Update: Yanks have asked about Derrek Lee, Chipper Jones, Scott RolenBy
11:36am: Cashman also said he looked into signing Scott Rolen, but didn’t elaborate. Unlike Chipper, the 37-year-old Rolen looked pretty cooked last season (93 wRC+).
11:22am: Cashman said he is “not optimistic” about signing Lee, and said he would also be interested in Chipper Jones if he wants to come out of retirement. He wasn’t joking either; he said he plans to talk to his agent. Chipper would be pretty awesome, but I highly doubt it happens.
11:00am: Via David Waldstein: The Yankees have asked Derrek Lee to come out of retirement in the wake of Mark Teixeira‘s wrist injury. The long-time Marlin and Cub is interested, though no deal is imminent. Brian Cashman confirmed the report this morning — “I made a call, I liked him as a player,” he said — and it’s worth noting Lee played for former Cubs GM and current Yankees executive Jim Hendry in Chicago.
Lee, 37, hit .267/.325/.446 (109 wRC+) with 19 homers in 447 plate appearances for the Orioles and Pirates while battling an oblique strain and a broken wrist (suffered on a hit-by-pitch) back in 2011, his final year as a player. He was a very good defensive first baseman with a great clubhouse reputation, so he fits the current Yankees mold. I wrote about Lee as a possible DH target in a mailbag last January, and pretty much all of that stuff still holds true. Coming back after a season away is much tougher to do as a hitter than pitcher just because hitting is such a rhythm and timing thing. A minor league contract would be fine, but expecting him to contribute on an everyday basis is a stretch.