With the health of the Yankee lineup seemingly always in question, and the Yankees’ inability to score runs consistently, the Yankees should be looking at some hitters before the trade deadline. The pitching opportunities are getting a lot of attention, but you cannot ignore hitting. Especially when you are in 12th place out of 15 in the American League for runs scored.
Grady Sizemore cleared waivers this past Friday, and the Yankees should be working the phones. The best part about this deal is that since Sizemore is a free agent, the Yankees do not have to give anybody up to acquire him. After missing almost 2 ½ years due to knee and back injuries which required surgery, he returned to baseball this spring with the Red Sox. In Boston’s first 13 games, he had a slash line of .343/.395/.571, with 2 homers, 4 RBI, and only 5 strikeouts in 38 plate appearances. In the 42 games since then when he played, he hit .187/.263/.267 with no homers and 11 RBI. He struck out 36 times in 167 plate appearances, which effectively doubled his strikeout rate from the first 13 games.
For those who do not remember, Grady Sizemore was a force in the Cleveland lineup for several years. In his first 4 full seasons, he had a combined OPS of .868 and averaged 27 home runs per season. He also had a pair of Gold Gloves for his play in center field and got MVP votes in each season. The Red Sox may have given up too early on Sizemore. Recovering from the injuries that Sizemore sustained is not an easy process. Acknowledging this, Sizemore kept himself out of baseball last year until he felt he could compete professionally. So, , it is not a complete surprise that he is struggling after two months. The fact is that he is only 31 years old and with his history of great play, the Yankees should give him serious consideration.
Matt Joyce is another outfielder that may be available and should get some looks. In the three years prior to this season, he had a combined slash line of .252/.339/.443 and averaged 18 home runs per season. This year is just terrible for him, and playing for a last-place team just does not create for a motivating environment. He is only 29 years old, so it is not insanity to think he can return to his prior form. If he can, he can provide a jolt to the Yankees lineup to get everyone else started too. It helps the Yankees that the Rays may be going into fire sale mode. The Tampa Bay Times published an article by Gary Shelton (read HERE) where the prevailing thought is that it is time to unload and rebuild. Shelton is talking about unloading all the major talent. If there is any truth to this article, the Yankees should put a bundled offer to them for at least Price and Joyce.
Finally, there is Raul Ibanez. As we reported HERE, he was released by the Angels on Sunday. At 42 years of age, and with his batting average on the Interstate, it is hard to see him making a comeback. He had quite a ride with the Yankees, keeping them in the playoffs with several game tying and walk-off home runs. My feeling is that the Yankees owe to him to at least offer him a minor league deal and let him try to work his way back, if he is not ready to hang it up. If he did having something left in the tank, it would be nice to have it for the second half, even if it is a long shot.
I would be shocked if the Yankees are not working the leads on pulling a deal off before the trade deadline. I would be even more shocked if they are not looking at free agents to see if they can catch lightning in a bottle. The Yankees need starting pitching and they need some power hitting, at least for the short term. Let’s make a move!