The New York Yankees were connected to almost every possible second baseman that was a free-agent or on the trading block after the departure of Robinson Cano. A trade for Brandon Phillips from the Cincinnati Reds was turned down, Omar Infante rejected the Yankees’ three-year offer and is rumored to be signing with the Kansas City Royals, and the Yankees are reportedly “not interested” in going after infielder Stephen Drew.
Now rumors are developing about a possible trade for Darwin Barney from the Chicago Cubs. Darwin Barney? After signing Kelly Johnson and Brendan Ryan, the Yankees don’t need another mediocre infielder. After losing the best second baseman in the game and deciding to pass on two more All-Stars in Phillips and Infante, the Yankees seem to be scrambling.
If an average infielder is what the Yankees are looking for then they already have what they want in Eduardo Nunez. Sure his glove isn’t as good as Barney’s, but at least Nunez can contribute more at the plate. Barney hit .208 last season in 141 games. Whatever worries the Yankees have in Nunez’s glove were already made up for by acquiring Johnson and Ryan, who have similar fielding percentages to Barney.
The Yankees should stop including their name with all of these smaller players to help lessen the inevitable hit they are going to take for losing Cano. The team has several second basemen with good gloves that won’t severely limit their chances of winning, and right now that’s all that matters.
Their focus should be on the other side of the diamond in third base and, of course, pitching. Alex Rodriguez’s fate is still in the air so picking up some security at third would be pleasant for everybody’s nerves in the Bronx. Also with Masahiro Tanaka’s posting status still in the balance, landing a few of the remaining free-agent pitchers would be nice. The Yankees’ only secure rotation spots are filled by CC Sabathia coming off of the worst season of his career, Ivan Nova who is extremely inconsistent and an aging Hiroki Kuroda who struggled down the stretch to finish last season.
Going after someone like Barney would be a waste of time and could prove costly if prospects are involved in the trade. The Yankees have enough gloves to cover the middle part of the infield. Now it’s time to shift focus to the hot corner and filling in the rotation.