Nov
17

Cashman: First base “isn’t one of” the Yankees’ priorities this winter

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Via Dan Martin: Brian Cashman confirmed that first base is not a priority this winter even though Mark Teixeira is coming off season-ending wrist surgery. “I’m looking for a lot of things, but a first baseman isn’t one of them,” said the GM, contrary to recent rumors about Kendrys Morales. “I saw Mark recently and he said he was doing well and seems to be recovering nicely, so there’s no reason to think he can’t be a regular first baseman next season.”

Teixeira, 33, hit .151/.270/.340 (58 wRC+) with three homers in only 63 plate appearances around wrist injuries this past season. I agree that first base shouldn’t be a high priority this winter, but the Yankees don’t have another first baseman on the 40-man roster or in the upper levels of the minors. They’ll need to bring in someone for Triple-A Scranton regardless. I’d like to see the Yankees add someone like Eric Chavez or (preferably) Mark Reynolds as a part-time third baseman/first baseman/DH this winter, which would give them a versatile and productive bat that also serves as a backup for the increasingly injury prone Teixeira.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League

28 Comments»

  1. mat says:

    Mark Reynolds makes a lot of sense – can back-up 1B (he plays 1B well defensively) and can also fill in at 3B if needed given the chaos of the Arod situation. I wonder how much he will want (I think he made $6 mm last year) and whether another team will offer him a more certain playing time situation.

    On the other hand he was cut by Cleveland last year due to his poor performance so it should be interesting what his market as a Free Agent is.

    • Mac says:

      “(he plays 1B well defensively)”

      Not sure that’s true. Why do you say he plays 1B well defensively? His career UZR/150 is actually marginally worse at 1B than 3B. He’s also well below average in DRS.

  2. The Other Mister D says:

    But what about a DH?

  3. RetroRob says:

    I suspect the Yankees are touching base with many of the better free agents out there, including Morales, but only to set up plans, B, C, D, etc. If they lose out on a Beltran and Choo, if indeed they are targeting one of them, they then may alter their plans to look at Morales.

    • Kevin says:

      That’s the opposite of what they should do. Morales costs a draft pick, he is DEFINITELY not worth a first rounder to this team. But with each QO they sign, that draft pick drops a round and is worth less. It MIGHT make sense to sign Morales if they already lost their first 3 for Beltran, McCann and Ellsbury. I don’t like that either, but at least then it might make sense.

      • Mac says:

        What do you suppose that a draft pick in each rounds 1-4 is worth to a team?

        I don’t have an estimate, but given that maybe 1 in 5 mid-to-late firsts becomes an MLB player and maybe 1 in 10 becomes a real contributor… the value might be a lot lower than you assume.

  4. qwerty says:

    Mark Teixeira will be producing a 100 wRC+ for the yankees for years to come, no need for another first baseman.

    • Havok9120 says:

      You try much too hard sometimes.

    • Slugger27 says:

      Exactly, I agree. They have a roughly league average 1st baseman under team control for another 3 years. Theres a ton of other positions that arent even close to league average (C, RF, 3B, multiple rotation spots), and those should be of higher priority.

  5. Havok9120 says:

    “Increasingly injury-prone” seems a tad harsh to me since we’re talking the random-ailment filled 2012 season and a single injury from 2013, but that’s really just nitpicking.

    I like Reynolds and would like to see him back as part of the bench and *gulp* 3B solution if no more permanent fixtures can be found for a season. That he’d also be a backup for Tex is icing.

    • I'm One says:

      I like Reynolds and would like to see him back as part of the bench and *gulp* 3B solution if no more permanent fixtures can be found for a season. That he’d also be a backup for Tex is icing.

      I agree with this provided Reynolds fits into their budgetary plans. Which brings me back to a point I made a day or 2 ago.

      I’d love to see Hal gamble on A-Rod being suspended for the entire season. If he is, the team has money to spend and can still stay under the $189M self-imposed salary cap. If he isn’t, then just blow through the cap and put a winning team on the field.

      • Mac says:

        It might reach the point where they have to shit-or-get-off-the-pot before they know A-Rod’s fate, but I don’t know that it actually will. Free agency often doesn’t really heat up until mid-December when the decision is expected, and then the Mark Reynolds’ of the world often wait until after the starters have signed to see which teams still need help. Last year Reynolds signed on December 18th, which is right about when they should find out about A-Rod. The delay in resolving the posting system, Cano’s “self-imposed” decision he’s worth maybe 50% more than any team will spend, and Kuroda’s “self-imposed” deliberation period also might play to the team’s advantage.

        I really wish this “self-imposed” distortion would stop. In the strictest sense the team is imposing it, but it is in direct response to an exogenously imposed rule.

    • RetroRob says:

      Agreed on Reynolds.

      As for the “increasingly injury-prone” remark, I do think it fits, even if it does sound a tad harsh. Tex was rock solid for 150+ game seasons through 2011, yet 2011 was the first year we started seeing nagging injuries that he would play through when he probably should have been sitting. They progressed as the season went along. Then the next year he dropped to 120 or so games, and then last year less than 20. There have been a number of different injuries, from the minor to the severe going back to 2011. Considering he’s 34 next season, I don’t think we can count on another 150+ game season from Teixeira. It wouldn’t shock me, but it would surprise me.

      • ChrisS says:

        People who think that players post-30 are afflicted “randomly” with injuries aren’t themselves post-30 yet.

        Just because something isn’t necessarily a common wear & tear injury doesn’t mean that it’s random. The body gets weaker over time and being an elite athlete becomes harder and harder. Shit just breaks.

  6. SDB says:

    I like Reynolds, and I’d have no problems signing him as a backup 3B/1B/DH power bat.

  7. Mac says:

    I don’t know if he is preferable to Chavez or not, but Reynolds is not a good player. I think Chavez is at least a good player who just can’t play more than occasionally.

    Reynolds is just such a poor defender than he eats any offensive value he provides should you actually play him in the field. If he’s primarily your DH and then gets the occasional game in the field to give someone else a breather, maybe. He’s declined each of the last two seasons offensively (to below league average in 2013…), but I could buy an argument that he”ll bounce back in 2014 and is still a solid DH option with the bat. Not a good option, mind you, but a good enough option if he’s very cheap. Like $2 mill tops. For an almost pure DH who hasn’t put up a wOBA above .335 in two years, I’m not paying much more than that.

    • Havok9120 says:

      Agree that Reynolds needs to come cheap if he’s coming. We may find ourselves in a position where we need him, and that would change things, but other than that? I feel he’s a luxury piece despite illogically liking him as much as I do.

      As for Chavez…it’d depend what we need him for. If we’re in a situation where we’re using him and Adams or him, Adams and Reynolds as combined 3B, backup 1B, and very occasional DH, then I guess that works. Seems like an awfully inefficient way to build a 25 man roster though.

      • Caballo Sin Nombre says:

        Start with eleven pitchers, leaving 14 slots for others. Five outfielders, two catchers. leaves seven. Four starting infielders, a backup middle guy, and a backup corner guy, is six. That gives you one extra spot for flexibility. This assumes you are manufacturing the dH out of position players, which I think is the plan. You do need to stash a few depth guys at AAA who can play near replacement level.

        • Mac says:

          MLB teams generally carry 12 Ps, rather than 11.

          So, I would agree with what you’re saying except for that bonus slot. Whether Jeter can play any SS and how much really seems to dictate a lot.

          If Jeter can at least back-up SS, you’re looking at a primary starting 3B (say Chavez or Reynolds), SS/UTL (say Ryan, but someone like Drew or Peralta would be great), and then a misc. guy (Adams, Nunez, Chavez/Reynolds).
          If Jeter can’t play any SS, the misc. guy pretty much has to be a Nunez type who can play SS. Maybe if you’re happy with your starting SS you can use someone who can fake SS a few times a year with a decent 4A guy in Scranton in case of injury, but I don’t know that they’ll risk that.

      • Mac says:

        It’s an interesting point about maybe needing Reynolds. There are only so many 3B options out there. Between him and David Adams I like the Yankees chances of finding at least one semi-passable option. It’s not necessarily either/or, but I honestly like David Adams’ chances of posting a positive fWAR as a full-time 3B in 2014 better than Reynolds’.

        Chavez has had 250 and 300 PAs the last two seasons, so he’s playing roughly half the time. He’s also somewhat rare as a LHH IF, and he’s hit RHP very well in both 2012 and 13. A natural platoon guy with most RHH IF who hit LHP better than RHP.

        I don’t think that having a platoon player or two on your roster is particularly inefficient. Having Chavez, Adams/Nunez, Reynolds, AND Ryan on your roster might be pretty inefficient, but I don’t see why the Yankees would carry all of those guys. It would probably be Reynolds or Chavez to me given cost and limited versatility, though you could easily drop Adams/Nunez. In the case you keep three you have one starting 3B, one pan-IF UTL, and one bench bat who can play some combination of 3B, 1B, DH, 2B, and SS.

        Ryan potentially being your primary starting SS throws that off a little, but I’m hoping that Jeter can at the very least be the primary back-up at SS who is capable of playing at least once every 2 weeks or whatever. If not maybe it has to be Ryan, Nunez, and one of Chavez/Reynolds.

    • Caballo Sin Nombre says:

      If Chavez could schedule his inevitable injuries like a vacation, he might be preferable. But he’s going to get hurt, and chances are it won’t be at a convenient time. If you sign Chavez as the ARod replacement, you need to sign someone else as the Chavez replacement.

      • Mac says:

        I don’t think that’s the case, actually. Check out his splits. He’s played pretty consistently throughout the season the last two years with the exception of June this season. No doubt he is an elevated injury risk, but I disagree that it’s inevitable he will miss part of the season. Seems like more of a chronic injury where he can’t play everyday but it rarely on the DL the past two seasons than him actually missing many stretches of him on the DL (though I don’t have his exact DL stints).

        Not ideal, no, but neither is using Mark Reynolds or Michael Young or many of these other scrubs as your primary 3B. Chavez can field the position adequately and has hit RHP well, so he’s a nice platoon guy next to most RHH IFs.

        The Yankees do have some potential replacement level depth they can stash in AAA if he does hit the DL between Adams, Nunez, and/or Nix plus maybe Segedin and any FAs. I know Adams struggled mightily this season, but I have a hard time believing a guy who never posted under a 120 wRC+ in a full season MiLB stint is that terrible a hitter in MLB. He might be a bad hitter in MLB. I just think he’s significantly better than his 2013 when he was at a wRC+ of 45.

  8. lou says:

    Why would you even answer that ? when you have Tex? Does Cashman not see the glaring 10 holes + on this team? Ahh that’s okay they will only be filled with other teams junk and replacements.

    NEED
    2b
    ss
    3b
    rf
    lf
    dh
    C

    P
    P

  9. Robinson Tilapia says:

    A strong backup at the corners should do the trick, with he names is prefer already listed above. Nothing to see here.

  10. FLYER7 says:

    I like Reynolds much better than anything out there to backup at 1B and 3B and DH plus he can play 2B in a pinch…

  11. Greg Davenport says:

    I like Reynolds because he’s a utility man, third and first with POP. However I watched James Loney break the Yankees spirit and will with one key hit after another. Let’s argue later where he would fit and sign him NOW. The price is right and where ever he is positioned he will get his at bats. He reminds me of Cabrera as a pure hitter.

    The Yankees have to rely on players that are performing eg. Loney and not jeter, Tex, nix, et al

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