team get back to being a perennial WS contender much faster. Not saying I like that idea, just that it’s what might be best.

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  It does depend on who they’ll make an attempt to keep. I think they’re all in on Robbie. I think they let Granderson walk, although what we’ve heard them say so far is the opposite.

                  They weren’t going to let Swisher walk while in first place and a damn good shot at a championship last season. A lot, I guess, will ride on how they truly feel as to the chances as to the group they wind up assembling.

                  • Cris Pengiucci

                    Yes, the rest of the off-season may determine how closely they listen to trade opportunities. Right now, things ain’t looking great, but that can change quickly.

                  • Cris Pengiucci

                    Yes, the rest of the off-season may determine how closely they listen to trade opportunities. Right now, things ain’t looking great, but that can change quickly.

                • 0-fur

                  Why Sign Rivera, Kuroda and Pettitte to 1yr deals to turn around and trade Cano and Granderson with 1 yr left on their contracts. That makes no sense. The Yankees have every intention of competing for a World Series this yr. Wether that actually happens or not is another matter.

  • FLYER7

    You left Charlie Smith and Mike Ferraro off the list of 3B options

    • Kosmo

      Wasn´t Charlie Smith the guy NY traded Roger Maris for?

      • kenthadley

        yes, and St Louis got two world series out of it, and we got ooongotz….

        • Kosmo

          and NY might end up with Jack Hannahan.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      As well as Methusulah, Abraham, and Moses.

  • Grover

    Move Jeter to third and Nunez to short.

    • 0-fur

      Only way DJ leaves SS is when he retires and goes to Cooperstown.

      • Gonzo

        I feel like this should be a meme.

        • 0-fur

          It’s not a meme or anything other than fact. Derek Jeter will be the Yankees starting shortstop until he retires.

          • Gonzo

            I agree. I think there should be something like X will happen before Jeter is off SS meme though.

            • 0-fur

              Yankee players are allowed to grow their hair like Manny Ramirez will happen before Jeter switches positions :)

              • Gonzo

                That’s the spirit!

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  dalelama will tongue-kiss Alex Rodriguez before….

                  • Preston

                    This already happened, and then Alex never called him back. That’s why the dudes so bitter.

                    • adjusts batting gloves

                      Now we know why A-Rod’s karma has been terrible.

  • FLYER7

    I’d nab Youk and Reynolds. To play 3B, 1B and DH…Ichiro and someone else for OF platoon in LF or RF…Someone else if Grandy is swapped.

  • http://none Ton Lon ton

    How old is Scottie Brodius???

    • Herby

      He’s still managing a college team, so he’s at least still on a field.

  • paul a

    Youk is the best option right now, even if he is a dl stint waiting to happen.

  • Travis L.

    Ok…what about Ronnier Mustalier? I thought he was a four corners guy? He can hit, but I dont know how the defense is. He may be able to take a LF or RF spot at the very least right?

    • Kosmo

      I get the feeling Mustelier will be the 4th OF next year. He can fake 3rd and 2nd .

      • Robinson Tilapia

        My gut feeling is mid-season callup who either gets hot and sticks around or rides the shuttle.

        • Preston

          My feeling is that we continue to have this discussion about a short, fat, old player without a position until he becomes a minor league FA or goes to Japan at which point he joins Shelly Duncan and Jorge Vazquez in the should have been great Yankees HOF.

          • YanksFanInBeantown

            I feel like a broken record, but the Shelley Duncan and Jorge Vazquez comps are still stupid. The situations are completely different.

            • Preston

              No they’re not. They are so similar it’s stupid. Actually Shelly Duncan was a lot better. Duncan entered the Yankees system in 2006 in 2007 at age 28 posted a .295/.380/.577 or wRC+ of 160 in AAA, Jorge Vazquez entered the Yankees system in 2009 and in 2010 at age 28 hit .270/.313/.526 a wRC+ of 120 at AAA, Ronnier Mustelier entered the system in 2011 and in 2012 at age 28 hit .303/.355/.455 for a wRC+ of 128. All of them were way to old for their level and moved up rapidly and mashed. None of them added any value except with their bat and none of them had a MLB future. Might Mustelier be better than Vazquez, probably, but I think he’s also much worse than Duncan. If the Yankees thought he was anything they would have called him up in September, instead they did’t think he was worth a 40 man spot.

      • Travis L.

        Mustelier…spelling fail on my part.

  • Darren

    Sometimes I hate being a small market team with a stirct budget. I wish we were one of those teams with a new stadium (helped in huge part by city consessions and masive corruption), a giant TV network and a global multi biullion dollar brand. Then maybe we could have afforded a couple million bucks for a broken down 3rd baseman and $17mm for one of the few above average catchers in the game.

    Oh well, such is life as Yankee fan.

    (Fuck you Hal.)

    • 0-fur

      The Yankees are a big market team with a big budget. It’s just they used it all up already. I’m looking at you A-Rod!!!

      • Gonzo

        Maybe this is old school punishment for Hank. Like rubbing his nose in his own poop.

        “Look what you did Hank. Look what you did. Bad boy.”

    • emac2

      If we end up with players worse than Chavez and Ichiro because we were too cheap to spend an extra mil or so on a one year deal I’m going to be pretty disgusted.

      I’ll buy the goal of getting under the cap to reset it but the idea that we are too poor to fix holes bodes ill for any future commitment to winning. Maybe we could follow the Knicks example and shoot for sellouts instead of titles.

  • antd12185

    How about we trade cano to washington for j.zimmerman, espinosa, a.rendon and lombardozzi or a tyler moore. Solves our problems and lets boras ass rape mike rizzo for another out of this world contract and it gets cano in nl where he cant kill us

    • JMK

      Only if we also get Tyler Clippard back.

      • Dave in VA

        Clippard is the AJ Burnett of closers. You never know whether you’ll get Good Tyler or Bad Tyler. Between him and Storen, the second half of 2012 was bad for the heart health of Nats fans whenever the game was close in the late innings.

        • YanksFanInBeantown

          They make jokes about “Clipp”-ing

    • Kosmo

      Jordon Zimmerman
      Rendon
      Lombardozzi
      Tyler Moore
      Ramos
      and a prospect.

    • Ted Nelson

      You might get like one of those things. Cano is only signed for one year.

  • JMK

    Obviously we’re in something of a roster pickle given the holes at catcher, right field, third base and the very real possibility Jeter doesn’t return at the level we expect.

    That said, I’m willing to step away from the ledge for now. It’s not even Pearl Harbor Day. I’m sure many will disagree with me but I still have faith Cashman can assemble a team that competes for October baseball.

    This isn’t to suggest I’m not concerned. Personally, I’m fine with adding a few meh pieces on one-year deals and letting the kids develop another year. Of course, if the right deal comes along I’d pull the trigger. But shipping off some of our top prospects for pretty good pieces is not the strategy I’d take. If it means no World Series this year, fine.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      A rational man! Stop him!

    • emac2

      I’ve had faith in the past but getting outbid on 2-3 million dollar players and having a commitment to cut payroll next year doesn’t leave me very confident.

    • Long-Past-His-Day-Rod

      Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to step away from your browser. Have you refrained from smoking PCP before making this post? Please consider this, or a likewise mind-altering substance in addition to the inclusion of a ridiculous trade proposal or rant on how the team is doomed forever.

      Thank you citizen.

      -RAB Rational Thinking Police

      • Herby

        Let’s put Ichiro at 3rd…hope that helps get thing back in perspective.

  • Luisergi

    Ian Stewart was another option for 3rd base, right? looks like he’s gonna be a Cub next year.

  • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

    Seattle in on Hamilton for only 3 years? That seems improbable. Sign him for 4/100 and let Grandy walk next year.

    • Herby

      and we can have a Pick a Hammy Body Part off the Field Day for the fans for the next 4 years.

    • John

      they should trade texeira to the nats for prospects and morse. then trade granderson for prospects. pckage nunez with those prospects to the Dbacks for upton and then sign hamilton. if the redsox could get rid of their players i think the yankees could get rid of tex. can you believe it a year ago this could have been possible if cashman would have agreed to let tex go to the dodgers. this year we could have been able to reload.

  • endlessjose

    Alot of people don’t want to be a platoon player here.Why should a infielder want to come here knowing a 37 yeard old third baseman with two bad knees or a 38 year old shortstop coming off of ankle injury will push you back to the bench no matter how good you are.

    Don’t know why Cashman can’t just throw Arod to full time DH this year so someone can play thirdbase full time.

    • mt

      I totally agree – don’t know why Yanks don’t say Arod will be primary DH if and when he comes back so the Youklises and Reynolds of the world know that they will have one full year to start and try to get theit next contract (with some ABs at DH so Arod could play some 3rd, maybe). I think that goes hand in hand with trying to get players of this level to accept a one year deal.

      I shudder to see left side of infield with a 38 year old with 2 surgically repaired hips and a 39 year old coming off a broken ankle. I know Youklis and especially Reynolds are not that great at 3B anymore but would imagine they would be better than recovering Arod.

      If they cannot promise these types of player the starting 3rd base job for a year, then Yanks need to go down to a lower quality player level like Chris Nelsons and Hannahans of the world who probably would not be in a position to expect as much. One would think Chavez would fit into this category but who knows how much the fact he lives in Arizona mattered to him taking Arizona deal?

      • Ted Nelson

        If you lie to players about your intentions, that’s not going to help build your brands with other players. I think that the best way to deal with employees is with honesty. If A-Rod is a better defender than Youklis, why are the Yankees going to promise Youklis a defensive spot over him? It paints them into a corner where either they become none for lying to players or cannot do what’s in the best interest of the team. Youklis would get plenty of PAs between 3B and DH when A-Rod recovers.

  • Brendan

    Given there’s one year left of payroll flexibility, is there any possibility the Yankees could work out a deal where they buy out the remaining years on A-Rod’s contract and just be rid of him for good? Then he could put that money in his pocket and have the opportunity to earn even more with another club when he rehabs.

    I’d be really glad and grateful if I never had to see him in pinstripes ever again.

    • Herby

      If you’re going to pay him it doesn’t hurt to see what he’s going to come back like. Probably going to be better than the options the Yankees are talking about now.

  • http://www.g6tec.com Jedile

    Maybe I’m a bit crazy but I tend to think that if Miguel Cabrera can play third base and base then Yankees should be fine if Cano moved to third base. We have more resources at 2B iirc.

    I KNOW Cano has the arm for 3B, he should be fine defensively. Bunts will be something else. But I think he can do a better job than Miggy.

    I still think maybe we should trade Granderson for like Mike Olt and whatnot and resign Swisher!

    Also I just wish Yanks would try a Rookie to start the season.. I’m okay if we need to take this season to try someone and if they fail then we have next season.

    • John

      exactly. i think most yankees fans wouldnt mind some new blood. even if it seems giving away this year. im so tired of the old washed up players who bring no excitement. i wanna see some of the young guys get in there and get dirty.

    • Ted Nelson

      A 3B is generally easier to find then a 2B. 2B is the more important position, and that’s why Cano is there. Who is replacing him at 2B?

  • John

    i know the yankees are worried that adams has only played 30 something games at 3rd in the minors but didnt machado play non for the orioles and he did fine this past year for the O’s. the yankees need to stop babying their players seriously. that is why Joba ended up so screwed up … i think he couldve been a fine starter. even his stats backed it up. but all the back and forth crap ruined him. anyways i think adams can do it … now im not saying he is gonna put up a .300,.400,.500 line but i think he can do a 270,350,430 line. not great. but pretty decent. as ive said b4 if the redsox were able to dump all that salary on the dodgers i believe the yankees could trade texeira to the nationals for morse and prospects. morse can play 1b. then the yankees can trade granderson for prospects and then use the prospects along with nunez(zona needs a SS) to land upton. now they have a 1b and Rf. then with the saved money on texeira and granderson they can go ahead and sign hamilton. with hamilton, cano and upton i think the yankees can live with romine and adams hitting 8 and 9th.

    • Ted Nelson

      I’m a big Adams fan, but Machado was one of the top prospects in all of baseball. Adams has a chance to be a solid starter, but Machado has a chance to be a HOFer. There’s a difference between babying someone and doubting them. There’s also that whole ankle injury that cost him in a sense two years… and the health of that ankle going forward.

      If the Yankees have a whole to fill mid-season without another obvious option, I’m quite sure they’d turn to Adams. Going into the season they need to take the best direction for the franchise. That might be Adams, but it might be another option.

  • Ted Nelson

    Doomed!!! A-Rod’s out 3-6 months, and that takes them from ok to totally DOOMED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Charlie

      Yanks should sign Youkilis and Suzuki for one year. Then start Adams at 3B, Romine at C, Suzuki in RF and Youkilis at DH or at third if Adams fails.

      It would be a good combination of new blood and older stars who don’t swing from the heels like Swisher, Arod, Martin and Grandy.

  • Larry

    Can’t get a prospect for 3B and shouldn’t pay a spent MLB guy like Youk. Not much on the farm so I would rather see them reach out for a Cody Ransom type AAA vet like Brendan Harris. He’s had some success in MLB, has played all 4 positions, won’t embarrass himself and costs nothing. There must be others like him as well.

  • Peter Martinez

    I was thinking either grandy, gardner and some extras for Michael Young, Nelson Cruz and some extras, then signing Bourn.
    Or…
    Grandy and some extras for michael young and some extras and then we sign hamilton

    • Peter Martinez

      Young plays the whole field and whenever Arod returns young can be rotated around the infield, with the person he’s replacing playing DH

      • Stimp

        Young has a no trade clause to the Yankees. He’s not coming to the Yankees until he waves that.

        • Peter

          He was denying a trade to the Phillies yestersay, i think ita worth a shot and see if he would want to come here.

  • cranky

    Adams 2B
    Cano 3B. Long term.

  • Tanned Tom

    I think the team might be ovelooking something by not moving Jeter to 3B and trying Nunez/Nix at SS. Jeter is 39, coming off ankle surgery, and has no range at SS. Now granted he doesn’t quite have the arm for 3B, and his first step is not too explosive, but alot of older shortstops get moved to 3B (Ripken did)and it might prolong his career. In any case I feel he might be less of a defensive liability at 3B. A-Roid becomes your backup 3B, fulltime DH. And we finally see if Nunez can cut it or not as MLB infielder.

  • http://franklance godfather

    the rippers who want swisher’s head because of his postseason resume could find a lot of company for him were they to look into the records of some notably good/great players…the steinboners who had all that green to spend on soriano as a setup guy decide to send their boy cashman to the meetings with no checkbook? pinstriped pinheads…lure swish back while thinking about seasons, not postseasons