It seems like the season just started, but the trade deadline is quickly approaching, with a little more than a month left. There have been minor deals involving smaller players and prospects, such as the Russell Branyan trade, but no rush of big, juicy deals. The Yankees are always a big player in the trade market, at least in terms of rumors. This year, they are lucky that there are not many of continuing injuries to their key players. Sure there are gaps, but what team doesn’t? None of them! Well, unless you ask Peter Gammons about the Red Sox (I keed, I keed).
Over the next few days, the Canyon will release a series of posts that address the current state of the Yankees at each position. It will examine the health and success of the starter, aptitude of the backups, depth in the minor leagues, and any possible prospects that can arrive this year. If they appear to have a need at a position, possible targets will be discussed.
So without further adieu, let’s step into the Canyon Medical Center office and have a check-up of how the Yankees look. Next up in line, the first basemen.
First, Nick Johnson is not included. He was originally the Yankees’ DH and backup first baseman. He is injured now and for at least most of the season.
Let’s get this out-of-the-way, Teixeira is here, and here to stay. He brings great defense and typically great offense. Both his power and on-base stats are down, but April was the only month where he was unbearable. He hit for a .136 avg and 2 home runs. After that, he has hit for a .266 avg and 11 round-trippers in May and June combined. It isn’t the great numbers the Yankees expected, but definitely not horrible.
His defense, it has been great. Only one error so far, so it seems like the hitting slumps hasn’t hurt his defense. It doesn’t seem necessary to give much more analysis on him, he is our first baseman for the foreseeable future, and with the team until 2016. The only move he would make is to DH, but that would not make any sense, because he is currently defending great. Let’s move onto the more debateable topic.
Should Miranda be up in the big leagues? I would say yes! No, his stats aren’t mind-blowing. He has hit 7 home runs in 40 games, so that would amount to a season pace of 28 home runs, which would be a great bat off the bench. His OBP and SLG are extremely similar to Tex’s numbers. While Mark isn’t having one of his typical years, who wouldn’t love it off the bench?
On the defensive side, Miranda is nothing to write home about. I don’t see why he wouldn’t be able to survive there, but he will surely make you appreciate Tex. Another bonus Miranda brings is his ability to play right field, flexibility is alway a plus.
Jorge Vazquez is the other guy mentioned above. He doesn’t seem to have a chance of making the Yankees, unless for some reason he is added to the 40-man roster and called up in September. One of the guys signed from Mexico, he has power, nothing like Jesus’s, but should be a fine bench player. However, he is 28 years-old, so he won’t develop much more. He has shown power numbers, 31 home runs in 75 games in the Mexican League in 2006 (don’t get too excited, it’s nowhere close to the MLB talent level). He has only played in 19 games of Triple-A ball, so Jorge will likely finish the year there. Next year, should something happen to Miranda, Vazquez could be a useful piece off the bench.
Those are the main guys when talking about Yankees first basemen. They have one big guy, in Tex, and two viable backups, who could fill-in should an injury occur, in Jorge and Juan. Another possible option should a Tex injury occur would be to move Swisher to first base. Originally acquired to be at first base, Nick would have no problem moving there and finding a replacement in RF. We know about Swisher, great OBP and power, and we will talk about him more in-depth during a later review.