There is no question that the New York Yankees need some offensive help. The Yankees have only scored 258 runs in 65 games or 3.69 runs per game. To put that in perspective the Houston Astros have scored 254 runs and the dreadful 1990 Yankees team averaged just 3.73 runs per game. If the Yankees want to make a real playoff push they will need to get some help on offense and take some of the pressure off of the pitching staff which basically has to be perfect night in and night out in order for the Yankees to win.
Curtis Granderson is coming back from yet another injury, this time a broken pinky finger. However, Granderson has played in only eight games this season after coming back from a broken arm suffered in his first at-bat of the spring. Can he be counted on moving forward? Obviously, Brian Cashman would love to think so but even with Granderson in the fold the Yankees will still need help offensively.
It would be great to say that Derek Jeter, Granderson and even Alex Rodriguez will come back at some point this season and be able to boost the Yankees offense. But, as of right now, they are all questions marks and it isn’t even known if Rodriguez will come back or what kind of player he would be if he does come back. Jeter has just resumed baseball activities but at this point, given his age and the previous setback, he can’t be counted on to produce at previous levels.
The Yankees need some help, especially in the corner outfield spots where Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells have underperformed up to this point. To make matters worse, both of those players are under contract for next season. The Yankees have been so desperate that they have used Lyle Overbay in right field at times this season.
The trade market is still shaping up but there are a few players who might be available at this time. The Seattle Mariners, a team the Yankees have traded with a couple of times over the past two seasons, have a few players the Yankees could use.
Michael Morse is an impending free agent and right-handed bat and the Mariners could deal him for a prospect to help accelerate their seemingly endless rebuilding process. Morse shouldn’t cost too much since he was acquired from the Washington Nationals in a three-team deal that saw the Mariners send catcher John Jaso to the Oakland Athletics. Right now, the Yankees have a surplus of starting pitching; a surplus that has been tested at times this season with injury but the Yankees should have enough depth, especially with Michael Pineda on his way back, to get something done. The Mariners, meanwhile, are depending upon Jeremy Bonderman and journeyman Aaron Harang to eat innings.
Netting a bat like Morse would depend on the market. Several teams are looking for offensive help and there is a chance that a small bidding war could develop over Morse. However, if the Yankees offered a Brett Marshall and a third tier prospect it could be enough to get a job done.
Morse is not a very good defender in the outfield but he is certainly as good as Lyle Overbay. Morse can also play first base and has played shortstop and third base in the past although the last time he played third was one game in 2009 and he hasn’t played short since 2007. However, he is a little more versatile than Overbay and offers more in the way of power. At this point, the Yankees could use his pop in the outfield.
Morse has hit .241/.301/.445 with 11 home runs this season. Against left-handed pitching Morse has hit .323/.368/.629 with five homers. He is tailor-made to fit the Yankees’ needs and Brian Cashman should pick up the phone and call his old friend John Zduriencik one more time and see what it will take to get Morse in pinstripes.