When I made my list of the Yankees offseason priorities, I intentionally left out the need for infield depth. I think it’s a legitimate need, but I think Brian Cashman is on the right track when he suggests the Yankees might not go after that sort of thing during the offseason.
“Sometimes you don’t get all those pieces in place in the winter time,” he said. “And we utilize the summer to do that.”
Yes, the Yankees need to give Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter occasional days off, but even in a year when Rodriguez spent time on the disabled list, Ramiro Pena had only 154 at-bats. Pena or Eduardo Nunez can fill occasional holes in the infield next year, and if the Yankees decide they need more than occasional place-fillers, they can get a guy mid-season.
Bottom line, if the Yankees are going to pay for a guy to get 150 to 200 at-bats, they’re not going after much more than someone like Jerry Hairston Jr., Mike Fontenot or Pedro Feliz, all of whom were traded for low-end prospects the past two seasons.
If the Yankees decide they need more than 150 to 200 at-bats from of their utility guy, that’s not something they’re going to find out until mid-season anyway and there’s no sense spending that money up front if it might not be necessary. Just this year, Cristian Guzman, Miguel Tejada and Jhonny Peralta were traded mid-season. Solid replacements can be found if absolutely necessary.
The Yankees need to be prepared to fill a spot in the infield, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they need to make move right now. Not all needs are offseason needs.
Associated Press photo of Pena