The Yankees might not be spending a lot of money this offseason, but they are looking to add a veteran infielder who can play both third and shortstop, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. That doesn’t mean they are looking for a replacement for Alex Rodriguez though.
“There is no discussion whatsoever about Alex transitioning from third base to DH, part-time DH, first base or any other position on the field,” Yankees GM Brian Cashman told Rosenthal.
Regardless, Derek Jeter is recovering from ankle surgery that could force him to miss the start of the season and A-Rod lead the Yankees in DH at bats in 2012 despite spending two months on the DL. The Yankees are going to need a veteran infielder.
Keppinger’s name immediately pops off that list. He is versatile enough to play a ton of positions, is coming off a season where he hit .325/.367/.439, and the Yankees have had interest in him in the past nearly landing him after the 2010 season. The biggest problem with Keppinger though is that he hits lefties much better than righties which is something that both A-Rod and Derek Jeter also claim. It would be better if the Yankees could find somebody who would platoon with the two of them better.
The other two names on Rosenthal’s list aren’t the type that have big platoon splits which is actually a good thing. It would give Joe Girardi the freedom to use them as he feels he needs to rather than worrying about who is on the mound that day. Scutaro might be easier for the Yankees to land though as the Tigers picked up Peralta’s option and even though they are said to be open to trading him it’s always complicated dealing with other playoff contenders.
Eric Chavez should also be in the mix. He had a good season for the Yankees filling in for A-Rod when he went on the DL. He also platoons well with A-Rod as he hits righties well. The problem is always the injury concerns with the glass player and there is also the problem that he can’t play shortstop. He can play first base though which is something the Yankees will need with Nick Swisher headed out of town. He’ll more likely be somebody the Yankees keep on the back burner for now though and will check out their other options before turning to him in January or February if they still need help.
Stephen Drew‘s name has also been out there attached to the Yankees. He obviously brings with him that once very promising ceiling. The problem with him though is that he never actually fulfilled his promise and at this point has only ever played shortstop. However, in an offseason without a ton of options he is intriguing. Still, he has managed a 5.1 WAR season in 2010 so I don’t expect his name to go away as long as he’s still on the board.