New York Yankees Need to Add Insurance in Middle Infield, Should Look at Danny Espinosa
Last night in Toronto, the New York Yankees received a scare after Robinson Cano was hit on the hand by a J.A. Happ pitch. Happ, you will remember, broke Curtis Granderson’s hand in Granderson’s first spring training at-bat. Cano went for x-rays that came out negative and Cano is just day-to-day with a bruised hand. Shortly after Cano went down Eduardo Nunez got his foot tangled in the turf and went down. After some on-field treatment he was able to stay in the game for a little while before Mark Reynolds took over. This, in simple terms, was a warning shot across the bow of Yankee judgment.
The Yankees survived a scare last week after Nunez went down with a hamstring issue but he was able to stay in the game. Instead of bringing up a middle infielder like David Adams the Yankees went with bullpen depth. Now, even with Derek Jeter back, the Yankees are one play away from having to use Reynolds at second base, not exactly the best case scenario.
With rosters set to expand in a couple of days the Yankees will call up Adams but he will be the only middle infield reinforcement called up unless the team makes a 40-man roster move. However, the Yankees don’t exactly have anyone who can even masquerade as a starter at the moment that isn’t on the 40-man already.
Rumors have it that Danny Espinosa is being shopped by the Washington Nationals. Espinosa, 26, has had a terrible year and was sent down earlier this season where he continued to struggle at Triple-A. His struggles were apparently mostly due to injury, he had a broken wrist and his agent, Scott Boras, has stated Espinosa has been dealing with a lingering thumb injury. However, at just 26-years-old there is still some of that potential that saw Espinosa hit .242/.319/.408 with 38 home runs, 122 RBI and 66 doubles from 2011-12.
Right now, Espinosa’s value is at its lowest point in years and he shouldn’t cost much in terms of prospects. The only issue is would Espinosa pass through waivers? The Yankees would have to wait until Espinosa passed through every National League team, something that might not happen given the fact that Espinosa is a power-hitting middle infielder. However, the Yankees should at least try.
Espinosa could be a power bat off the bench who can play second and short and would be a nice insurance policy for Cano, Jeter and Nunez. If the Nationals are shopping Espinosa the Yankees would be foolish not to try and work something out.