The New York Yankees made yet another adjustment and addition to their tenuous 2013 roster on Saturday when they acquired infielder Reid Brignac from the Colorado Rockies, in exchange for cash considerations and a player to be named later.
This latest move is in a continuing effort to ensure the Yankee infield, which has been marked by instability all season. Chris Nelson is gone, and the acquisition also necessitated moving recent addition Alberto Gonzalez off the active roster. But hopefully manager Joe Girardi and GM Brian Cashman will find a good replacement in Brignac.
Brignac is a 27-year-old shortstop and utility infielder. With Derek Jeter still out and Eduardo Nunez recently added to the disabled list, Girardi has stated that Jayson Nix and Brignac will play third and short alternately, with David Adams remaining as the other infield option.
Prior to this season, Brignac had been with just one team: the Tampa Bay Rays. A second-round draft pick in 2004, Brignac saw limited playing time in 2008 and 2009, but in 2010 he started get more at-bats and starts.
He was traded to Colorado during the offseason. In his 29 games with the Rockies, he hit .250 with three doubles and a homerun. Although he is by no means a power hitter, he has a little pop in his bat can bunt guys over when needed.
His offense might still need time to take off; he was a highly touted prospect in the minors and is still young enough that he can become a valued player. His defense will be key as well, picking up the slack that Gold Glovers Jeter and Alex Rodriguez left at short and third.
So far, Nix has been doing a good job of platooning in the infield, and Brignac will have to match his defensive abilities. Rays’ manager Joe Maddon has praised Brignac’s defense in the past, and Girardi was similarly impressed when speaking about the Brignac pickup. So hopefully, he proves both skippers right.
Overall, picking up Brignac seems like another good move by Cashman to try to find the right balance in the infield. Although he is yet another lefty bat, Brignac is young, he has speed and if he can play good defense, then he can wind up being an asset.
His first start was delayed as Sunday’s game was rained out, but his debut should come soon. As an added bonus, upon hearing that he was traded he mentioned that he grew up idolizing Jeter, something that Yankee fans always like to hear.
Holly Berkowitz is a New York Yankees writer for rantsports.com. Follow her on Twitter @hollyberry9118.