While Joe Girardi sat at lunch with the Yankees beat writers, two potential third basemen came off the board.
Jeff Keppinger has signed with the White Sox for three years, $12 million. Eric Chavez has signed with the Diamondbacks for one year, $3 million. Girardi acknowledged that the Yankees had talked about both players. Now the team’s third base situation is as uncertain as ever, with two options — a pair that might have been a nice platoon combination — no longer on the market.
A few thoughts…
• There’s plenty to like about both players, but it says a lot about the state of the Yankees offense that there’s a “what are they going to do now” reaction to guys like Keppinger and Chavez coming off the board. Those are complimentary players, not high-impact guys, yet the third base situation is so uncertain that losing those two really does feel like a huge blow.
• I can understand not wanting to give Keppinger a three-year deal, but one year, $3 million for Chavez? Why not match or top that deal? Wonder if Chavez simply wanted to stay at home in Arizona and money wasn’t a huge issue. Also wonder if the Yankees had major concerns about his health.
• Recognizing that his defense has been a real problem, at this point doesn’t Eduardo Nunez have to be the top internal candidate to be the Yankees starting third baseman? Give David Adams, Corban Joseph and Ronnier Mustelier a look, but Nunez is the most proven player in the bunch. If all else fails — and surely the Yankees will do something eventually — who’s a better option than Nunez?
• In this market, it might be better to start focusing on the less obvious solutions. Brian Cashman has surprised us before, but so far, the only surprise is how little the Yankees have done.
Associated Press photo