It didn’t take long for the New York Yankees to receive some bad news. In only their second spring training game Curtis Granderson, in his first at bat of the spring, was hit just above the right wrist by a J.A. Happ pitch that broke his forearm.
For a Yankees offense that has seen a lot of power leave via free agency with Russell Martin, Eric Chavez and Nick Swisher chasing bigger dollars elsewhere, as well as Andruw Jones heading overseas, losing their leading home run hitter from last season for 10 weeks is a huge blow. It doesn’t help that Alex Rodriguez is also out until the All-Star break at the earliest.
Right now, Brian Cashman won’t panic and run out and suddenly throw prospects around like a drunken sailor on his first shore leave in five years. Instead, Cashman will likely continue to hold true to his current philosophy and hope that an in-house candidate such as Matt Diaz, Juan Rivera, Melky Mesa or Zoilo Almonte steps up. The trade market is pretty bare and the free agent market is even thinner. Alfonso Soriano is a possibility, however. The Chicago Cubs have stated they are willing to pick up all but $10 million of Soriano’s remaining $36 million over the next two years. However, the Cubs want at least a decent prospect or two in return, something the Yankees won’t give up.
Adding Soriano would be a nice move. The Yankees had already planned to move Granderson to left field and use Brett Gardner in center field so Soriano could take over in left until Granderson comes back. Once Granderson returns the Yankees could use Soriano as the right-handed bat in the outfield and DH.
However, Cashman is sticking to his guns to get the Yankees under the $189 million luxury tax so don’t expect Soriano to be the first option. Mesa, who will be getting a lot of at bats in the World Baseball Classic, could be a viable option. The Yankees also like Zoilo Almonte who is currently slated for Triple-A at the moment and do have Rivera and Diaz, two players the Yankees hope have something left in the tank and can be the righty bat and fourth outfielder.
The Yankees will need Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano to step up and shoulder some of the load offensively. Teixeira is coming back from a down year, the result of a calf injury. Cano is coming off of the worst slump of his career in the playoffs and will need to rebound in a contract year.
Then again, these are the New York Yankees and if the price comes down and meets the Yankees’ needs, Soriano could be wearing pinstripes once again.