Yankees stepping up pursuit of Andruw Jones

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It would appear that super agent Scott Boras is close to finding a home for veteran client Andruw Jones.

The Yankees were first linked to Jones last week by SI.com’s Jon Heyman and now the Sports Illustrated reporter is saying that the Bombers have “stepped up” their pursuit of the 33-year-old.

Jones isn’t as great defensively as he once was and he is no longer the type of guy you want playing in 160-plus games, but he has his uses.

The Yankees could try him as their designated hitter from time to time against left-handed pitchers and could have him serve as a backup to both corner outfield spots.  His still steady power bat would shine in the smaller ballparks of the American League East, at least on a limited basis, and he wouldn’t have trouble covering ground defensively at Yankee Stadium.

The Rays are also thought to be interested and may be able to offer more playing time.

Yankees trade Chase Headley, Bryan Mitchell to the Padres for Jabari Blash

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The New York Yankees have traded third baseman Chase Headley and pitcher Bryan Mitchell to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Jabari Blash. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the first to report the trade. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report that Blash was coming back in return.

Headley, a third baseman, hit .273/.352/.406 for the Yankees last year. He, of course, played for the Padres from 2007 through the middle of 2014, when he was dealt to New York. Mitchell has pitched 48 games for the Yankees, most from the pen, over four seasons, with an ERA of 4.94 in 98.1 innings. He doesn’t strike out many and he walks a lot. He throws hard.

Blash, an outfielder, has hit .200/.323/.336 with eight homers in 279 big league plate appearances. Blash has shown a lot of power potential in the minors, but has not yet put it together in the bigs. Given what the Yankees have in their outfield at the moment, he’s going to be organizational depth or, perhaps, a chit in a future trade.

This would seem to be an exercise in salary clearing by the Yankees in anticipation of another move, as it takes about $13 million off of their payroll. Which is about how much was added to their payroll for 2018 in the Giancarlo Stanton deal. That could get Todd Frazier back for them, perhaps. Or it could help them retain CC Sabathia or go after another starting pitcher. The club likewise maintains an interest in getting under the $197 million payroll threshold which would trigger yet another year of 50% luxury tax payments for the Yankees.