As we get closer to the season, news is beginning to pick up. However, one prevailing story is the one where GM Brian Cashman is looking for a right-handed bat, and he might have found one, but it’ll take some prospects and/or players off the 25-man roster in order to acquire him. Also, the Yankees are thin at the catching position and got a scare down in the Venezuelan Winter League. Finally, the Yankees will play one exhibition game — maybe more — at Nationals Park on their way back up from Spring Training.
According to Jon Heyman the Yankees are hot on the heels of acquiring Nationals outfielder/first baseman Michael Morse.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 8, 2013
This should come as little surprise to Yankees fans. Morse has hit well since leaving the Seattle Mariners and joining the Washington Nationals. The 30-year-old is basically the righty equivalent of Nick Swisher, except he never walks. He can certainly mash though, he’s averaged a .221 ISO since moving to the Nationals in 2009. YGY’s Matt Hunter will have more on Michael Morse later today, so stay tuned.
With Russell Martin gone, and prospect Austin Romine reportedly starting the season in AAA, the Yankees can ill afford to lose any catching depth right now. In an article from Wallace Matthews of ESPN, Francisco Cervelli suffered a whiplash injury while playing in the Venezuelan Winter League a few days ago. Luckily, Cervelli is fine after an MRI came back clean:
“It was just a case of us being overly cautious,” Cashman said. “He’s fine and we’re sending him back to Venezuela to finish out the season.”
Cervelli is no stranger to head and neck injuries, as he has suffered three concussions over his career. He wears a larger batting helmet now after being plunked in the head a few years ago to offer more protection. The Yankees need him to stay relatively healthy since he’ll be battling for starting catcher this season alongside Chris Stewart.
Finally, in another Matthews story, the Yankees will play an exhibition game against the Nationals on their way back up to the Bronx before facing the Boston Red Sox in the season opener. The Nationals and Yanks will play at Nationals Park on March 29, with tickets not made public yet.
Matthews also offered this little nugget:
Although it has yet to be finalized, the Yankees may also be play one more pre-season game, at the United States Military Academy at West Point, on Saturday, March 30 before heading to New York for their annual Welcome Home dinner and the season opener on Monday, April 1.