New York Yankees Running Out of Options for Right-Handed Outfielders
The New York Yankees have filled a few needs so far in free agency, specifically re-signing some of their own free agents like Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Ichiro Suzuki, and have added Kevin Youkilis to fill the vacancy at third until Alex Rodriguez come back. However, the Yankees are still looking to add some pieces as they get ready for 2013.
The Yankees biggest need might be at catcher where they have Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart, and Austin Romine on the 40-man roster. That doesn’t instill a lot of confidence for some Yankee fans but right now it doesn’t seem like GM Brian Cashman is too interested in adding any more catchers at the moment.
Right now, it looks like Cashman is focused on finding a right-handed hitting outfielder to compliment his bevy of left-handed hitters like Ichiro, Curtis Granderson, and Brett Gardner.
Scott Hairston would be a perfect fit but he is searching for a multi-year deal and may receive one in this market. The Yankees are insistent one only handing out one-year deals and only made one exception with Ichiro.
There aren’t many options after Hairston that would be good fits from the free agent market. Cody Ross is searching for a multi-year deal and will probably get one as well.
The Yankees need for a right-handed bat in the outfield likely means Raul Ibanez is done with the Yankees, although he could still get an offer if Cashman comes up empty looking for right-handed hitters.
Matt Diaz, Austin Kearns, and Jeff Baker are the next best right-handed hitters on the market after Ross and Hairston since Andruw Jones went to Japan and Nick Swisher is all but gone. None of them are real threats with the bat and Kearns wasn’t that great in a previous stint in the Bronx.
I think the best option is to cave and give Hairston two years unless the Yankees believe Melky Mesa can do the job. Mesa has some strengths, especially with his defense and speed and power. However, Mesa has a real problem making contact consistently and that could be a major problem for the Yankees.
Either the Yankees bite the bullet on Hairston or they roll the dice on Mesa. It seems like those might be the only two options remaining.
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