Saturday, November 19, 2016

Without McCann Now the Yankees Need a DH


Yes ladies and gentleman this Saturday has turned into the “Everything Brian McCann traded to the Houston Astros” show, I hope you don’t mind too much. We’ve met the two pitchers that the Yankees got back in return for McCann and I had my say on the state of the franchise and the trade in general so now we go to the aftermath of the deal. The New York Yankees, assuming they don’t want to rotate young guys like Tyler Austin and Greg Bird, in and out of the designated hitter position will now need a DH for the 2017 season. Who is your man?

Carlos Beltran’s name immediately comes to mind for many reasons. Beltran is already acclimated to the New York atmosphere, he was a damn good hitter in 2016 for the Yankees and he will likely command a one-year deal as a DH in 2017. The only problem is that he gives very little in the way of roster or payroll flexibility, even on a one year deal he will likely want more than the $15 million he was paid in 2016, which is important when considering that Greg Bird will likely be a question mark all season long with that shoulder.

Edwin Encarnacion comes to mind as a possible replacement for McCann at the DH position and for some reasons he makes sense for the Yankees while for other reasons he does not. Encarnacion makes sense because he is one of the most prolific power hitters in the game right now at both the DH and first base positions but the contract he will command at his age will likely be out of the comfort level and range of the Yankees this offseason. And good for them, FYI. I know it would be nice to have some insurance and depth at first base just in case Greg Bird isn’t ready after shoulder surgery or just in case he struggles but Encarnacion is not the answer in my opinion.

Who is the answer is a man who has already donned pinstripes this season for that exact reason, Billy Butler. Butler can DH, he can play first base, he takes his walks and he does everything that a sabermatrician likes. Butler likely won’t command a huge contract both in terms of years or dollars but he does make sense. He, like Encarnacion, can serve as insurance for Greg Bird and his shoulder, he can hit towards the lower half of the order or maybe even higher if Brett Gardner is traded while taking his walks and putting the ball in play. 

He may not be the sexy name or big time star that many Yankees fans probably want but he may make the most sense for the team this offseason. Stay tuned to see how it all works out. 

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