How thin are the Yankees options to replace Mark Teixeira? This morning, Brian Cashman acknowledged calling around to retired players to gauge their interest. He’s specifically called about Derrek Lee, Chipper Jones and Scott Rolen.
“I’d rather say it shows how creative we would like to be,” Cashman said. “… We’re looking at what we have here. We’re going to look at what’s playing outside of here. And we’re going to look at – in a few, select cases – what’s not playing at all. But that, what’s not playing at all category, those are unique players in my opinion. Past that, if you’re not playing, there’s a reason for it.”
The most serious conversations seem to have taken place with Lee, who last played in the big leagues in 2011 when he hit 19 home runs with the Pirates and Orioles.
“I reached out to him,” Cashman said. “I expressed an interest. He’s the type of player that is Yankee-like in terms of capabilities when he was playing and makeup for the clubhouse and stuff like that. I just planted the seed, if you have an interest in thinking of playing, let me know. … I just wanted to make him aware that it’s something I’m thinking about if he has any thoughts on it. As of right now, he’s not here obviously. I think he was intrigued. That’s where we’re at.”
As for Rolen, Cashman said he doesn’t expect anything to happen on that front.
“I had a conversation but nothing to report,” Cashman said. “I think he chose not to play. I think he had a legitimate offer from the Reds and he chose not to play is my understanding.”
The Jones conversation was much more of a Hail Mary. Cashman didn’t have a phone number for Jones’ agent, so he literally asked reporters to tweet about the Yankees having an interest. And it worked. Within minutes, Jones’ agent had responded by saying Jones has no interest in playing.
As a fun oddity about this already odd conversation with reporters, Cashman constantly referred to Jones as Larry instead of Chipper. It’s technically correct, but still…
“I’d take Larry in a heartbeat, I think everybody would,” Cashman said. “(But) I think if Larry was interested in playing, the team he’s got there in Atlanta would be the easiest one to come back for.”