The other #9s. Infield options.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

#9, as we know, is retired for Roger Maris.

But with this new year of 2018, it marks the 40th anniversary of the Yanks’ great comeback in 1978.

One key member of that team was Graig Nettles. Who can forget his defensive wizardry in Game 3 of that 1978 WS that turned the series around? Nettles was on 5 division winners, 4 pennant winners and 2 World Championships with the Yankees from 1973-1983. He led the AL in HR with 32 in 1976, led the Yankees in WAR (Wins above Replacement) in both 1976 and 1977, was a 5x All Star in his 11 years with the Yanks, and finished in the top 10 for AL MVP in 1977 and 1978.

Isn’t it about time Nettles, 73, was honored with a plaque in Monument Park?

And while they are at it, another player who wore #9, Hank Bauer, who played for the Yankees from 1948-1959, could be honored with a plaque as well for his WS record 17 game hitting streak. Bauer died in 2007. It’s 60 years since that streak ended in 1958.

1938, 1958, 1978, 1998… lets’ hope the Yanks 20 year streak of WS titles continues…

I am not saying co-retire the number 9, as the Yanks did with #8 (Dickey and Berra), but shouldn’t Nettles and Bauer have plaques? In the case of Nettles, especially, it is long overdue.

The Yanks may or may not be looking into additional infield help. Apparently they are talking with Ji-Man Choi about him returning to AAA SWB as insurance for a possible injury to Greg Bird. Choi was 4 for 15 for the Yanks in 2017, hitting 2 HR.

Todd Frazier and Eduardo Nunez are still on the free agent market and the Yanks could have interest in one or the other. Of course the market for them has to drop or the Yanks need to unload some $alary (Ellsbury, for example). But Richard Neer (spelling?) of WFAN suggests that the Yanks should just go with the rookies, Miguel Andujar at 3B and Gleyber Torres at 2B and see how they do and then make a move, if needed, at the trade deadline of 2018.

Will the Yanks get a veteran infielder, or will they go with two rookies to start the season? We’ll see.

So far the free agent and trade market has been glacially slow.

 

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