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Yankees Have Limited Free Agent Options At Third Base

Gregory Shamus, Getty Images
Gregory Shamus, Getty Images

The New York Yankees are between A-Rod and hard place in trying to find a fix at third base.

With Alex Rodriguez expected to miss the first half of the 2013 season due to hip surgery and rehab, GM Brian Cashman is finding the pool of available 3B free agents is limited, or as he told Yankees.com, there is ‘a very limited sandbox to play in.’

Cashman has reportedly had discussions with Mark Reynolds and, believe it or not, Kevin Yukolis – a staple of the rival Red Sox for years, before he was traded by Boston last year.

The Yukolis offer is reportedly one-year, $12-million. Troubling in that coupled with A-Rod’s $30 million, the Yanks would paying a total of $42 at that one position.

However, if the plan is to keep A-Rod with the team when he returns from hip surgery, and for the duration of his contract (through the 2017 season) I think there are several other plausible options:

  • Placido Polanco
  • Mark DeRosa
  • Miguel Ciaro
  • Brandon Inge
  • Scott Rolen

All five free agents are 35 and older, but again, I’m working under the assumption the Yankees are looking for a half-season fix, not a long term option.

Eric Chavez, who filled in at the hot-corner last year, has signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks for one-year and $3-million. He’s not great, but it sure makes you wonder why Cashman didn’t cling to the former All-Star after in light of A-Rod’s benching in the playoffs, and his upcoming surgery. In 278 at bats last season, Chavez hit .281 with 16 HR’s and 37 RBI.

New York still has Eduardo Nunez under contract. He’s a decent option in the lineup – hitting .292 last year – but a liability, to say the least, in the field. Nunez made seven errors in just 33 games last season. By comparison, Derek Jeter had a team high ten errors, but in 160 games. Rodriguez was second most with eight errors in 119 games.

Casey McGehee – who the Yankees traded for during the 2012 season, then optioned to the minors – is a free agent, as well, but don’t expect Cashman to put any stock in McGehee as a serious replacement option.

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