Last season the New York Yankees went through third basemen and shortstops at a record rate. One of those the Yankees brought in was Brendan Ryan, acquired from the Seattle Mariners on September 10th. Ryan hit the free agent market but the Yankees have shown an interest in bringing Ryan back, a move that would make a ton of sense.
Joel Sherman has reported that the Yankees are very close to bringing Ryan back, a move that won’t stop them from pursuing other free agents.
Ryan, who turns 32 in March, is one of the best fielding shortstops in the game and can play second or third as well if needed but the majority of his playing time came at shortstop. Ryan is the prototypical all glove-no bat player. He owns a .237/.299/.320 slash line with just 19 home runs in 2368 at-bats. When the Yankees acquired Ryan he was hitting just .192/.254/.265 with the Mariners. He hit .220/.258/.305 in 17 games with the Yankees covering 59 at bats.
With Derek Jeter’s health a major question mark and Eduardo Nunez a possible replacement for Alex Rodriguez at third base, signing Ryan makes a lot of sense. He is easily the best fielder the Yankees have on the roster and he would probably see most of his time as a late-inning replacement in the field for someone at third, shortstop or second base if Robinson Cano walks. Ryan could battle with Nunez and Jayson Nix to be the reserve infielder.
Even if he does re-sign with the Yankees, there is no guarantee that he will make the team out of spring training. Depending on who the Yankees bring in Ryan could find himself out of a job because his bat is pretty much non-existent. Of course, there are a ton of ifs heading into this offseason with the Yankees and adding Ryan is a nice insurance policy if the chips don’t fall the Yankees’ way.