5 Jan 2012
According to LoHud, “The Yankees just announced they could not reach and agreement with Hiroyuki Nakajima”
Not really a shock and you have to wonder how hard they really tried. Clearly, he wasn’t going to start for them and I imagine they weren’t interested in paying a backup multiple millions per year.
Now I imagine speculation will turn to Eric Chavez coming back. Chavez had a nice start to the season, but he did nothing after he returned from injury. Considering he is 34 and hasn’t really done much hitting since 2007, what do you gain by bringing him back? Looking at the bench next year, we know Nunez and Andruw Jones are on it. Assume Montero is the usual DH for now and that leaves two open spots. I think one goes to Cervelli because the Yankees won’t want to be without a catcher on the bench regularly.
If I am right, the addition of a lefty makes a lot of sense and that may make Chavez worth it. But, Chavez only hit .255/.322/.365 vs. righties last year. From that standpoint, the Yankees would be better off bringing Chris Dickerson (.270/.355/.410 vs RHP) off the bench. Of course Dickerson can only play the outfield, which limits his flexibility. The Yankees could simply use Pena or Laird, two righty bats able to play multiple positions and save their money. It’s worth considering before running out and signing Chavez because Chavez may not be much of an offensive upgrade over either of them.