The New York Yankees are on pace for only 132 home runs this season. To put that in perspective, the 2013 Yankees, the worst offensive Yankees team in twenty-one years, hit 144 homers. There is no doubt that the Yankees need to find some offense and with the trade deadline slowly approaching the Yankees will be linked to all sorts of trades. One rumor making the rounds lately is that the Yankees are interested in John Mayberry, Jr. of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Mayberry, 30, is not a stud but he is a very capable player who has played well off the bench for the Phillies. This season, Mayberry is hitting .256/.363/.526 with five home runs and six doubles in 91 at-bats. He owns a career line of .246/.308/.436 with 51 career homers in 1323 at-bats. His best season came in 2011 when he hit 15 homers with a .273/.341/.513 slash line. He also owns a .275/.328/.536 slash line against lefties with 28 homers in 461 at-bats.
With Mayberry’s ability to play both corner outfield spots as well as first base, Mayberry would be a versatile player to add to Joe Girardi’s bench and give the Yankees a legitimate weapon against left-handed pitching. Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman has already sent scouts to look in on Mayberry during the Phillies’ trip to play the Atlanta Braves.
The Phillies are most likely leaning towards trying to rebuild and that could begin before the deadline as the Phillies still own the seventh worst record in all of baseball. Mayberry could be one of the more sought after players as he is still under team control as an arbitration eligible player through 2016. Adding Mayberry would make a ton of sense for the Yankees who would need a legitimate backup first baseman to guard against losing Mark Teixeira who, while healthy now, has not had the best of luck over the last couple of seasons.
Adding Mayberry would also give the Yankees the option of moving away from using Alfonso Soriano so often and could possibly lead to cutting ties with Soriano. This season, Soriano has looked completely done. He has hit just .229/.253/.390 with six homers after hitting 17 home runs and slashing .256/.325/.525 after coming to the Yankees last season. However, this season, Soriano looks like he aged 20 years and has been a bit of a black hole with 64 strikeouts in 217 at-bats.
Mayberry won’t cost a ton but won’t be cheap either given the years of team control. However, he does fit the Yankees’ roster and would bring some much needed pop to the lineup against left-handed pitching.