Thursday, January 10, 2013

WANTED: Outfielder

This is really the last remaining pressing need for the Yankees to fulfill before they begin the season. Let me clarify the title of this post: I'm talking only about right handed outfielders. Let's go from there. The Yankees have inquired on Nationals utility man Michael Morse, who can put up number similar to Nick Swisher when he was in the Bronx. Morse, a right handed hitter, can give the Yankees acceptable defense and is only under team control for the 2013 season, before he becomes a free agent. Morse also plays first base and some shortstop, which is something the Yankees may need with an aging Jeter who will not play 162 games at the position. Morse could be a fit for the Yankees, but at the right price. The Yankees farm system is very low level heavy. They don't have many top prospects who are Major League ready. As a result, in order to obtain Morse the Yankees need to figure out a package that would send two or three average players to the Nats. The Nationals are reportedly seeking a lefty reliever, and I don't think the Yankees are willing to part ways with Boone Logan. If Caesar Cabral is ready by the beginning of the season, I believe the Yankees would be willing to trade a lefty reliever, be it Clay Rapada, Boone Logan or Caesar Cabral.

Another appealing option for the Yankees to look at is Scott Hairston, who has spent the last two seasons as a righty off the bench. Hairston hits extremely well against left handed pitching, and his track record shows that. His .286 average and 11 homers against lefty pitching is what the Yankees are really looking at. They are trying to find a player who would replace Andruw Jones. However, word around the Yankees organization is that they are pessimistic about signing Hairston because he believes that he can receive more at bats with a different team (Mets). Also, Hairston is reportedly seeking a two year contract and that is not something the Yankees feel comfortable doing right now because of their efforts to go under the $189 million luxury tax threshold starting in 2014.

Certainly, there are not many options remaining for the Yankees to choose from but they must find a player or a combination of players who will get them those good at bats against lefty pitching. Morse seems to be a better fit than Hairston because of the contract length and also because of age but you never know with the Yankees. They may already have something up their sleeve.

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