A Russ Canzler reunion makes sense for the Yankees

Rehab Updates: Jeter, A-Rod, Pineda
Game 88: Make It Seven

The Orioles designated 27-year-old utility man Russ Canzler for assignment yesterday, meaning he should hit the waiver wire relatively soon. Probably within a day or two. The Yankees claimed him off waivers from the Indians over the winter only to lose him to Baltimore when they signed Travis Hafner. At this point a reunion makes sense for New York.

Canzler, 27, is a career .271/.304/.396 (91 wRC+) hitter in 102 big league plate appearances, which isn’t enough to tell us anything. He has hit .276/.369/.430 (119 wRC+) in 374 Triple-A plate appearances this year, including a .415/.531/.815 (!) line in 82 plate appearances against southpaws. The right-handed hitter has hit .321/.404/.559 against southpaws at the Triple-A level over the last three years. That platoon aspect is the key for the Yankees given their overall inability to hit lefties.

Since he can play both first base and left field — and fill in at third in a pinch — Canzler would give the Yankees someone to platoon with Lyle Overbay at first while providing outfield depth whenever Vernon Wells fills in at DH. There’s no point carrying both Luis Cruz and Alberto Gonzalez on the bench with Eduardo Nunez back, so Canzler would fill a need on the bench. If the Yankees can grab him off waivers (again) or after he elects free agency, they should definitely pull the trigger. Canzler fits even if he is just okay against big league lefties.

Rehab Updates: Jeter, A-Rod, Pineda
Game 88: Make It Seven
  • Eddard

    It makes perfect sense. Overbay has done an adequate job for us but he’s not an everyday player. Adams can go for Canzler, AG for Jeter and Cruz for A-Rod. 3 upgrades in the span of a couple weeks.

    • Laz

      I’m tired of hearing this. Overbay is attrocious, and is one of if not the worst current starting 1B in MLB. He is ok vs rhp, if that was his overall stats. Not good enough when that is only your strong split.

      • Eddard

        That’s exactly what I said, he’s not an everyday player. He shouldn’t be playing vs LHP. That’s why they need a RH to platoon. There’s not really an elite 1B out there for the taking to replace him right now.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        If I could occupy EddardWorld for a second, I think he’s correct as well in his assessment of Overbay as a part-time player exposed by playing full-time. That’s what bad starting position players in the majors often are.

        They serve good coffee in EddardWorld, surprisingly.

        • Conor in China

          Overbay’s RC+ versus right handers is 114. That’s certainly not atrocious nor is replacing Overbay against righties a major need for the team.

      • OhioYanks

        RHP are like 2/3 of all Ps. Being a platoon player is different from being atrocious. Overbay isn’t very good, but if used properly he’s also not atrocious.

  • DERP

    He might have one option left also, but I am not 100% sure.

  • trr

    Not the big move most of us were hoping for, but yes it would give better balance to the roster .
    I’m beginning to think the team will not make any major moves at the deadline, just await the return of the injured and continue to mine the scrap heap

    • OhioYanks

      I have no idea what moves they’ll make if any, but it’s still really early. The first notable move was just made what, yesterday? There’s a whole lot of time to make deals before the deadline. And there’s a lot of room between the scrap heap and a big deal to pick up a solid player, as well.

  • yooboo

    It does not matter because Jeter, AROD and Pineda will return to 40 man roster soon. Canzler replacing either light hitting defensive guru for a couple weeks to find out won’t hurt. If Canzler does well for us then we have to dump one more player off the 40 man roster to keep him longer. Who?

    Point off topic…. Why wasn’t Gary Sanchez on the Future’s game roster?

    • whozat

      AGon or Cruz will need to be DFA’d to open up a spot on the 25-man, which will also open a spot on the 40-man

    • Robinson Tilapia

      You’ll still have a bench to fill with several too many left-side options currently on the team.

      Canzler’s worth the flyer. Why not.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      The move for Pineda should be to put Youk on the 60-day DL. Canzler (if acquired) would likely take Gonzalez’s spot.
      After that, if/when both ARod and Jeter are back, Cruz or Nix can be DFA’d. Adams can possibly be DFA’d and outrighted. Mesa, Neal, and Boesch are all potential DFA candidates as well (especially Neal, since Canzler would basically be filling Neal’s potential role).

      • OhioYanks

        I don’t know that Adams can be DFA’d without getting claimed. He’s actually healthy now, has played solid D at 3B in MLB, and rosters have shaken out since he was slipped through before (at the end of the off-season when rosters are generally full of guys teams hope will work out… vs. now when a lot of those guys have not worked out).

        There are actually 18 guys fangraphs lists as 3B who have at least 100 PAs and lower fWAR. There are a few teams that might be better off short-term with Adams than what they’ve got, let alone long-term.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

          I think there’s a chance he’d be claimed, especially considering he still has options.
          Adams wouldn’t be near my first choice as a possible roster casualty.

          • OhioYanks

            Personally I think that there’s a pretty good chance.

            • Sweet Dick Willie

              I believe there are 3 or 4 players likely to be DFA’d before Adams; Ishikawa, Mesa, Neal and Corbin Joseph.

              Adams I believe would be claimed, as would Joseph. The other 3 have a chance to slip through.

  • Conor in China

    Overbay badly needs a platoon partner. Gonzalez can go.

  • Bronx Bombers23

    Mesa and Gonzalez should be at the top of the DFA’ED list to add Canzler, or any other scrap heap pickup for that matter, with Cruz and Neal close behind.

    Sure would like to see an impact bat brought in instead of more waiver wire washouts.

  • Dicka24

    Why is Melky Mesa being DFA’d a concern? He’s K’d at an obscene rate, and basically can’t play.