5 Free Agents Who Have Something to Offer Yankees, Brian Cashman
Currently, the Yankees roster is so depleted that another critical injury could knock them out of postseason contention.
While there are not many top free agents left, the Bombers are left with little choice now that the season is getting closer.
They are sporting a thin outfield, very few options in the designated hitter spot and they do not have the security of a first-rate catcher.
Here are five free agents that are still available and competent enough to get the Yanks through the regular season.
Michael Bourn, CF
Michael Bourn’s free agency status has developed into an interesting game of chicken. Nobody is questioning the center fielder’s talent, but teams have been reluctant to sign him because of the new compensation rules.
The Atlanta Braves gave Bourn a qualifying offer, which he rejected. Under the new rules rules, this entitles the Braves to a draft pick if Bourn signs elsewhere.
While the Yankees certainly are the type to bolster their lineup by sacrificing their farm system, it is highly unlikely that Bourn will be heading to the Bronx anytime soon.
The Yankees’ problem is that they have no right-handed outfielders and adding another left-handed batter, no matter how solid, would do nothing to solve their problems.
Any other year the Yankees would be the first to call Bourn’s agent, but that’s not going to happen this season.
Kelly Shoppach, C
Since Russel Martin left, the Yankees only have Francisco Cervelli, Austin Romine and Chris Stewart playing catcher. Not a very impressive group to say the least.
The Yankees dropped the ball by not signing Mike Napoli and for that they only have themselves to blame. Shoppach is the best catcher available on the market and though that is not saying much, he’s still a better hitter and defensive player than the catchers currently in New York.
Unless the Yankees want to see the number of passed balls skyrocket, they should sign Shoppach.
Kyle Lohse, SP
Lohse is in the same position as Bourn in that he denied a qualifying offer and teams who want to sign him will have to give up a draft pick.
In the old days, the Yankees would not have thought twice about offering big money to a pitcher like Lohse. However, Hal Steinbrenner has promised to cut the payroll to $189 million dollars by 2014 and as a result Lohse has become a very unappealing option.
You have to wonder if Brian Cashman isn't trying to convince Steinbrenner to let him spend some money on Lohse so the starting rotation can compensate for the glaring holes in the outfield.
Scott Rolen, 3B
The Yankees need a right-handed hitter for the DH spot and Scott Rolen could be their man.
The Bombers have almost made it a tradition to bring in veteran players like Raul Ibanez and Lance Berkman for one-year deals to be their designated hitter, and Rolen could be another name to add to the list.
The Yankees can’t expect that Rolen will return to his 2010 form when he batted .285/.358/.497 and won a Gold Glove, but they can hope he’s able to hold down the fort until A-Rod comes back.
Alex Gonzalez, SS
With all the talk about A-Rod’s injury problems, the word seems to have gotten lost that Derek Jeter is injured and questionable for the start of spring training.
Considering that Eduardo Nunez is already listed in the lineup as DH on mlbdepthcharts.com, it might be a good idea to give Gonzalez’s agent a call.
Gonzalez’s had his own injury problems last year and almost didn't play the entire season. However, during the 24 games he actually played, he gave a solid performance.
While the Yankees should not even think about offering him more than a one-year deal, Gonzalez’s could provide the Bombers with some spark similar to the way Raúl Ibanez did last year.