You might have already heard, but the New York Yankees are on the hunt for a third baseman.
That should be no secret, of course, given that the tumultuous divorce proceedings between the team and its former star Alex Rodriguez have gone from cordial exchanges to “just shut the f— up”, thanks to new revelations of yet another steroid scandal that could see another suspension handed to the 37-year-old.
Oh yeah, and there’s the $114 million over the next five years, too.
So … I think you could probably understand why the Yankees are taking steps to acquiring a third baseman for their playoff run this season. But who to fill the shoes of the highest paid athlete in the history of the sport?
Well, the rumor mills have turned up some names like Aramis Ramirez, though I can’t imagine that taking on another aging (35) veteran with knee problems and a rather hefty contract ($16 million in 2014 plus a $4 million buyout or $14 million option) was exactly be what New York has in mind, even though they could use the experience over David Adams and Albert Gonzalez.
Which brings us to Michael Young, who Jon Heyman of CBS Sports suggested as a possibility for the team to go after.
That’d be assuming that the Philadelphia Phillies are selling first, though given that they’re 9.5 games back and doesn’t look to be making a whole lot of noise to suggest a sustained run of success, it’s a decision that they’re going to have to make soon.
Should they do so, you could almost say that Young would be an ideal target for the Yankees.
Forget the fact that the veteran’s workmanlike persona and reputation will fit in rather nicely with the culture of the club, the 36-year-old also doesn’t come with a whole lot of commitment — just the remainder of his $16 million contract for 2013 … with $10 million already having been paid for by the Texas Rangers as a parting gift.
Not only would he come cheap, but young also comes with a long history of durability and ability to dodge the DL, things that New York has obviously had issues with this season at just about every single position.
And as for his production? Sure, he’s certainly not the same bat he used to be, though a .287/.345/.408 line through 307 PA this season suggests that he’s not quite as done as his -1.7 fWAR 2012 might suggest.
Besides, it’s not as though Yankee Stadium is much of a hitter’s park anyway … oh wait.
Put that together with his multi-positional flexibility (he can also play first base), and the whole ‘intangible veteran presence’ deal … and what you’ve got might just be the polar opposite of what A-Rod is/represents for the Yankees — which is also to say that it might just be the perfect match for a Bombers team looking to re-establish its presence in a season full of strife.