If first baseman Mark Teixeira and designated hitter Alex Rodriguez don’t turn around their seasons by the July All-Star break, the Yankees should buy the pair out, opines Joel Sherman of the New York Post. While the Yankees still owe them around $45.4MM combined, Sherman notes that the Rockies and Dodgers have taken similar financial hits with the recent buyouts of Jose Reyes and Carl Crawford. The 37-36 Yankees wouldn’t exactly be loaded with capable first basemen without Teixeira, though, as their depth chart shows. Jettisoning A-Rod, who’s signed through 2017, would enable the Yankees to put 39-year-old Carlos Beltran at DH and go with some combination of Aaron Hicks, Rob Refsnyder and prospect Aaron Judge in right field, Sherman contends. It seems doubtful that the Yankees would get rid of either, but the team clearly needs more production from the veteran duo. Teixeira, a pending free agent, is batting a horrendous .176/.271/.259 with three homers in 192 plate appearances – a far cry from the .255/.357/.548 line and 31 HRs he slugged in 462 PAs last year. Notably, Rodriguez is five homers shy of 700, which is another reason the Yankees look unlikely to move on from him. The 40-year-old is slashing a weak .222/.264/.398, however, after posting a .250/.356/.486 line and racking up 33 long balls in 2015.
Here’s more from around the majors:
- Pirates general manager Neal Huntington dismissed the idea of trading five-time All-Star center fielder Andrew McCutchen earlier this week, but it’s something the team should eventually consider, writes Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Pirates have a top-end outfield prospect in Austin Meadows, who would step in alongside Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco in the event of a McCutchen trade. Long the face of the Pirates’ franchise, the 29-year-old McCutchen is under team control through 2018 on an eminently reasonable contract. Even after a two-homer game Saturday, though, his normally excellent offensive production hasn’t been there this season. Through 316 PAs this year, the former NL MVP has hit .243/.320/423 – good for a league-average 101 wRC+. Right thumb issues have hampered McCutchen, who’s showing far less control over the strike zone than usual, as FanGraphs’ Jeff Sullivan detailed Thursday. For his part, McCutchen said Saturday that he isn’t concerned about trade rumors because they’re out of his control (Twitter link via Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune-Review).
- The Rangers inquired about Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright during the offseason, Texas president and GM Jon Daniels told Rob Bradford of WEEI on Saturday. “We asked about him this winter and they did not want to move him,” said Daniels. Wright was out of options and coming off a season in which he threw 72 2/3 innings and recorded a 4.09 ERA, 6.44 K/9, 3.34 BB/9 and 43.2 percent ground-ball rate. Nearly all of those numbers have improved this season, especially the 31-year-old’s ERA – which stands at a sparkling 2.18 through 103 frames. Daniels told Bradford that the Rangers “would have tried harder” to land Wright had they known he would be this successful in 2016.
- Mets outfielder Alejandro De Aza has batted an ugly .169/.221/.247 with 29 strikeouts and five walks through 96 trips to the plate, but designating him for assignment isn’t under consideration as of now, a source told Marc Carig of Newsday (Twitter link). De Aza, whom the Mets signed to a $5.75MM deal in the offseason, will be a free agent at year’s end.