With Alex Rodriguez out for four to seven weeks with a broken left hand, the New York Yankees are searching the trade market for any available players who could play part-time and fill in for A-Rod at third base. While monitoring the market, the Yankees have gathered a list of players they will look to acquire, if the price is right, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Currently the Yankees are using Eric Chavez and Jayson Nix at third base to replace Rodriguez. Chavez has been productive, batting .258 with eight home runs in limited time, but his body can no longer handle playing third base full-time. Nix has done a solid job as well, batting .250 with four home runs, but he is better suited as the team's utility man who fills in when a star player needs a day off. Eduardo Nunez is currently recovering from a hand injury, but could be called up by the Yankees at some point to fill in as well.
Topping New York's list is Chase Headley of the San Diego Padres, though a deal is not likely because Headley is drawing plenty of interest around the league and San Diego is expecting top prospects in return. Other players on New York's radar include Willie Bloomquist, Brendan Ryan, Yunel Escobar, Chone Figgins, Ty Wigginton, Jose Lopez, and Cody Ransom.
Mark Reynolds and Scott Rolen could be on the list as well, but are seen as long shots. The Baltimore Orioles are trailing the Yankees in the AL East and are in the middle of the Wild Card race, so trading a veteran power-hitter within the division is unlikely. Rolen isn't likely either, as his days as a full-time player are behind him and his team, the Cincinnati Reds, are also competing for a playoff spot.
Escobar is one of the team's younger options, but he is a shortstop and has made a reputation of being a bad clubhouse guy. Figgins is a versatile player who could fill in at third base then play other positions once Rodriguez returns, but his .181 batting average is a downgrade from A-Rod's current replacements. The price tag on Ransom or Ryan wouldn't be too expensive, but their bats don't seem to be an upgrade from New York's current platoon either. Wigginton has some pop in his bat, shown by his nine home runs this year, but the Philadelphia Phillies are undecided on whether they will buy or sell before the trade deadline.
Bloomquist, however, is a very intriguing option. He is batting .299 with 20 doubles and 20 RBI this year for the Arizona Diamondbacks, with a .324 average in the month of July and a .354 average since the All-Star break. The 34 year-old veteran also has experience playing all three outfield positions and middle infield, making him an excellent utility man once A-Rod returns. On a power-hitting team such as the Yankees, another speedy contact-hitter like Bloomquist, with experience batting at the top of the order as well as the bottom, could be very valuable during the postseason.
The trade deadline is Tuesday, July 31st. If the Yankees can not work out a trade, they could turn to the free agent market to find a cheap, part-time infielder that could become available after team's make moves and replace players at the deadline. However, the team does not feel desperate to make a move, so don't expect the Yankees to panic and overpay for a player who isn't worth it.
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