Monday, February 8, 2016

Pedro Alvarez & the Return of Too Many Damn Home Runs

When the New York Yankees announced that they would be without backup first baseman Greg Bird for the entire 2016 season many fans lost their minds, and for good reason in my opinion. Sure Bird was slated to begin the season at Triple-A while he waited out Mark Teixeira’s contract to expire this winter but he was still going to play a big part on this team this season, call it a hunch. At this point in his career the question is not if Teixeira will get injured it’s more when and Bird is the only natural MLB ready first baseman the Yankees have as a backup. The team also plans to use the last bench spot as a revolving door much like they used the last bullpen slot last season to mix and match pitchers on almost a daily basis and Bird would surely be in that fold in some capacity. Now Bird is gone for the season and the Yankees are left scrambling for possible replacements and answers. Could one of those answers be Pedro Alvarez?

In a word, no. That’s just my opinion, I’m far from an insider truth be told, but I can’t see it happening. Brian Cashman stated immediately following the injury that the Yankees would not sign a major league first baseman to replace Bird this season but of course left the possibility of a minor league deal being signed somewhere. While I agree that there aren’t too many teams presumably beating down the doors of Alvarez’s house right now there is one major factor that a lot of people aren’t talking about when suggesting that Alvarez sign with the Yankees, the fact that he’s a Scott Boras client. Boras wants a multi-year deal for Alvarez, a multi-year Major League deal, after his client hit 27 home runs and knocked in 77 RBI last season with Pittsburgh. That looks great on paper but that doesn’t help the Yankees in one key facet of the game, the too many damn home runs facet, as the Pirates first baseman only hit .243 in 2015.

The announcements by Cashman and Boras could all be posturing and it could happen that Alvarez signs a minor league deal this winter or spring, with the Yankees or not, but as it looks right now the hopes of adding Alvarez’s home run or nothing swing and marginal defense, if that, are slim to none.

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