New York Yankees: Bombers Should Target Justin Morneau If Teixeira Needs Surgery

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IMarch 17, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18:  Justin Morneau #33 of the Minnesota Twins  in action against the New York Yankees during their game on April 18, 2012 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The New York Yankees are bracing themselves for the worst on Mark Teixeira.

Originally, their star first basemen had been KO'd for eight to 10 weeks with a strained wrist, and his target time to return was May.

According to Adnan Virk of ESPN, Teixeira had a partially torn tendon sheath in his wrist:

More trouble for #Yankees MarkTeixeira's injury not wrist strain but partially torn tendon sheath. Potentially season-ending surgery

— Adnan Virk, ESPN (@adnanESPN) March 17, 2013

With that injury, Teixeira could require surgery, and it might end his 2013 season before he even steps foot on the field.

Losing Teixeira for the season would be a crushing blow to the offense, especially since it will be without Alex Rodriguez until July, and Curtis Granderson won't be able to debut until May.

If, in fact, Teixeira does need surgery and is forced to miss most or all of the season, the Yankees need options.

And I don't want to hear Juan Rivera or Dan Johnson's name come up, because they are not everyday replacements for a guy who can hit 30 home runs and 110 RBI regularly.

Oh, and not to mention the Gold Glove-caliber defense the Yankees will be missing in the field as well.

Now, the Yankees could move Kevin Youkilis to first base, a position he has been comfortable playing, but the Yankees would prefer to keep him at third base and not at first.

When I think of trade options for the Yankees, one name shouts at me: Justin Morneau.

All right, I know what some of you are thinking; why should the Yankees trade for another superstar?

This isn't like in the past, where the Yankees were already good and we suggested trades that were off the wall.

The Yankees are about to have a serious problem and a serious need at first base if they find out Teixeira's knocked out for the season with this injury.

Now, why does Morneau make sense?

For one, he can easily fill in as a power option for Teixeira, as Morneau is capable of hitting 30 home runs and 100 RBI when he's healthy.

In 2012, Morneau played in 134 games and had 19 home runs and 77 RBI for the Twins. It was the first time in almost three years that Morneau played in over 100 games for Minnesota.

His defense isn't as good as Teixeira's, but then again, not too many first basemen in the league will be. But Morneau's glove won't lose games for the Yankees in the field.

Aside from his skills, what makes Morneau an attractive option in a trade is his contract.

An expiring contract is always one of the most attractive ones to trade for, and since the Twins won't be contending for the playoffs in 2013, Morneau was already trade bait to begin with.

Some even wondered last year if the Twins would explore putting Morneau on the market, but it made more sense for the Twins to wait until 2013.

Morneau is due to make $14 million in 2013 and then will be a free agent after the season, so adding him wouldn't mess up the Yankees' plans of getting to their self-mandated $189 million mark for the payroll in 2014.

Now, I'm not saying the Yankees should go out and make the deal tonight or tomorrow.

The Yankees should, however, try to make the deal once they know that Teixeira needs the surgery on his wrist and won't be back until 2014.

That's when Brian Cashman needs to pick up the phone and call Twins general manager Terry Ryan and offer him something for Morneau.

Since the Twins are in rebuilding mode, they could use all sorts of assets for the team, whether it be pitching, outfield, infield. You name it; the Twins likely need it and would want it.

I'm sure the Yankees are still banking on the hope that Teixeira won't need the surgery and can play in 2013 with a return time around late May or early June.

But if not, the Twins need to be Cashman's first call with an offer to land Morneau.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.


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