Yankees’ Rumors: Pinstripe Panda?


There are some mighty big gaps to fill on this New York Yankees team heading into 2015. There is much uncertainty with the health of the returning pitching staff and there are some question marks in right field, as well as second and third base. Let’s not kid ourselves, there is a gaping whole at short stop and there is never anything close to a guarantee that the Yankees will get more than 50 games out of Mark Teixeira.

Branden Kuty of NJ.com seems to think that the Yankees have some interest in third baseman free-agent-to-be Pablo Sandoval. His source, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, thinks that the Yanks, Red Sox and Dodgers will all be in on the Big Panda Sweepstakes as they have the money to bring in the 2012 World Series MVP. What does that mean for the Yankees?

I’m not so sure Sandoval is the right move for the Yankees. It has little to do with his talent, but more so to do with his cost. Kuty believes that it is going to take $100 million deal to get Sandoval signed and on today’s market he isn’t far off in his thinking.

The Yankees already have Alex Rodriguez scheduled to return to the line-up in 2015. Now, whether or not he will be at third or DH with his busted hips is still in question and that seems to be why Sandoval is attractive. However, Rodriguez is owed $21 million this coming season. He is going to play whether we like it or not. Do the Yankees want to invest $20 million a year in an insurance policy whose own health issues seem to have him headed for a permanent DH role in a few short seasons?

Chase Headley seemed to enjoy his time in New York and would be considerably cheaper than bringing in Sandoval. Unfortunately, with the uncertainty of where A-Rod fits in, Headley will most likely be looking for a starting gig in his free agency. That being said, if the Yankees decide to go with A-Rod at DH, Headley could re-sign at a more salary friendly $12 million a year deal.

Sandoval is an attractive target, but I am not so sure he is the right fit for the Yankees. He is a consistent hitter, with a career .294 average and has averaged about 18 home runs a year. He does come with some concern, with both weight concerns and ensuing injury issues over his early career. Do the Yankees need to get tied down in another long-term big-salary contract with future health risks? It seems like this roster is already full with players of that caliber, and Sandoval may not be the help the Yankees need.