Yankees assistant general manager Billy Eppler was on MLB Network radio yesterday and said basically the same thing Joe Girardi said about the third base situation: The Yankees are fully prepared to sort through a bunch of less establish options and “go to war” with whoever emerges from that group in spring training.
“Our eyes are always going to stay open,” Eppler said. “We’ll look left, we’ll look right, we’ll look under rocks and see if something can work itself out and make sense. But with Kelly Johnson, who we spoke to earlier in the (off)season, you know, before we came to an agreement with him. We talked to him about playing third base, and he’s had limited time at third base, but we did talk to him about preparing to play a little bit of third base as well as second base, and there’s outfield as well. So, just the flexibility that he brings, also the left-handed bat aspect of it, is helpful for us.
“Eduardo Nunez played a lot of third base at the end of last season, and played it particularly well. So you couple those two with Dean Anna and a couple other minor league guys that we’re hopeful and close on, and just go to war with that.”
Eppler also echoed Girardi’s statements about feeling the need to further reinforce the pitching staff. It seems to be an obvious need, and it’s not one that’s escaped the Yankees attention.
“Most definitely,” Eppler said. “We would love to add to the rotation or the bullpen if we can. We entered the offseason focused on supplementing our lineup and bracing for the potential departure of free agents, which happened, but we also feel that we’ve added some very accomplished personnel, very accomplished players, with McCann and Beltran and Ellsbury and Johnson. So, we like the complexion of our lineup, but we would like to focus on the rotation or the bullpen if we can and the opportunity presents itself.”