New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman stated that the team has decided not to pursue the last viable free agent infielder, Stephen Drew. The Yankees seem content with their infield with this announcement, but they still have question marks at every position.
Robinson Cano headed west to the Seattle Mariners and with that, the Yankees lost their only reliable infielder. In his place, New York brought in Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson and Brendan Ryan. All are suitable defensive players to fill Cano’s void, but they will not come anywhere close to providing the production that Seattle will relish with their newest star.
Drew is also a below-average batter and he served no assistance in the playoffs that saw the Boston Red Sox win the World Series, coming up with only six hits in 54 at-bats.
For these reasons, I understand why the Yankees decided to announce their lack of interest in Drew. Scott Boras represents him and the Yankees are more focused on starting pitching, rather than overpaying another average infielder. However, Drew played in more games last year than any of the Yankees’ potential Opening Day starting infielders. I’m not saying Drew is their guy, but the Yankees need durability from somewhere.
An announcement on Alex Rodriguez‘s suspension has yet to be made, leaving the Yankees with a giant hole at third. A-Rod played in 44 games in 2013 and posted a sub-.250 batting average. Mark Teixeira is still rehabbing his wrist which sidelined him for all but 15 games last season and Derek Jeter, who also only played in 17 games last season, will be turning 40 in June.
The Yankees’ newest acquisition, Roberts, has a long history of injuries ranging from his head and neck down to his knees, not to mention he hasn’t played in over 100 games since 2009. All are planned to be Yankees starters come April.
I agree that Drew is not vital to this team’s success and the Yankees already brought in three other mediocre infielders with similar skill sets this offseason, but this team is skating on thin ice. The Yankees have the most fragile roster in the majors in my opinion, and they need durable guys on the bench if the veteran players start dropping like flies like last season.
If Teixeira, Jeter and Roberts are able to regularly take the field and produce, then there are no problems. But if they fail to do so, which is more likely, Yankee fans will have to get used to guys named, “Who?” taking the field when an onslaught of unproven minor-leaguers rush to the Bronx due to the lack of depth on the Yankees’ bench.