Monday, February 20, 2012

Raul Ibanez or Eric Chavez?

"What should I do?"

There is some debate among Yankee fans regarding what's more important... signing a DH or a 3B/IF. Joel Sherman said on Twitter that the Yankees only have enough in the budget, even after the AJ deal, to sign one or the other. And Bryan Hoch, on Twitter as well, said that Cashman is not sure about a return of Eric Chavez. So what do you think is best?

I took a look at the current 40-man roster to see what choices the team has within the organization, as I don't believe a 40-man roster move would be made for either position (excluding a FA signing).

I found that Chris Dickerson is the only option the team has for a DH against right-handed pitchers, who also plays the OF. Chris hit .260/.296/.360 in 55 plate appearances with the Yankees last season, and .231/.341/.325 in 247 PA with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season. More importantly, in 490 career PA in MLB his career triple-slash vs. RHP is .270/.355/.415. So it seems like he'd be a fine option, should Cashman decide against pursuing Ibanez.

Here is where I can understand why Cashman isn't so sure about Chavez. Because, unlike the "DH vs. RHP" thing, the Yankees have a few different options.

Eduardo Nunez saw 391 PA in MLB, in which he hit .276/.314/.382, and Girardi seems to like Nunez. Ramiro Pena has seen some time in MLB as well, where he's hit .233/.266/.288 in 334 MLB plate appearances, so he's certainly less idea for that bench spot than Eduardo. And finally there's Brandon Laird, who hit .260/.288/.422 in AAA last season, and saw a few MLB at bats in 2011 as well. The fact that Laird played a bit in the OF last season helps his case too.

In all I would be perfectly okay if the Yankees went with what they currently have, placing Dickerson in the "DH vs. RHP" role, and having Nunez on the bench in the IF/3B slot. But due to the fact that the team has 3 viable options, already on the 40-man roster, for the IF/3B slot I can totally understand Cashman's stance on Ibanez before Chavez.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)