Thursday, April 7, 2016

James Loney, Come on Down?


If the 2015 season taught us anything about the relatively unchanged New York Yankees it’s this, Mark Teixeira is the real MVP. The New York Yankees had the second highest run scoring output in all of Major League Baseball last season and were firing on all cylinders until Teixeira fouled a ball off his shin fracturing his leg and ending his season. New York enjoyed a breakout of sorts from his replacement, Greg Bird, but nonetheless the offense scuffled as a whole without Teixeira and barely limped into the postseason before losing to Dallas Keuchel and these same Houston Astros that they face today. Teixeira is no less injury prone this season than he was last season and Bird is on the disabled list for the entire 2016 season meaning the Yankees will need depth behind Teixeira more so than ever, should that include James Loney?

Loney was recently told by his Tampa Bay Rays organization that he would not make the team despite his $8 million in salary and that he would either be traded or released this week. Should the Yankees be listening? New York has an obvious need for a backup first baseman, no I’m not sold on Chris Parmelee or his underachieving spring training he just put up and no I’m not sold on the combination of Dustin Ackley, Chase Headley and Brian McCann, but there is one issue with adding Loney. The 40 man roster. Yes the Yankees could simply add Greg Bird to the 60 day DL to accommodate the move but Loney adds little in terms of a lot of things for this team.

Loney doesn’t add any versatility or flexibility to a roster built on versatility and flexibility and his defense is nothing much to write home about either. Loney wouldn’t add power to a lineup and bench that may need to hit for power with Ronald Torreyes and Austin Romine already on it and his batting average leaves much to be desired as well.

Look, there’s no such thing as a bad minor league deal. If Loney wants a minor league deal I believe the Yankees should give him one. If not, and you would have to think that is an unlikely scenario, then I believe New York has to pass on the “Yankee Killer.” Sorry James.


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