The Yankee DH dilemma – will a familiar face fill the role?

27 Jan

It was only a few weeks ago that Jesus Montero appeared to be the heir apparent to the Yankee DH role for 2012 and possibly the foreseeable  future but that all changed with a trade for Michael Pineda. The Yankees have no clear cut choice for DH bow, but there are some interesting possibilities. We’re not saying they are necessarily likely or even logical, but they are possible. See what makes sense to you.

1. Andruw Jones acts as primary DH with A-Rod, Jeter and Russel Martin being the players primarily rotating through the slot with Jones for half-day breaks.

The Pros: They don’t need to acquire any pieces to make this happen. Jeter and A-Rod are going to need more breaks like this to stay productive over the course of a season – A-Rod more than Jeter.

The Cons: 7 years ago, Andruw  Jones was an ideal DH Now he is a nice role player that can provide a little extra depth in the outfield (limited use) and be a decent pinch hitter. Jones is not a championship caliber option.

2. Yankees sign Hideki Matsui

The Pros: Matsui is NY tested and loved. he will leave it all on the field every time he is in the lineup. Matsui is always an “A” effort guy that is a real class act. He can still produce, better than Jones for sure.

The Cons: Matsui is brittle and losing some bat speed. His power stroke is not what it used to be and you have towonder if he can give them 400 ABs.

3. Yankees sign Johnny Damon

The Pros: Johnny Damon is available and has expressed some interest in heading back. Like Matsui, Damon is a good fit for NY from a personality perspective and he won’t crumble under pressure. He can still hit a bit though and steal when the  D gets lazy. Damon can play some OF still so that is an extra dimension to his value.Damon can still grind out an AB.

The Cons: Damon is a little older and he isn’t a defensive gem. His arm is not any stronger. It is unrealistic to expect more than a dozen dingers from Damon. He isn’t an offensive weapon anymore, and at best he is a decent OBP guy that can possibly add a different look to the bottom of the order.

4. Carlos Lee may be available for the right deal

The Pros: Lee is a guy that can rebound from less than advertised production since going to Houston. Lee can be  a big thunder bat that drives in runs and provides a lot of protection for Cano. Lee can still play the OF and possibly pick up work at first with a little practice to increase his value.

The Cons: Lee needs to be traded for and he won’t be terribly cheap. he has decent money on his deal still, his weight is always an issue and their is no real set of indicators that he is ready to become a prime offensive threat again. Lee is a huge risk/moderate potential type deal for the Yankees and his personality may not play well in NY.

5. Trade for Chase Headley

The Pros: The word on the street that Chase is available. he has a solid enough bat to do what NY needs at DH and can play third better defensively that A-Rod right now. His contract can be absorbed and he adds a lot of flexibility to the lineup.

The Cons: San Diego will hold up anyone trading for Headley to a ransom-like request – particularly a big market team.

What Cashman does is a big question mark. I wouldn’t be surprised to see NY break camp with Jones as the DH and then look to upgrade in season. A lot of what they do at the DH slot is going to depend on what AJ Burnett does. If Burnett is prodcuing, they stand pat. If he falters, they may deal him to try to grab a bat.


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