The New York Yankees are finished with most of the heavy lifting regarding their 2012 roster. However, there are still a few questions surrounding the club as they prepare for Spring Training. The most prominent unknowns have to do with the back-end of New York’s rotation and their designated hitter position.
ESPNNewYork.com’s Andrew Marchand wrote yesterday that the Yankees could still look to bring back utility player Eric Chavez. New York is in the market for a designated hitter, and Chavez played well coming off the Yankees bench in 2011.
While New York has also been tied to other free agents such as Johnny Damon, Chavez would give the club more flexibility defensively. Most of the options remaining on the market are strictly DH’s, and Chavez has the ability to cover both infield corners.
Regardless of who they sign, Marchand says that if the Yankees ink a free agent designated hitter this winter it will be at their price.
With the additions of Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda, the Yankees are likely looking at the trio of A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia to fill one rotation spot. Some have speculated that the Yankees could explore trading one of their extra arms for either salary relief or a DH option. However, Burnett has an albatross of a contract and Bryan Hoch of MLB.com wrote yesterday that New York would be selling low on Hughes if they dealt him now.
While Hughes has shown an ability to pitch out of the ‘pen before, Hoch said the Yankees still view the 26-year-old as a starter. Though he could ultimately end up in the bullpen to start 2012, Hoch noted that the best thing Hughes can do is enter camp with a mindset ready to compete for a spot in the Yankees rotation.
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You can check out all of the available free agents by position below.