(Image Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)
With the recent news that Mark Teixeira will be out for an extended time due to a wrist injury, the once mighty New York Yankee lineup looks much thinner heading into April. When Brian Cashman signed Kevin Youkilis it looked like he had plugged the leak sprung by Alex Rodriguez’s injury. But now that Curtis Granderson and Teixeira will miss extended time early in the season, the Yankees GM may need to make additional moves to keep the Yanks afloat in the competitive AL East.
The good news for Yankee fans is that they have tremendous resources to add payroll. The Yanks also have a number of highly regarded young prospects like Mason Williams and Tyler Austin to entice potential trade partners. Here a few potential targets “Flyin’ Brian” Cashman could set his sights on in the next few weeks.
Justin Morneau: Minnesota Twins
A classic salary dump by the small market Twins. The Yankees should only have to give up mid level prospects if they take on all of Morneau’s $14 million for 2013. Morneau had a decent campaign in 2012 with 19 HR and 77 RBI. The problem is what to do with Morneau once Teixeira comes back in early May. The Yanks just signed lefty DH Travis Hafner and Morneau has no experience playing the outfield. Would Cashman rent that expensive a player for just one month?
Carlos Lee: Free Agent
El Caballo would cost the Yankees nothing except the money to sign him. Since Lee is still on the open market, he should be relatively cheap at this point. Lee could thrive as a part time player, giving the Yankees a veteran righty power bat to DH or pinch hit once Teixeira comes off the DL. However, there is always a concern with Lee’s conditioning level. And is he that much better than Juan Rivera at this point?
Gaby Sanchez: Pittsburgh Pirates
The Yankees need a first baseman and a right handed bat. Sanchez fits both those requirements, and is signed to a one year deal. He averaged 19 HR/82 RBI/.784 OPS from 2010-2011 with the Marlins, but had a disastrous 2012. Sanchez could transition to platoon DH and pinch hitter once Teixeira comes off the DL. However, to get him the Yankees may have to dangle one of their top prospects.
Justin Smoak: Seattle Mariners
A switch hitter who fares better against lefties, he could provide the Bombers with the right handed bat they need once Teixeira comes back. The Mariners offseason additions of Kendrys Morales and Mike Morse means there are plenty of bodies who can fill first base if Smoak is dealt. However, would Jack Zduriencik trade Smoak when he finally seems ready to fulfill his promise. Also a young player like Smoak would likely cost the Yankees one of their top prospects.
Nick Swisher: Cleveland Indians
Just kidding, but he would be a great fit at first or in the Yankees outfield. At least until the postseason rolled around.