Wednesday, April 1, 2015


The Yankees took quite a bit of grief from fans and some of the media following the trade Brian Cashman made in December that sent David Phelps and Martin Prado to the Marlins. While those two players will be missed, their return, in my opinion, was terrific! Not only did they nab hard throwing young right-hander Nathan Eovaldi and intriguing pitching prospect Domingo German, they also added veteran Garrett Jones. Jones, a lefty swinging first baseman and corner outfielder, is a guy who always wanted to don the pinstripes.

When Garrett Jones learned of the news a deal was pending to send him to the Bronx, he was thrilled. He was quoted as saying; “Talking to my wife, I always said being a Yankee would be a dream come true.” He also added that both his family and his wife’s have always been Yankees fans. The Yankees didn’t go get him because of his desire to play for the storied organization, but dealing for someone who wants to be part of the Yankees storied history is always an added bonus. Jones took to Twitter with his excitement following the trade, as did his wife, Cassie.

Garrett Jones made his mark in the big leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2009-2013 where he manned first base and averaged 20 home runs a season, topping out at 27 dingers in 2012. Following the 2013 season, he signed a two year deal with the Marlins and was their primary first baseman and hit in the meat of their order while appearing in 146 games. He didn’t have his best season as he batted .246 with 15 home runs and 53 RBI’s, but was still an important member of the Marlins ball club.

As he and Yankees head into the final stretch of the spring and approach Opening Day, Garrett Jones gives Joe Girardi quite a bit of flexibility in just one roster spot. Jones can play first base, as well as both corner outfield positions. As a left-handed hitter, he also gives Girardi a platoon option with the right-handed hitting Alex Rodriguez. He essentially can fill four roles.

As we all know, the last couple years Mark Teixeira has battled his fair share of injuries and last summer Joe Girardi had to resort to using Francisco Cervelli, Brian McCann, Chase Headley and even Carlos Beltran (oy vey) at first base when Tex was injured or in order to provide him some rest. 

The fact that Jones is a veteran first baseman alone is a huge bonus for Joe. Add the fact that the right field porch suits Jones’ swing well, Jones fits a Yankees need perfectly. Even if it’s just as a stop-gap for this season while first base prospect, Greg Bird, continues to develop in the minor leagues. Reminds me Nick Swisher with the Yankees several years ago! 
Beyond that, Carlos Beltran is no spring chicken and also battled an elbow injury in 2014. He is going to need some time off and Jones is a perfect candidate to get some reps in right field to spell Beltran. Alex Rodriguez is nearly 40 years old and hasn’t played in a meaningful game in 18 months. ARod is slated to be the everyday DH but is also going to need some time off and Jones is perfect for that role, especially against tough right-handed pitching. Jones holds a career .479 slugging percentage against right-handed pitching, making him a solid platoon option.
While the acquisition of Jones is not the ‘trade of the century’, he, along with Eovaldi and German, make this deal with Miami a great one for the Yankees. Sure they gave up Prado and Phelps, both of whom performed well in 2014, but they got their money’s worth in return without a question. I’m excited to see how Jones adjusts to life as a Yankee and see him as a big asset to the club over the next six months, if not longer. 

Good luck Mr. Jones. Wear the pinstripes with pride and go out and bust your tail every day for yourself, the team and the Yankees Universe. I’m a huge fan and wish you the best of luck. I’m happy to have you as a member of this legendary franchise. Go get ‘em!

Dan Lucia
BYB Writer
Twitter: @DManLucia

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