New York Yankees Trade Rumors: Focus is on the Bench

Bronx Baseball DailySenior Analyst IJune 22, 2010

BALTIMORE - JUNE 10:  Ty Wigginton #23 of the Baltimore Orioles hits a single in the seventh inning against the New York Yankees at Camden Yards on June 10, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The Yankees have the second-ranked offense in all of baseball this season, slightly behind the Boston Red Sox and way out in front of whomever is the third-place team on any given day. Still, with all of the injuries they’ve been experiencing, they’ve had a problem with getting consistent offense. Buster Olney of ESPN has reported that the Yankees have been on the lookout for a bat.

Last season they had a great bench, thanks to Eric Hinske and Jerry Hairston Jr . For some reason, mostly monetary, general manager Brian Cashman thought it was unwise to retain either in 2010. Instead he wanted to go with Ramiro Pena and Marcus Thames . The problem has been that Pena doesn’t have nearly a major league bat and Thames has missed time on the DL and has been a starter for part of the season when Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher were out. Thames will be back soon, and that will help bolster the bench, but Olney wonders if the Yankees might make a move for the Orioles' Ty Wigginton .

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has reported that the Yankees aren’t necessarily looking to upgrade their utility infielder, but threw out a few other names that the Yankees might eventually go after: Willie Bloomquist of the Royals and John McDonald of the Blue Jays are two such players. He also suggested that Jayson Nix , who is a free agent after getting DFA’d by the White Sox, as another. The CubsRyan Theriot and Geoff Blum of the Astros were two other less likely names Rosenthal threw out there.

The Yankees might still be in denial that they are going to make a deal for a utility infield type, but you have to wonder how much longer they’re going to be willing to go with Pena’s .190 average and below average UZR numbers. Kevin Russo , Chad Huffman , and Colin Curtis haven’t exactly wowed anyone yet either, and realistically it wouldn’t take much to upgrade any of them (Curtis really hasn’t had any opportunity yet, but based on his minor league career, nobody is expecting much).

Out of all the names Olney and Rosenthal have thrown out there,Wigginton is the best one, but it is not clear if the Orioles would be willing to deal him within their division. He will be one of the better free agents on the trade market, so it’s not like they’ll have a lack of suitors outside the division.

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Those other names are upgrades over what they have now, but only marginal. If they have to give up much for any of those players it is probably just best to stay in-house and give Eduardo Nunez a shot soon. Nunez is an infielder with Triple-A Scranton that has been tearing it up this year. Through 70 games he has a .320 average and a .775 OPS. Not bad for a potential utility infielder. If the Yankees are sincere in not wanting to trade for infield help, hopefully they’re at least considering bringing Nunez up.

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