New York Yankees Position Breakdown: Second Base
This is part three of a ten part series discussing the Yankees 2014 roster. If you missed yesterday’s breakdown where I discussed possible candidates at first base for the Bombers you can check it out here.
All across the field, the New York Yankees will have questions to answer. But now that the Yanks have re-signed manager Joe Girardi to four-year deal, the next big task for the Yankees will be to bring back their best player in Robinson Cano. In 2013, Cano was the Bombers’ best player, and they’ll need him back for next season.
Cano led the Yankees with a .314 batting average, while launching 27 homeruns and driving in 107 runs. Many people question whether Cano hustles on every play and hit, but several people within the organization with shoot down that idea, and call him one of the hardest workers in the game.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past year, then you should know that Cano is a free-agent this winter, and it’s been reported that Cano asked the Yankees would a 10-year, $305 million contract — after dealing with Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees might never touch a contract like that again, and they’ve already gone on record saying that they’re not comfortable handing out a 10-year deal.
It’s not that Cano isn’t worth a ton of money, because I think that wherever it is he signs this offseason, it’ll be on a big deal, but something more in the range of 6-8 years, $160-$200 million is at a realistic level for Cano.
The Yankees have said several times that they’re not going to give Cano the outrageous amount of money that he’s asking for, but I still think that he’ll end up playing in the Bronx next season, but just in case that can’t get him, they’re going to need someone to replace him — and by the looks of the likely market, there won’t be many worthy replacements to even play like half the player Cano is.
Ben Zobrist: Of all the second baseman that could be available, Zobrist has to be the best option. In my opinion, he’s been one of the most underrated players in the league for the past few years, but there’s only one concern with getting him — he might not actually be a free-agent. Zobrist has a player option with the Tampa Bay Rays for next season, and as good a player he is, I see that the Rays, in all likelihood, will bring him back for 2014.
Zobrist has been a very durable player for the Rays, playing at least 151 games since 2009. He hit .275 for Tampa in 2013, and he not only plays second base, but all around the diamond, making him not only a good fit for second base, but at several other positions.
Ryan Raburn: Raburn may not be a household name, but he had a good year for the Cleveland Indians. Because he was having to play behind all-star second baseman Jason Kipnis, Raburn only played in 87 games for the Indians in 2013, but he still put up good numbers, hitting .278 with 16 homeruns and driving in 55 runs.
If Cano were no longer in the lineup, and Raburn was able to continue producing at that kind of pace for an entire season, he would certainly make for a solid replacement for Cano.
I could add more players to this list, but there aren’t many possible free-agents that I like, or think would do a better job than what likely be a player like Jayson Nix or David Adams at second base.
But, then again, I could be wrong. I you think Cano is coming back, or I left someone off the list that could help the Yankees, or if there’s someone they could trade for, let me know on Twitter, @GavinEwbank2013. And while you’re at it, give me your thoughts on tomorrow’s position breakdown — shortstop.