One more day before the Yankees make their decision. Or at least, one more day before they announce their decision.
Andy Pettitte will come off the disabled list tomorrow, and the Yankees will decide who stays and who goes. The most logical roster setup — to backup each position and bring some left-right balance to the lineup — requires that the Yankees cut ties with Lyle Overbay, but Overbay’s been terrific and provides valuable insurance behind Mark Teixeira and Travis Hafner, who players with a history of injuries.
“I would never tell you the move we were going to make before we make the move,” Joe Girardi said. “Because, A: There’s feelings in that clubhouse. B: You don’t ever want a guy feeling like he’s going to be the guy going down, and (he’s) just kind of a lame duck. So I would never give you any idea what we were going to do because my job is to get the most out of the guys in the room, and they are all very important to us. The other thing is, something could happen before Monday.”
At this point, what are you hoping the Yankees will do? And more importantly, what are you expecting them to do? Here are five options, some more realistic than others.
Option David Adams to Triple-A
Technically speaking, the Yankees don’t need Adams any more. Youkilis can play third base every day, Jayson Nix/Reid Brignac can back up every infield position, and Adams has cooled considerably after that red hot start. Yet the Yankees are giving every indication — in a Brian Cashman radio interview, in Girardi’s pregame press conferences — that Adams isn’t going anywhere. The Yankees need a right-handed hitter to DH against lefties, and Adams gives them that.
Designate Lyle Overbay for assignment
With Travis Hafner at DH and Mark Teixeira at first base, there’s really nothing for Overbay to do on a regular basis. Hafner has been a better hitter, Teixeira has been a better overall player, and it’s worth wondering whether the Yankees can give a roster spot to a pinch hitter who provides no defensive flexibility. Hard to imagine Overbay clearing waivers, and it’s also hard to gauge the trade value of a platoon first baseman who’s had two good months.
Option Brennan Boesch to Triple-A
Boesch doesn’t have an everyday role, but he does have a role. Right now, he’s the only true outfielder on the bench. The only thing that gives the Yankees the option of sending him to Triple-A is the fact Jayson Nix can play the outfield corners and could serve the unusual role of platoon shortstop and backup outfielder. But obviously that wouldn’t be ideal. It’s especially not ideal because Ichiro Suzuki has been wildly unpredictable this season, and Vernon Wells has gone cold after his hot start.
Designate Reid Brignac for assignment
This one seems like a real long shot to me, but I’ve heard it mentioned — not by anyone with the Yankees — so I’ll mention it here. The Yankees could decide to play Nix everyday at shortstop and assume that either Adams or Robinson Cano could handle the position in a real emergency. They’ve played without a backup shortstop other times this season, but that was only because of injuries to Eduardo Nunez. Now that Nunez is on the DL, and not particularly close to coming back, it’s hard for me to believe the Yankees could cut ties with a good fielder who bats left-handed.
Go with a six-man bullpen
It seems to be a safe assumption that the Yankees will get rid of a position player, but for the sake of argument, is it possible they’ll temporarily get rid of a reliever to buy some more time before making a decision on Overbay? This is another scenario that seems unrealistic, especially now that they’re down to just one reliever who’s capable of pitching more than a couple of innings at a time. It’s hard to see this happening — especially knowing that neither Vidal Nuno or Ivan Nova can be recalled for another week or so — but I suppose it’s technically an option.
Associated Press photo