All seems to be quiet on the New York Yankees front. Stephen Drew doesn’t seem to be on the radar. Probably no interest at this point in free agent bullpen guys like Joel Hanrahan or Andrew Bailey who could help later on in the season. (Why? I’m not too sure). There are two players who may not be Yankees come Opening Night in Houston.
One is Ichiro Suzuki. To say he isn’t the player he once was is pretty accurate. Out of all the free agents the Yankees signed going into last year, he was the only guy who was given two years, and it’s fair to see the Yankees probably aren’t thrilled they did that right now. Ichiro will probably get his fair share of at-bats if he were to remain with the team. Carlos Beltran will probably miss time at some point. The DH spot is going to rotate between him, Alfonso Soriano, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann.
Ichiro is still a capable defender, but to me they would be better served with Zoilo Almonte in the bench spot. You had to like Almonte’s approach at the plate last year in limited time. He, like so many other Yankees missed time due to injury. The Yankees could use Ichiro as trade bait for a veteran reliever like J.J. Putz, who’s contract also expires, or as my co-editor Billy Brost suggested, Jonathan Papelbon.
Behind the dish, Austin Romine may find himself on the block as well. The Yankees didn’t exactly get great production out of the catcher position. Romine, in 148 plate appearances, had a .207/.255/.296 line with a homer and 10 RBI. Romine will probably find himself as the odd man out since the Yankees have five catchers on the 40 man roster. McCann and probably Francisco Cervelli will be at the big league level. J.R. Murphy is a better hitter and pretty close defensively with Romine. Gary Sanchez is the catcher of the future. Catcher isn’t very deep in the major leagues, so the Yankees might be able to pick up an arm or an infielder for Romine.
The Yankees roster seems to be pretty set right now, however, Ichiro and Romine could find themselves on the outside looking in if the Yankees try to fill other holes on the roster.