New York Yankees Acquire Brendan Ryan: What it Means

By James O'Hare
Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

If defense wins championships, the New York Yankees are headed in the right direction. The Yankees have acquired Brendan Ryan from the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named later.

Wallace Matthews speculates the move means the Yankees have given up on Derek Jeter in 2013 and that Ryan will replace the shaky-fielding Eduardo Nunez at shortstop.

But this could also mean something far more serious for the Yankee offense – that Alex Rodriguez legitimately hurt himself in last night’s 7-5 win against the Baltimore Orioles. After sliding into home in the eighth inning, Rodriguez had to leave the game with tightness in his hamstring and is listed as Day-to-Day.

For most of the year, Jayson Nix filled the role of utility infielder, playing second base, third base and shortstop. He made some phenomenal plays in the field but had limited offensive production, batting just .236 with three home runs and 24 RBI. A broken left hand courtesy of RA Dickey has ended his season.

With Nix out and Rodriguez banged up, the Yankees were in need of a better option at third base than David Adams. Now they have it.

That is not to say Ryan will not play any innings at shortstop – he’s essentially the same player as Nix, but with a worse bat and better glove. He could potentially play the same role that Nix did, manning whatever infield position is needed on a given night.

Ryan will not add any offensive firepower to the Yankees lineup, but lately they haven’t needed any help. He will, however, tighten up their defense and add to the team’s versatility with his ability to play multiple positions in the field.

James O’Hare is a baseball writer for Follow him on Twitter @JimboOHare and add him to your network on Google.

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