Saturday, December 8, 2012

Nix Gives Yanks Bare Minimum Insurance

The Yankees took a risk re-signing Jayson Nix the way they did and then DFA'ing him to clear a roster spot for Mo.  That risk became even bigger when Alex Rodriguez's injury was announced on Monday, and bigger still when the Yankees failed to lock down a replacement this week at the Winter Meetings.  But the risk paid off yesterday when Nix cleared waivers and was assigned to Triple-A.  At least now the Yankees have one viable, albeit nowhere near ideal, in-house option to play the hot corner if need be.

Nix was the definition of replacement level in 2012, but he did prove useful to the Yankees with his ability to play multiple positions.  They were lucky to have him on the roster when A-Rod went out with the broken hand, and Nix did get the majority of his work in at third this past season.  He's certainly not enough as an everyday option to make Cash call off the search for a full-time replacement, but Nix can handle a bat, has just enough pop to be taken seriously, and can handle his business in the field.

I don't expect that Nix will be the Opening Day third baseman, and the Yanks could certainly do a lot better than him.  But they could also do worse, and were doing worse with what they had readily available before he cleared waivers yesterday.  Nix is at least something, and something is better than nothing.

Looking Forward To Brett Gardner's Return

(You might need that helmet, dude.  Courtesy of Jim McIsaac/Newsday)

Brett Gardner became the first of the Yankees' 5 remaining arbitration eligible players to avoid it yesterday and sign a new deal for 2013, guaranteeing that no matter what warm body the Yankees stick in right field next season, they'll at least have their 2 returning starters in center and left.  As it was with Michael Pineda and Mariano Rivera, 2012 was basically a lost season for Gardner.  He had just 37 plate appearances in 16 games before suffering the elbow injury that eventually ended his season.  But Gardner swung the bat well in those 37 PA, hitting .323/.417/.387 and scoring 7 runs.  The figures of Gardner's new deal have yet to be disclosed, but with him playing so few games last year I can't imagine he'll get much of a raise from the $2.8 mil he made, if he even gets a raise at all.  With what he did in 2010 and 2011, the possibility of Gardner coming back and playing a full season at that price tag is exciting and could end up being very beneficial to the Yankees.