The mystery of Derek Jeter's return has finally been given some sort of timetable. Brian Cashman announced to the media on Thursday during a pregame press conference that the New York Yankee captain will be sidelined until after the All-Star break.
Now, "after" the All-Star break still isn't a definitive answer, but it's significantly better than what we've been given thus far.
An examination by doctors on Thursday revealed a small crack in Jeter's surgically repaired ankle, an injury he sustained during Game 1 of the American League Championship Series last year against the Detroit Tigers. This won't require any new surgeries, but it will require ample rest and rehab.
With Jeter now on the shelf for the foreseeable future (and with his career on its way to coming to a close), what should the Yankees do to fill the void?
Eduardo Nunez and Jayson Nix will see time there in the interim, for sure. Neither offers all that much defensively (Nix is the better of the two but, c'mon, it's "NunEEEEEEz" we're comparing him too), while Nunez has the better bat.
If we could put the two together, we'd have a passable stopgap option. Because we can't (both scientifically and as per the rules of the game), the Yankees need to look at options outside the organization.
There's one name that sticks out in my opinion, and it's one that would require a big-time trade to acquire. That player is top prospect Jurickson Profar of the Texas Rangers.
Call it a pipe dream. Call it another "typical Yankee fan idea." Call it whatever you want.
I'm calling it a great idea.
Profar would fulfill countless needs for the Yankees—aside from the most obvious of being a future replacement for Jeter. He would give the team some young talent that they desperately need. He would give them a dynamic option at the top of the order. He would bring some excitement to an otherwise bland style of swing-for-the-fences baseball.
The Rangers may not have Profar in their future plans given Elvis Andrus' new long-term extension (barring a position change for either player), so they may be more willing to move him now more than ever.
Again, a trade for Profar would not be easy. It would likely take multiple prospects, as well as some major league talent. Any trade would start with either Mason Williams or Tyler Austin, but that would be just the beginning.
Major league center fielder Brett Gardner may also have to be included, as would pitching prospects like Dellin Betances, Jose Campos or Mark Montgomery. While that package would be massive, it's certainly worth the return.
I do have a kicker here, though. If the Rangers ask for catcher Gary Sanchez, then the Yankees should expect them to lower their demands for the rest of the package. Catching prospects like him are hard to come by. The Yankees should keep him at any cost or at least have the option of keeping other prospects in the system should the Rangers insist on his inclusion.
If I were Cashman, I would be on the phone with the Rangers tomorrow in hopes of striking a deal. Profar is someone who can help both now and in the future. We all know how old the Yankee roster is—an infusion of young talent can only do good things.
Cashman, go get your man.