Houston Astros first baseman Brett Wallace.Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
Mark Teixeira isn’t sure how his wrist will treat him this season, coming off of surgery last summer, and that raises the concern of how much he will be able to play for the Yankees in 2014.
With that said, if Teixeira isn’t in the lineup, playing first base, we have no idea who will be.
The Yankees don’t have any reasonable options on the current roster right now. Kelly Johnson can play some first base, but I’m sure that’s not a road the Yankees would prefer to take. This is where Brett Wallace, the title question, comes into play.
Wallace was designated by the Houston Astros on Thursday in order to make room for newly signed pitcher Jerome Williams. Although, Wallace has played well under expectations the past few years for the Astros, I still think that there is some good upside that the Yankees might be able to find in him.
For starters, he’s only 27-years-old. Even though he was once ranked the game’s 27th overall prospect, Wallace never earned more than 379 plate appearances in a season and accumulated a .242/.313/.391 slash, with 29 home runs, in 1,077 plate appearances.
In Houston last year, he hit just .221 in 285 at-bats, striking out over 100 times with just 18 walks.
He came up to the big leagues as a corner infielder, but has spent most of his time at first base. Being able to play the hot corner could also help the Yankees out with the lack of depth at third base.
One thing worth nothing: Wallace is out of minor league options, so any team looking to trade him during his DFA period would have to show some faith in him being able to make their roster out of spring training, and stay there during the season without playing poor enough to get himself cut.
In the end, I do think that the Yankees should take a chance on him, if that wasn’t already made clear above. They really need someone to be there if something unfortunate happens with Teixeira.
There aren’t a lot of options on the market, and Wallace, could end up being a Lyle Overbay-type player for the Bombers — he’ll hit in the mid-.200’s, pop a home run here and there, and give you some decent defense.