The loss of Jayson Nix to a broken left hand has left the New York Yankees a little shirt-handed up the middle, especially at shortstop. Yes, the Yankees have Eduardo Nunez but he is battling a balky hamstring. Yes, Derek Jeter is playing in a rehab game and could be back by the weekend but is he reliable at this point or will his body betray him once again? The Yankees don’t have anyone else on the 40-man roster who can play shortstop unless the Yankees want to run 38-year-old Alex Rodriguez with two surgically repaired hips out there.
The Yankees could always add Alberto Gonzalez to the 40-man roster again but that would take a roster move. The Yankees could transfer Corban Joseph to the 60-day DL since he is out for the year after shoulder surgery and add Gonzalez to the roster again. Brent Lillibridge is another option but would also needed to be added to the 40-man.
There is another option and that would be adding someone through a trade. The Yankees are currently in a decent spot given the way the waiver-wire works. They don’t have to worry about any of the teams ahead of them in the AL East or in the AL Wild Card blocking a player from joining their team. The Yankees could explore a trade but there aren’t many teams dangling shortstops over the waiver wire at the current moment.
Right now, there is no specific rumor floating around meaning the Yankees might be willing to roll the dice on Nunez until Jeter is ready to return. This is not exactly the ideal situation considering all of the injuries that have befallen the team this season. Does anyone really want to see Rodriguez trying to play shortstop these days? Would he even agree to move given his back and forth over the past few weeks with Yankee brass? Would the Yankees even ask or would they fear Rodriguez making the move to shortstop another talking point for his lawyers? It might seem far-fetched but just look at what has come from Rodriguez and his camp in recent weeks and tell me I’m the crazy one.
Of course, the Yankees could ask Mark Reynolds to play shortstop. He did play some shortstop in college but that would be frightful to watch. Then again, the Yankees have trotted out Vernon Wells at second and third this season so asking Reynolds to play some short might not be as crazy as depending on a shortstop with a balky hamstring or hoping a 39-year-old who hasn’t been able to stay healthy all season.
Losing Nix could hurt the Yankees more than anyone wants to admit and the Yankees are one awkward step, one hit-by-pitch, one ground ball dive away from a potential crisis. The Yankees right now think that having the extra arm in the form of Preston Claiborne is a more pressing need than a middle infielder. That is a huge risk that I don’t know if this team can afford to take.