While the beginning of the week seemed to be quiet, the Yankees eventually got down to business; they retained a second-half fan favorite and made an incredibly puzzling trade which once again placed holes in their infield. Also happening this week, a legendary reliever gave an endorsement on who should be the next Yankees closer, the Yankees continue to maintain their frugal stance and there’s competition at third base…at least, that’s what Alex Rodriguez thinks. Here’s your week in review.
— With David Robertson gone, the Yankees need a new closer. Luckily, Mariano Rivera said who he thinks should be the next closer: Dellin Betances. Remember, Rivera recommended Robertson for the job last season after he retired and Robertson flourished in the role. If there’s one thing we’ve learned is we always listen to Mariano Rivera. Even if we don’t agree, we still listen to Mariano Rivera.
— The Yankees added some rotation depth by signing Chris Capuano to a one-year, $5 Million deal. The Yankees said Capuano will be in the rotation when the team breaks camp and the Yankees project him as the fourth or fifth starter. Capuano was a decent second-half acqusition last season. He wasn’t brilliant, but his veteran presence is what enticed the Yankees in agreeing to a reunion with him.
— The signing of the week was the Yankees retaining Chase Headley by signing him to a four-year, $52 Million contract. Headley was an above average defensive third basemen, had some clutch hits and even demonstrated high pain tolerance (he was hit in the jaw with a fastball, somehow didn’t break any bones or lose any teeth and returned two days later. If that’s not impressive, I don’t know what is.). He’ll be the Yankees everyday third basemen when he arrives to Spring Training.
— So we had the signing of the week, so let’s move on to the shocker of the week: the Yankees trading both Martin Prado and David Phelps to the Miami Marlins in exchange for Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Jones. Before the trade, the Yankees seemed set with their infield but now they once again have holes in the roster. The good news is, the Yankees gained a true back-up first basemen in Jones. Jones can also play right field and can hit left handed pitching–which might be bad news for Alex Rodriguez since he could lose at-bats as the DH.
— With Alex Rodriguez’s role diminishing, he’s working hard to gain playing time, even if that means trying to fight Chase Headley for the third base job. The Yankees seemed set on having Headley as the third basemen and it never hurts to try, but here’s a bold prediction: Headley’s the third basemen when the team breaks camp at the beginning of April.
— If you’re still hoping for Brian Cashman to change his mind in signing Max Scherzer, it’s time to move on from the pipeline dream. Cashman and Yankees president Randy Levine both said there’s “virtually no chance” the Yankees sign Scherzer. Well, the ‘Scherzer in pinstripes dream was nice’ while it lasted.
— The Yankees designated Preston Claiborne for assignment.
— The Yankees acquired Gonzalez Germen from the New York Mets for cash considerations.
— With the holes in second base, it’s entirely possible for both Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela to compete for the second base position. But, there’s also a chance the Yankees sign a veteran infielder.