I can’t imagine all that playing time would mean, but it seems likely that he makes some kind of move as a utility man.
The Rays, while lacking a first baseman for the foreseeable future, appear intent on adding a guy who can hit. So they signed Ryan Hanigan to another major league deal. More on that shortly. And finally, because of their short offseason and the high likelihood that they won’t find a huge deal for Robinson Cano, they signed free agent outfielder Mark Melancon to replace the expiring contract he signed with Oakland. Now, the Yankees have no clear opening for a new first baseman because they might very well sign Mark Teixeira - just as soon as they can bring back Didi Gregorius. That’s pretty clear. However, that could make them in a bind if Mark Teixeira decides to join a rival team. The Orioles are in position to be sellers for him - which to date hasn’t happened - while the Marlins have no reason to want to trade a player who is making over $20 million. It also allows the Yankees to sign Teixeira if and only if the Marlins aren’t able to offer Teixeira anything other than a return for his services. I don’t know of any other organizations (other than the Red Sox in 2011) that have even discussed Teixeira’s availability to other teams, though I doubt anyone in the Yankees front office has publicly talked about his availability. For those of you who don’t really want to know why the Yankees weren’t able to find a better first baseman, I can suggest this article on the Baseball Prospectus site : Why the Yankees Did Not Sign Alex Rodriguez . I’m sure people hate me for this, but I believe there is good research (i.e. linked by this site, as well as many of the other links here) to explain that the Yankees were looking for a cheap third baseman who might be the perfect fit for their “make the most out of your best players” attitude. You can find a better explanation of this on this site (or in a link at the very bottom of that page you can click to read it). My main point here is that the Yankees were simply trying to avoid being one of the teams on the hot seat with another hot star who would be a huge problem for them to sell him on joining them. The Yankees are not desperate for a third baseman. The best the Yankees can do is not sell him. With Mark Teixeira they are not facing a problem. In a perfect world they would have signed Melancon to a 2 year deal with a $5 million buyout, and then used the money to sign another player. This way, Melancon would be guaranteed $3.6 million next season, with an additional $6 million due in 2016. This effectively makes Melancon more than a good fit for New York, and would have prevented much of the pain that happened to Teixeira when he tried to sign with another team. In reality though, Melancon would just be an emergency addition. He can’t do anything with the money, other than play regular season and post season baseball. If they are serious about making a run at the World Series, which they should, they should spend $5 million in cash on a year of Melancon’s services. Here’s the kicker though - I think Melancon gets them over the hump, because he’s a pretty good player. They might not have a good third baseman with $15-16 million of production on the farm, so Melancon would provide valuable insurance. It’s true that Melancon doesn’t have good range, but he could play out of the lead off spot and be a good situational bench bat.
One other thing to think about is the Yankees did sign Josh Powell to a minor league deal. They do not have a third baseman on their books that would be a good fit, and so with Teixeira out they will have to think about the other prospects they have in reserve for him. In addition, the Yankees do not play on Thursdays from now until the World Series when they play all of their games on Sundays. Because of how they play baseball, they would most likely not be able to afford to sign multiple free agent third baseman to cheap multi-year deals (such as Chris Young), so they will need to make some kind of decision based on their team situation - which might mean signing Melancon, and then trading him at the deadline. As I was reading this earlier today, I realized what kind of player Melancon is. What a great fit for the Yankees:
From a pure baseball standpoint, Melancon is a pretty great player. His most obvious asset is his athleticism. He has the physical tools to