Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Who will replace Curtis Granderson?

For the record, I would be shocked if the New York Yankees took Johnny Damon up on his offer to cover for Curtis Granderson for the first month of the 2013 baseball season.

Nor do I believe we are primed for an Alfonso Soriano return to the Bronx, even if the Chicago Cubs decide to kick in some salary to move him. But the quest to replace Granderson is on, a mere two days after Grandy had the rotten luck of getting hit by a pitch and breaking his arm in his first spring training at-bat.

I expect the Yankees to turn to one of their internal candidates since his disabled list stint is only supposed to keep him out for the first five weeks of the regular season. None of the potential candidates – Juan Rivera, Melky Mesa or Matt Diaz – will put up Grandy-like numbers, but I’m sure one or a combination of them could hold down the fort for a month.  

The Yankees have been committed to reducing their payroll and adding another high-priced, aging player goes against that plan. But a recent report indicated that Hal Steinbrenner may be spooked by reaction to that plan and indifference toward the team shown by fans of late, as demonstrated by the empty seats in the ballpark in October. While I do believe he is willing to pay to keep Robinson Cano after this season, I don’t think this means Steinbrenner will open up his wallet to pursue another star outfielder to deal with what is essentially a short-term problem.

Bottom line, Yankees spring training games will be worth watching to see which outfielder can step up and replace Grandy, just for a little while.

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