The New York Yankees have an increased need for right-handed power in the lineup after it was learned that Alex Rodriguez would miss a large portion of the first half of the season. Rodriguez, GM Brian Cashman told the media, had suffered a torn labrum in his hip that will require surgery and he will be out until June.
The Yankees went into this off-season in need of a catcher, starting pitching, a right fielder, and a bench. Now, they can add a viable option at third base to the list.
Perhaps this explains why Cashman hasn’t shown as much interest in bringing Ichiro Suzuki up to this point because he knew he would need to add a right-handed bat to the lineup to offset the loss of Alex Rodriguez and switch-hitting Nick Swisher.
The Yankees have recently been linked in MLB rumors to Cody Ross. However, Ross, 31, wants a multi-year and the Yankees are only interested in giving a one-year deal at this time. However, their need for a right fielder and a right-handed bat might force the Yankees into giving him at least a two-year deal.
Last season, Ross hit .267/.326/.481 with 22 home runs and 81 RBI for the Boston Red Sox.
The Yankees have asked for Ross’ medical records which means they are interested in at least making him an offer. They are also one of several teams interested in Scott Hairston who is also hoping for a multi-year deal.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees still pursue Ross or Hairston even if they sign one. Their need for right-handed balance to a lefty-heavy lineup all but means Ichiro Suzuki is done as a Yankee unless the Yankees strike out on all their targeted right-handed starting outfielders, which is entirely possible given their desire to keep payroll free for 2014. Or, the Yankees could make a play for a power-hitting third baseman who bats from the right side like Mark Reynolds but as of yet the Yankees haven’t contacted Reynolds.
Cashman will have a decision to make. Does he sacrifice the present for the future or can he find the balance that keeps the Yankees competitive this year while keeping their options open for the future?