So who will be the Yankees DH now?

Unfortunately, I don’t think a Pena signing is all that realistic. He’s in high enough demand from solid teams looking for starters who would probably be offering him more money and playing time than the Yankees will that I don’t think he’ll ultimately want to sign on to be a role player in New York. If anything, my guess is that Scott Boras is putting this out there to put some pressure on the Rays to get moving.

So what else is there? Well, there are other free agents out there, but I don’t know how attractive they really are. Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez would be cheaper, but I don’t think they’d really provide a whole lot of value at this stage of their careers. Russell Branyan could fill the left-handed side of a platoon with Jones quite nicely if you think his 2011 season was just a blip (and he seems to enjoy playing at the new Yankee Stadium to boot, I might add). Ditto for Ryan Ludwick and J.D. Drew, though the latter would also have to overcome his affinity for the disabled list. All of those guys would make sense, and could probably be had for the right price if the Yankees think they can hit right-handers well in the coming campaign.

Some people will speculate that, after a few years of talking about it, the Yankees will finally go to a rotating DH of sorts, with Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter spending a lot of time in the slot, but I don’t really think they’ll do that. It’s just not a very efficient allocation of resources, and it forces Eduardo Nunez and whatever other backup infielder they come up with to essentially become an everyday player, while crimping their flexibility with their bench. Besides, Jeter has some pretty noticeable platoon splits, so if he needs a rest, it would make more sense to just give him a few more regular days off against right-handed starters. A-Rod, on the other hand, may force the team’s hand if he can’t stay healthy going forward, but a big chunk of the value he provided last year came by way of his defense, so I don’t think the Yankees want to cross that bridge until they absolutely have to.

Of course, in keeping with the spirit of the past 30 hours, they could come up with an out of the blue acquisition no one really foresees right now. I saw RAB’s Mike Axisa bring up the old Dellin Betances-for-Dominic Brown swap rumors, which would be pretty awesome.

Then again, the answer to the question may lie closer to hearth and heart. Jorge Posada hasn’t officially retired yet, and he did hit .269/.348/.466 against right handers last year, better than Damon, Ludwick, Drew, Branyan, and pretty much all of the other stand out platoon options. Might Jorge take a modest salary and a strict platoon role for one more campaign with the Bombers? If he would, he may be the best man from the job from a sentimental and rational standpoint.

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

26 thoughts on “So who will be the Yankees DH now?

  1. Sign Wilson Betamit. He will come cheaply and can backup ARod at third thus killing two birds with one stone. Jones mashes lefties. Betamit mashes righties. You can platoon them at DH when no one is in need of a day off.

      • Dominc Brown – Phillies are an aging team. Why would they trade their best position player on a package based around a pitcher when they are already stacked with pitchers already? Doesn't make sense.

        Prince – No way hes going to sign a one year deal. Keep dreaming. The Yankees had to expand payroll for the ten million to sign him what do you think one year of Prince will be? If hes for whatever crazy reason willing to even field that call, the price will go up because he isn't getting years. Pipe dream.

        Carlos Pena – Power patience and defense. Why sign for DH when other teams want you for a first baseman and you can play everyday? When hes so good with the glove he is willing to throw it away to be a part time DH with the Yankees? Nope.

        Betamit – Cheaper than the above options which is definitely something that you have to consider. He owns a .365 wOBA against righties. Fills two holes. Still don't see where this doesn't make more sense than the above options.

        • Pena's defense is over rated. In 11 seasons he has a negative dWAR in 9 of them, with a negative of at least .5 in 8 and 2 seasons of over a win lost due to defense. That said, I'd love to watch him hit 40 home runs with an average below .200 at Yankee Stadium next year.

    • I agree with you Michael. I think that would be a good solution to the DH dilemma. I also like Pena, if they could possibly swing it.

  2. I'm assuming that if they did acquire Domonic Brown, he'd DH strictly this season, and then take over for Swish next year while they let Swisher walk? It'd save them money, and get them younger, at the cost of some pitching though.

    I will pitch my own idea though, and you can bash it if you like, but why not make the swap for Brown, trade Swisher to another team for a valuable prospect, then get rid of Burnett and Garcia for what you can. I'm sure that come to it all, they could probably save atleast 17 million from dealing Swisher, Burnett and Garcia. That money could be used to pitch Scott Boras and Prince Fielder the idea of coming to play in the Bronx for one season. A deal which could be pitched because Fielder would kill it in the Bronx and would raise his stock for next offseason. Maybe Fielder would take an extra three to five million, so possibly a 20-22 million dollar deal, but he'd be a force for sure.

  3. I have a weird feeling the Yankees will deal Burnett to the Cubs in a swap of bad contracts for Alfonso Soriano, who will be the DH. Betemit? Oh gosh, no. Then they might be tempted to play him in the field and you don't want that.

    • Actually I looked into that. Sori is owed a couple million per year more than Burnett, and has an extra years remaining on his contract to boot. That would put him over the 2014 budget Maginot line, which the Yanks (apparently) won't do.

  4. I'd probably sign Damon and platoon him with Jones at this point, but I preferred the A-Rod–Jeter–Tex combo at DH. If only Najikama had signed with us…

  5. Love coming on here to read all the new posts after some big news. Keep up the good work!

  6. I'd rather the team stick with a mix of Jones, Nunez, and whoever needs a bit of rest for the day. Then maybe they can use Burnett to acquire a lefty reliever (presumably while eating a large chunk of Burnett's salary).

    Jones still has good pop, Nunez was decent with the bat (and great on the bases) last year, and it's become commonplace in the AL for the DH spot to be used for resting players from defense. And the team has got to get a good lefty in the bullpen somehow.

    • C'mon, Boone Logan is the man! We get to recreate the Simpsons: "Are they saying 'boooo' or 'Boone?'" "I was saying 'Boone'…" (boo-urns!)

  7. Any news on the Yankees considering bringing up Jorge Vazquez to fill some DH time. I don't think he would have anytime on the field, just as a DH.