Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner indicated that while the upmost goal is to reduce payroll, he still takes pride in putting out a "championship-caliber" team. In reaffirming his commitment to competing for a championship, he further confirmed the Yankees are not done adding players and are looking to add some lumber. Seeing as one of the glaring weaknesses of this team is a lack of right-handed presence in a predominantly left-handed outfield, let's take a look at the options to fill that right-handed role (this list being comprised with the notion that that Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton will not be traded)
- Vernon Wells — owed a ridiculous $42 million over the next two years, Wells could potentially provide some pop off the bench. However, hard to be inspired about this one as his production has gradually gone down each year since the Angels took on his massive deal in 2011. Furthermore, his playing time has decreased each year. Speaks volumes that they would let their $42 million man ride the pine. Pass.
- Scott Hairston — across town, Hairston enjoyed a career season as a New York Met, smashing 20 home runs and driving in 57 runs. Unfortunately, while the Yankees are in play for his services, the Mets are capable of offering Hairston an everyday role. Doesn't sound likely to make his way to the Bronx.
- Michael Morse — affectionately known as "The Beast" to the Washington Nationals faithful, Morse has become available for trade with the Nats' resigning of free agent Adam LaRoche. A masher with two-way power, Morse is less known for his glove and more known for his bat. However, with one-year remaining at $6.75 million on his current deal, Morse financially makes the most sense.
- Justin Upton — the grand jewel of the players available this offseason, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi reports that Upton rejected a trade that would have sent him to the Seattle Mariners, meaning Upton is back at square one. It's no secret the Arizona Diamondbacks are trying to move their superstar and the Yankees are not on his "no-trade" list. While the dollars are a little North of what the Yankees have in mind, the fact that Upton is only 25 years old and is one of the true young stars in the game could make him an interesting option to be donning pinstripes. There's been no discussion of the Yankees being in play for his services as of yet, but it is the Yankees and nothing is ever off the table.
The most realistic and viable choice seems to be Morse, as the finances and his ability to come off the bench and produce are very appealing to the Yankees. However, a trade for Upton would be a vintage Yankees move and would give the organization and its fans some youth to look forward too as the rest of this lineup ages. Never the less, it should be an interesting final few weeks of the offseason as spring training approaches.
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