With Xavier Nady injured and facing surgery or lengthy rehab, the Yankees currently have Melky Cabrera as their best bench bat. This is a far cry from the start of the season in which they were certain to have a starting caliber bat on the pine. This poses a problem in terms of depth, as evidenced by Cody Ransom getting two at bats late in yesterday’s one run game. There are a few options for the Yankees to pursue to try and bolster the bench.
I believe that it was George King who mentioned Austin Kearns and Jason Repko. Being that there are equivalent players freely available, I would not go the trade route if those were our best options. If we could bring back Elijah Dukes or Lastings Milledge, I would be more amenable to a trade.
1) Jim Edmonds- As I have mentioned on various occasions, Edmonds would be a perfect fit on this club. He is a left handed power bat off the bench who can start in CF if Brett Gardner cannot get it done. He would not require a long-term investment, making him a great placeholder until Austin Jackson arrives, and he can easily be released should he struggle. The one caveat is that the Yankees may want to replace Nady with a right handed bat.
2) Wily Mo Pena- Pena is a classic bench bat in that he has great power and could hit some important home runs if used properly. However, he is awful in the field and is an extremely limited hitter outside of his ability to hit the ball a long way when he happens to connect. I think he is the weakest of the free agent options.
3) Geoff Jenkins- Jenkins is a solid lefty bat who has been in a bit of a decline for the last two seasons. He is adequate in the field by most accounts, although age is starting to slow him down out there as well. He is likely to provide production slightly lower than that of Edmonds, while being less versatile defensively. However, he is also 5 years younger than Jim. Not a bad choice should the Yankees decide to go there.
4) Frank Catalanotto- Catalanotto and Jenkins are very similar players, although Frank has a bit less power and reaches base with some more frequency. Catalanotto is more versatile defensively, but is not great at any of the myriad defensive positions he can play. He is another lefty bat, and I would think that he would also be behind Edmonds on a Yankee wish list.
1) Austin Jackson- Quite frankly, Juan Miranda’s inability to hit lefties or play anywhere other than first base takes him out of the running for this job. Austin Jackson is the only player who the Yankees can call upon from their minor league system to fill this hole. Jackson is killing AAA pitching, but I doubt the Yankees would want to call him up at this point. The only way I would consider this move would be if the Yankees moved Nick Swisher or Johnny Damon to DH, Hideki Matsui to the bench, and allowed Jackson to play everyday. Even then, Jackson needs to develop his defense in CF and his bat is unlikely to play in the corners, making this move a shortsighted one.
I think the Yankees should ink Jim Edmonds as soon as possible. What is your solution? Do you think the Yankees need another bat?
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