Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sean Rodriguez the 2016 Version of Garrett Jones?

When the New York Yankees went into the 2015 season Brian Cashman had to presumably feel pretty good about his team. Mark Teixeira was two years removed from wrist surgery and was gluten free with the hopes of staying healthy all season. The team had a young and rangy shortstop in Didi Gregorius and a big arm in the rotation in Nathan Eovaldi to matchup with Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and the Tommy John recovering Ivan Nova. Cashman had all the makings of his super bullpen and he had Carlos Beltran back in the fold after getting the bone spur removed that hindered his right fielder for much of the 2015 season. The final pieces of the Yankees squad was the bench, a bench that included John Ryan Murphy, Brendan Ryan, Chris Young and Garrett Jones. The latter, Jones, was slated to be a fifth outfielder of sorts while also allowing manager Joe Girardi to give Mark Teixeira the days off he needed to stay healthy. Jones didn't work out in 2015 unfortunately and was designated for assignment twice, could the Yankees try to emulate that plan in 2016 with former Pirates water cooler abuser Sean Rodriguez?

S-Rod is listed as a second baseman, first baseman and outfielder according to Baseball Reference but let it be known, Rodriguez is not especially good at any of those positions. He's marginal at best when it comes to his defense but truth be told, Jones was too. Rodriguez, like Jones, would essentially be the 25th man on the roster just with more versatility. There is no guarantee that New York is sold on the Dustin Ackley and Robert Refsnyder platoon at second base so adding as many options and as much depth as they can is advisable in my opinion. Rodriguez fits that mold, gives the Yankees another option in the outfield and they give the team another true first base option (not that they especially need it with Greg Bird still with the club).

Rodriguez is right handed, a need, and he'll be just 31-years old for most of the 2016 season. The biggest issue may be that Rodriguez would not be willing to take a part-time role with the Yankees over a full-time role for a team like the Pittsburgh Pirates or another National League team. Rodriguez played in 139 games last season with the Pirates and slashed .246/.281/.362 with just four home runs and 17 RBI for the Wild Card winning Pittsburgh team. Rodriguez made a name for himself in the American League though with another AL East team in the Tampa Bay Rays so if he's be willing to come back to the East and take a part-time role knowing that he would eventually see playing time with a manager like Joe Girardi and a veteran team like the Yankees then this may be a great find for the Bronx Bombers for 2016.

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