With the news that Mark Teixeira might require season-ending surgery on his wrist to repair a partially torn tendon sheath the New York Yankees could be looking for a potential replacement. Brian Cashman has already begun looking for players to bring in to fill the void, at least on an interim basis. Derrek Lee and Chipper Jones were two players Cashman specifically mentioned last week. Both, however, wish to stay retired at this time.
The Yankees could sift through the free agent bargain bin that is sure to fill up as spring training draws to a close. Players like Lyle Overbay and Casey Kotchman could be available. However, there is one name that is currently unavailable but could possibly be had for the right price. That name is Washington Nationals first baseman Tyler Moore.
Moore, 26, made his Major League debut last season with the Nationals and slugged 10 home runs while hitting .263/.327/.513 in 156 at-bats. Moore did strikeout 46 times but he has always been a free-swinger. In 2010 and 2011 at Single-A and Double-A, Moore hit 31 homers each year. He did strike out 125 and 139 times respectively but his power is real and is something the Yankees might be in desperate need of.
Defensively, Moore is not the most prolific first baseman but neither is Dan Johnson or Juan Rivera, two potential first base fill-ins on the Yankees’ roster. An added plus is Moore is right-handed and does have a little experience in the outfield which would give Joe Girardi some flexibility if Teixeira returns in May or June.
The biggest problem for the Yankees would be finding someone that the Nationals would want in return. The Yankees do have a few relievers the Nationals might need, including Clay Rapada and Boone Logan who throw from the left side of the plate. The Nationals lost Sean Burnett in free agency and could use someone like Logan to fill the void. Perhaps a trade of Logan and a lesser prospect could get a deal done.
Moore’s path is blocked by Adam LaRoche at first and by Jayson Werth, Denard Span and Bryce Harper in the outfield. The Nationals do plan on using Moore off the bench but Frank Rizzo might view a left-handed relief pitcher as a greater priority than a bench piece.
The Yankees can afford to lose Logan or Rapada thanks to a decent amount of left-handed relief depth. Francisco Rondon pitched fairly well this spring. The Yankees also have Cesar Cabral coming back at some point this season from elbow surgery.
If Teixeira’s injury doesn’t require him to miss the entire season Moore could be plugged in as a right-handed hitting DH or fill-in in the outfield from time to time while also giving Teixeira a day off at first. Moore might be the best potentially available bat for the Yankees right now. Perhaps Cashman and Rizzo need to have a little sit down meeting.