Even with Greg Bird, Yankees could target Eric Hosmer
The Yankees have waited a long time for Greg Bird to prove healthy enough to reclaim his starting first base job. But the 24-year-old continues to struggle, which may prompt the club to pursue free agent-to-be Eric Hosmer.
Durability, leadership and production. That’s what Eric Hosmer brings to the table. With a laundry list of potential suitors ready to step up to the plate this offseason for the three-time Gold Glove Winner, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Yankees could be all-in on Hosmer, regardless of how well Bird plays out the remainder of 2017.
"Could he possibly benefit from a Yankees-Red Sox battle? It isn’t out of the question. Boston seems like an obvious choice. But how about the Yankees? They are talking about trying to get below the luxury tax threshold, will need pitching and still seem to hope that Greg Bird will overcome his myriad injuries and become a dependable first-base solution.“They could be in play,” one person close to the team said.But the Yankees are said to love Hosmer, who brings the kind of clutch and leadership they seek. Though, one person with ties to the team suggested they’d give Bird a chance, and Yankees people say they are indeed endeavoring to get below the luxury tax threshold (which could mean waiting for the even bigger stars next winter, such as Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and others)."
Since coming off the disabled list 12 games ago, Greg Bird has done little to quiet the doubters — hitting .143 with two long balls and five RBI during that span.
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After missing all of last season, and only suiting up for 39 big league contests this year, can the organization really pass up on the opportunity to sign a cornerstone type player like Hosmer?
Hosmer has played an average of 151 games per season since becoming a regular in 2012.
Playing half his games in Kauffman Stadium (a pitcher’s park), Hosmer is slashing .323/.390/.506 (career high OPS), has 24 home runs and 86 RBI in addition to his usual .997 fielding percentage.
While it’s easy to say that the Yanks have stayed afloat this year without a true go-to option at first base, can they really envision Chase Headley manning first base in 2018 should Bird go down yet again? NO!
With the expiring contracts of CC Sabathia and Jaime Garcia on the horizon, the club will probably look to secure at least one more arm for the rotation. But outside of adding a shooter or two, which always seems to be a priority, first base will remain a question mark until Bird makes it through a full season unscathed.
Besides, even if the club did sign Hosmer to what I can only imagine being a $100 million-plus contract, they could always plug Bird into the DH role. Doing so would lessen the wear and tear on his body, while allowing Hosmer to replace the likely departure of Matt Holliday as a leader in the clubhouse.
Next: Jaime Garcia beginning to show his worth
Of course, many expect the Royals to do all they can to keep their homegrown star, but if Brian Cashman and company really want their man, there’s no good reason they shouldn’t go all in.