As you’ve likely heard, New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeria is having serious wrist issues that could put him out for the rest of the season. Teixeria is without a doubt in the downswing of his career despite still being a gold-glove caliber first baseman.
That puts the Yankees in a serious bind as their only options are Juan Rivera or perhaps finding an old, washed up player still sitting on the free agent scrapheap. I can’t see New York being OK trotting out a mediocre player like Rivera to play first every day. Gone are options like the multi-talented Nick Swisher and there are no Major League Baseball-ready first base prospects in the Yankee farm system.
That is where the St. Louis Cardinals come in.
Matt Adams is stuck in limbo now that Allen Craig has been locked up for the next several years. Adams is not athletic enough to play any other position other than first, so that handicaps himself and the Cardinals. Adams is a promising talent who demonstrated that he’s ready to play in the big leagues. Letting Adams toil in Triple-A will do nothing but shake his confidence and cause frustration.
This is why it would make sense to offer him to the Yankees. Not only could he fill in for Teixeria as needed, he would also be DH-eligible which makes more sense for the defensively weak Adams. Teixeria is locked up through 2016 and is owed a lot of money, so trading him away or releasing him isn’t an option even if he’s out the entire year. Adams would allow for a smooth transition, wouldn’t cost much and would prevent the Yankees for having to hunt for a pricey free agent in a few years.
The Cardinals hold all the cards–pardon the pun–in this situation. They don’t need to trade Adams but they should and the Yankees need a first baseman. John Mozeliak and Brian Cashman are two of the best minds in professional baseball. I’m sure if they put their heads together, they could come to an agreement. My guess would be it would involve a package of perhaps Joba Chamberlain and a draft pick or even a straight up trade for second base prospect Angelo Gumbs.
Chamberlain has been struggling to find a nitche with New York the past few seasons and the Cardinals can always use bullpen help. A change of scenery may refresh Chamberlain as he still has plenty of talent left to offer, though, I’m sure Mozeliak would want something in addition to him.
Gumbs is the number seven prospect in the Yankees farm system. With Matt Carpenter covering second base–backed by Daniel Descalso–they are deep at that position with prospect Kolten Wong waiting in the wings. Gumbs was a high school shortstop and could be converted from second or flip-flopped as a utility infielder. He has terrific speed and instincts on the basepaths which is something the Cardinals are not loaded with at the moment.
This might be a pipe-dream but its definitely something both organizations should look into. It makes sense for both sides but the problem might be with the Yankees as they may not have enough enticing pieces to complete the deal.