New York Yankees: 5 DH Options for 2012
Now he is gone Brian Cashman and the Yankees will have to look in another direction for their DH. Will it be an internal option or will they acquire this player through trade or free agency?
Let's find out.
Kent Horner/Getty Images
.225/.357/.462, 28 HR, 80 RBI, 2 SB
Let's start with the most likely external option: Carlos Peña.
According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com Peña is on the Yankees' "radar".
Carlos Peña will never hit .300, he probably won't even it .240, but he is a very patient hitter that will get on base at a good clip and has tremendous power. It is not out of the question that he could hit .230 with a .360 OBP, 35 home runs and 100 RBI while batting sixth or seventh for the Yankees. Peña's left-handed swing is perfectly suited for Yankee Stadium.
This would be a one-year deal but quite expensive, probably between $8-10 million. Peña will only be a short-term fix but he will be an effective stopgap until the Yankees move Alex Rodriguez permanently to DH.
Peña will be the Yankees' DH most of the time but he can spell Mark Teixeira at first base when needed. Alex Rodriguez will need his time at DH but Peña should play about 120 games there and another five to 10 games at first base.
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.291/.361/.461, 19 HR, 95 RBI, 2 SB
Billy Butler is my favorite player on this list.
This idea came from Matt Trueblood when he speculated the Yankees should send Phil Hughes to the Royals straight up for Billy Butler. It will probably take more than Hughes to pry Butler away from the Royals but it is a start.
Butler is expendable because the Royals have super-prospect Clint Robinson, who hit .326 with 23 home runs and 100 RBI at Triple-A in 2011. This will lower the price, but how low?
The Royals have arguably the worst rotation in the majors so Phil Hughes is a good starting point. They also traded away Melky Cabrera this offseason so a young outfielder in Slade Heathcott would be a good fit. Add in a mid-level prospect such as David Adams and this deal could be done.
The Yankees would be getting a 26-year-old DH that has averaged a .303/.370/.474 slash line with 18 home runs and 87 RBI over the last three seasons.
Harry How/Getty Images
.254/.291/.477, 29 HR, 87 RBI, 9 SB
Most people remember Swaim as the person who said the Rays were discussing trades for Evan Longoria because while he was not demanding a trade he would be "glad to go." Most people no longer trust him as a baseball insider anymore, but he did break the Albert Pujols deal over 24 hours before anybody else and the Carlos Beltran deal five hours before anybody else.
Trading Mark Trumbo makes sense for the Angels. They have three players in Albert Pujols, Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo to play first base and DH. Albert Pujols is obviously not going anywhere so either Trumbo or Morales will likely be traded.
Morales' trade value is low because of his healing broken lower leg, but Trumbo is a 26-year-old with 30-home-run power.
If the deal was David Robertson for Mark Trumbo straight up I would say no, but the Angels are looking for a closer in order to move Jordan Walden to set-up man. They already attempted to acquire Kerry Wood, Francisco Cordero, Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson, among others.
If the deal could be centered around Joba Chamberlain along with David Phelps or Austin Romine rounding out the package I would be much more interested. That deal would give them a potential closer in Chamberlain and another nice prospect.
Darren McCollester/Getty Images
.261/.326/.418, 16 HR, 73 RBI, 19 SB
Could Johnny Damon once again be a Yankee?
Even at 38 years old he still has it. He can still hit 20 home runs, steal 20 bases and hit for decent average.
Damon is currently sitting at 2,723 hits so he has plenty to play for but what will be his price? He was payed $5.25 million by the Rays in 2011 so that could be a good starting point for a deal. He does not have the power of Carlos Peña or the long-term use of Mark Trumbo or Billy Butler, but he will be cheaper than Peña and will not cost any prospects.
Damon can no longer play in the outfield, so he will not be able to spell or fill in for any injured Yankees. He will still be a good DH and great presence on the bench.
Al Bello/Getty Images
.247/.356/.495, 13 HR, 33 RBI, 0 SB in 190 at-bats
Andruw Jones was a very effective member of the Yankees' bench in 2011. He may not hit for average but he still has quite a bit of pop in his bat.
Jones hit 13 home runs in 190 at-bats in 2011. If he DHs for the Yankees, except for when Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and other Yankees need a rest, how many at-bats will he get?
Jorge Posada and Andruw Jones combined for 534 at-bats in 2011, so let's say Jones gets 500 at-bats in 2012. If he keeps up his 2011 pace he will hit for 34 home runs and 87 RBI. Pretty good for a player that will probably only get about $2 million in 2012 after getting paid $1.5 million last year.