NY Yankees: 5 Great Hitters Not Named Albert Pujols & Prince Fielder to Consider
I can't remember the last time the Yankees actually needed to realistically fix a hitting problem in the offseason; but that's the exact position that they are in right now.
Even with arguably the top lineup throughout the major leagues, New York definitely needs to find someone who can be a huge threat near the tail end of the lineup.
Plus, with superstars like Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter looking older and more brittle by the day, this is a great time to find another guy who can really make things happen at the plate if one of New York's franchise players go down.
Guys like Andruw Jones simply won't cut it anymore, and after a disappointing offseason last year, you know that the Yanks want to make a pretty big splash over the next couple of months.
With the infield basically locked up, New York needs to look for someone to fit into the designated hitter or outfield spot more than anything else.
Sure, there's always the dream acquisition of Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, and you can never count out the Yankees when it comes to big-name players.
But at this point, getting either one of these huge guys would be overkill, and there's just a very slim chance that these guys could realistically fit in the Yankees' current roster and future plans.
Still, there's plenty of other good, somewhat cheaper options this offseason that could make a huge impact.
Plus, knowing the Yanks spending history, they'll be willing to throw some big money around to ensure that they get the man they want.
Here's five big bats that the Yankees should keep an eye on.
5. Jason Kubel
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Jason Kubel is probably a last resort for the Yanks this offseason, but that doesn't mean the 29-year-old is a bad pickup by any stretch of the imagination.
He's two years removed now from his monster season, and injuries have certainly slowed him down a bit. But he's still young, and has plenty of tools that would fit perfectly into New York's lineup.
Trade rumors for Kubel were swirling around last season before the deadline, so it's clear that the Twins probably know that they'll be losing him this season.
Kubel is a great option for New York, especially if the Yanks wants to try and get a big name pitcher in free agency. Kubel won't come too cheap, but for a team like the Yankees, it'll wind up looking like chump change compared to their other inflated contracts.
Expect the young Kubel to be on the radar this offseason for the New York Yankees.
4. Josh Willingham
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Josh Willingham had probably the best season of his career last year, hitting more RBI and home runs then he's ever had.
Although his batting average dipped, Willingham was still a fraction away from a 30 HR and 100 RBI season. He could still make a perfect DH and OF option for New York this year and they could probably snag him for a cheaper price than any other hitter on this list.
Signing him would also save some money on the payroll to snag another big time pitcher, which is a pretty sure thing if New York can't get CC back. Heck, even with CC back I'm sure New York will be in pursuit of another hurler.
If the Yankees do decide to bolster their rotation this offseason, then Willingham is definitely the best option to save a few bucks. A perfect guy for the middle of the lineup.
He certainly won't blow anyone away with his play, but he's a great bang for the Yanks buck and could be a great foundation player over the next several years.
3. Grady Sizemore
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There's no doubt though that this guy is full of talent, and could be a very cheap pickup for the Yankees if they need another solid outfielder who can hit the ball.
Nick Swisher's $10.25 million contract option may not be worth it, and after a poor year there's a chance that Swish and his fauxhawk won't be in pinstripes next year.
Sizemore would be a great replacement, and at only 29, he's still got tons of good years left in him if he can stay healthy.
Sizemore is an excellent hitter, who could certainly do some damage in Yankee Stadium. He was actually the first player ever to hit a grand slam in the young ballpark.
Plus, he's definitely got a personality and a look that would fit perfectly in New York. Just look at this if you don't believe me. There's not many "sisterhoods" that revolve around a baseball player.
Injuries are definitely a red flag though, and if the Yankees do take a chance on him it could come back to bite them in the long run.
But if the Yanks can get him for a good price, Sizemore would be a excellent addition to this ball club.
2. David Ortiz
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Big Papi in pinstripes? Inconceivable.
Actually, I think it's much more possible this offseason then most people think. Ortiz is the DH that the Yankees desperately need, and no matter what you think of him, he makes the Yankees immediately better if he decides on New York.
Although his stats haven't been great over the last couple of years, he's still got plenty of gas left in the tank. He had a great 2011, hitting over .300 again last season, so maybe he can ride that wave into 2012.
Ortiz is still a possible 100-plus RBI guy every year, especially if he had a lineup like the Yanks to work with.
Let's not forget about his ability to make things happen in big games too. Just look at what he's done against New York over the years.
Ortiz has constantly proven that he's a clutch player, and if there was one thing that the Yankees were missing this postseason, it was the ability to take advantage of ideal situations.
Of course, there's also the huge impact this move would have on the Red Sox. Watching the Yankees sweep in and take one of Boston's most cherished players would be an ultimate slap in the face, and would definitely give the Yankees an upper hand next season in the division.
The Red Sox must be kicking themselves right now for not offering Big Papi a long-term deal last season. Maybe with that shun in the back of his mind, Ortiz might start looking for a new home if the Sox don't offer him the contract he thinks he deserves.
No doubt the Yankees would be willing to give Ortiz that contract, and then some. At 36, Ortiz's stats could plunge at any time, but if the Yanks can get him for a fair price, there's no doubt they should take him.
1. Carlos Beltran
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This signing would be about seven years too late, but there's no doubt that Carlos Beltran would still make an excellent addition to this ball club.
Thanks to lingering injuries, Beltran was never truly able to live up the huge contract the New Mets gave to him back in 2005, but he's still an impact player no matter how you slice it.
Last season saw Beltran's stock rise dramatically after a very strong performance on both the Mets and the Giants. His nagging knee problems may finally be a thing of the past, and he would also be a perfect replacement for Nick Swisher in right field if New York chooses to go that route.
A two-year, $20-25 million deal is certainly a realistic area for Beltran this offseason, and although New York could be paying more for him then they would have for Swish, there's no doubt that the increased productivity would be well worth it.
At 36, Beltran is still a potential liability if these injuries suddenly return, and the Yanks recent history of signing older players certainly hasn't worked out in their favor.
Taking a chance by giving Beltran a big contract might be too big of a risk, especially if he doesn't make a big enough impact at the plate.
If he can recapture some of that magic from last year though, it will only make the Yankees that much stronger.
Thanks for reading guys.