The Yankees need a righty-hitting OF, what with their OF now consisting of three lefty hitters in Granderson, Gardner and Ichiro. Andruw Jones, who hit less than .200 last year, signed a deal with a Japanese team. Forget Cody Ross, for he signed with Arizona. Could Melky Mesa actually get a shot?
They may need a catcher, what with the defection of Russell Martin to Pittsburgh. The only in-house options are Francisco Cervelli (probably the best hitter of the bunch, and that’s not saying much), and the better defensive catchers in Austin Romine, Bobby Wilson and Chris Stewart. Romine, 24, has a shot to win the job, but he’s only played 21 games at the AAA level.
Now there is another hole that needs to be filled. Raul Ibanez signed a one-year deal with Seattle. So now the Yanks need to find a DH. They, of course, could DH Jeter, who will be 39 next June and who is coming off that broken ankle. The problem with that is that Eduardo Nunez isn’t known for his glove. So Jeter might have to be the SS but you wonder how his range (never great to begin with) will be after the injury. So you might DH Nunez. But Nunez is good for his speed (as are Gardner and Ichiro) and not power (likewise Gardner and Ichiro), so the Bronx Bombers might all of a sudden be the Bronx Burners. Ichiro won’t, at age 39, steal as many bases as he did before.
Now the loss of Ibanez, who’ll be 41 next June, might not be too bad. The biggest problem isn’t the loss (he hit .240 with 19 HR last year, but then had a great playoff run), but in the replacement. Who will it be?
In this respect it’s like losing Martin, who despite his 21 HR hit just .211. It’s not so much the loss, as it is who will be the replacement?
The Yanks have holes to fill. For right now it’s like too many holes in the dike. Sooner or later the dike bursts and you drown.
We’ll soon see how the Yanks fill these holes.