Re-Sign or Let Him Walk: Brendan Ryan
The Yankees brought in Ryan because of what he could do in the field, rather than what he can’t do it the plate. A career .237 hitter, Ryan has never been known to be able to swing the bat, but his ability to make every play in the field is what makes him worth putting in the lineup.
Bringing him in down the stretch to me, was a smart move by the Yankees. It didn’t really cost them much, and it helped fill the gap that Jeter left by going on the DL. Yes, you can say that the Yankees had Eduardo Nunez to play shortstop, but when you’re in the playoff hunt, the last thing you want is an unpredictable player like Nunez messing up a routine play in the 9th inning that could cost your team a much needed win.
Ryan played in 17 games with the Yankees down the final stretch, hitting just .220 with a home run and a pair of doubles. Defensively, he was solid, just as expected.
Decision: They really isn’t much to say about Ryan because he only played in 17 games, and I didn’t really follow the Mariners while he was there — when he came over, all I could tell you that you was that he can’t hit, but knows his way around the glove. Bringing him back for the 2014 season would mean that the Yankees, who just gave Jeter a $2.5 million pay raise over the $9.5 million he was set to make in 2014, don’t really believe Jeter will be a reliable option at shortstop on a daily basis next season.
Honestly, I don’t think he will be, either. I think the Yankees need to bring in another shortstop, and Ryan would be a good fit. While a full season of watching him hit below .200 hit could get a little tiring, his play in the field should be able to make up for it. I think they should re-sign him, but only it they truly have no faith in Jeter taking the field everyday, or they don’t have any more faith in Nunez — which they probably don’t.
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