There are still holes in the New York Yankees roster, such as a right-handed bat and an outfielder to back up Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, and Ichiro Suzuki. Last week, our own Benjamin Orr wrote about what’s the big hold up in signing Scott Hairston, who presumably could take over both of those roles. In a lesser capacity, the Yankees have shown interest in outfielder Ben Francsico. It seems as though players will begin signing at a greater rate as we approach Spring Training, so expect the Yankees to acquire players to fill their roster in the coming weeks.
Wally Matthews of ESPN recently reported that Hairston has boiled his suitors down to the Yankees and the New York Mets. Casey Close, Hairston’s agent, said that his client is trying to decide on a team based on the role he’d play. For instance, for the Mets he’d likely start, but will unlikely contend for a championship. Meanwhile, with the Yankees he’d likely be a bench/DH type, but would have a much better chance at a World Series ring.
“I think he’s a good fit for either team. But there are different roles at each place and Scott is deciding which is the best option for him.”
Hairston is a career .247/.302/.449, but hit .263/.299/.504 (118 wRC+) in 377 ABs for the Mets last season. Against lefties, which he’d be slotted against mostly, he’s hit .276/.325/.500 (119 wRC+) over his career. He gives the Yankees a little more versatility than Matt Diaz since he can also play the field, albeit slightly below average.
In other related news, New York Post’s Mark Hale tweeted that the Yankees have shown interest in Ben Francicso for the bench/DH role.
— Mark Hale (@HaleMark) January 7, 2013
Francisco is a tough sell considering he’s a career .257/.326/.425 (101 wRC+) hitter, who has hit .252/.329/.414 (101 wRC+) against lefties in that span. In 2012, he wasn’t particularly pretty against lefties .213/.265/.362 (70 wRC+) in only 102 ABs, so the sample size isn’t much. It would appear that the Yankees are kicking the tires with Francisco just in case Hairston decides to stay in Queens rather than make the trek over to the Bronx.
Finally, in a bit of (un)surprising news, agent Scott Boras asked the Yankees if they’d consider signing Rafael Soriano on a one-year deal, according to a Bob Klapisch tweet:
Told Scott Boras asked #Yankees last month if they’d consider taking Rafael Soriano back on a 1-yr deal. Request flatly denied.
— Bob Klapisch (@BobKlap) January 7, 2013
Soriano is seen as a luxury, and an expensive one at that, for the Yankees bullpen. With Mariano Rivera coming back, and Joba Chamberlain healthy to start Spring Training to go along with the likes of David Robertson and a healthy David Aardsma, the ‘pen is quite stocked these days. On top of that, it appears the Yankees are more interested in acquiring the first-round supplemental draft pick from the team who signs him. All in all, it’s a move for the future and, of course, a money thing.
Stats courtesy of Fangraphs