The Yankees ever aging middle infield is about one injury away from being in trouble. Derek Jeter and Brian Roberts are both older and coming off injury riddled seasons. With Brendan Ryan being activated off the DL, the Yankees middle infield depth looks a lot better. However, Ryan is more of a short stop so there is still infield depth issues. People will look to Kelly Johnson as a potential second baseman, but as it stands right now with the Yankee infield, Johnson is the backup first baseman and third baseman (sitting behind the hot Yangervis Solarte). An injury to one of the middle infielders could cause an issue for the Yankees, and with Solarte playing so strongly at the hot corner, Joe Girardi will not be in favor of moving him to a new position.
FANpeeps is reporting that the Yankees could be in the market for a certain Chicago middle infielder: Darwin Barney. While Barney is not having a great year at the plate, and has never been a good pro hitter, he brings depth and a slick glove. At the end of the day Barney is virtually the same player as Brendan Ryan. Barney may find himself expendable on a Cubs team that is deep with prospects in the infield and are looking to acquire even more prospects.
The report mentions Yankee pitching prospect Manny Banuelos as the possible centerpiece to the trade. Coming off of Tommy John surgery, Banuelos had a long shot at winning a rotation spot in Spring Training, but instead was optioned to AAA to get more experience as a starter. The report says “he’s exactly the type of buy low lottery ticket that Theo Epstein has sought.” That being said, I don’t see why on Earth the Yankees would make this move. Barney adds nothing to their struggling offense and giving up a prospect that was ranked #13 in the league only two years ago for him makes zero sense. Look for the Yankees to make some calls about more offensive players such as the Angel’s Howie Kendrick. The second baseman is hitting .311 this year and has one more year left on his contract. It would be interesting to see them make a play on a player more like that than Darwin Barney.