Injury news continues to be negative for the New York Yankees, as the team announced this afternoon that first baseman Mark Teixeira would miss the next 8-10 weeks due to a sprained tendon in his right wrist. Teixeira withdrew from the World Baseball Classic abruptly yesterday, citing some tenderness in his wrist which prompted him to visit with team doctors this morning in New York. He’s been advised to rest for the next four weeks before resuming any baseball-related activity and will not rejoin the team in Florida for the remainder of Spring Training.
The loss of Teixeira coupled with the absence of Curtis Granderson (plus, don’t forget Alex Rodriguez is out at least until July, if not the whole season) for the season’s first month puts the Yankees in a difficult position. A lineup which will already needs to overcome the power loss of Nick Swisher and Russell Martin and resembles nothing of the “Bronx Bombers” of old will now be further stretched and tested throughout April.
Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi gave the team’s beat staff, including Hoch, the impression that they expect to look within for possible options to cover first base in the interim. Given Kevin Youkilis’ defensive versatility – he can play first and third base – they are apparently going to look more closely at players who can handle either position across the infield. Dan Johnson could stand a better chance at making the roster out of Spring Training. Jayson Nix and Eduardo Nunez could also see additional playing time at third base. Juan Rivera and Travis Hafner are not currently considered options, which is probably wise.
An acquisition from outside the organization could be possible, but doesn’t necessarily appear likely unless Teixeira or Granderson suffer a setback somewhere along the way in their recovery. Both players should return by mid-May, negating the need for a significant acquisition/signing considering that player likely won’t have a spot on the roster when these guys return. It’s also worth noting that while players do become available this time of year, most that do are nothing more than minor role players and not options who will drastically affect the start of a team’s season. Cashman will likely watch the market in the coming weeks, but he might not find anything out there that would be an improvement over what they already have in house.