Mark Teixeira’s wrist injury has the Yankees searching for a short-term replacement at first base and David Waldstein of the New York Times reports that they’re trying to talk Derrek Lee into coming out of retirement.
Lee sat out all of last season after failing to get an offer he liked, but according to Waldstein the 37-year-old has some interest in playing for the Yankees.
Lee split the 2011 season between the Orioles and Pirates, hitting .267 with 19 homers and a .771 OPS in 113 games. He had similar numbers in 2010.
Obviously a 37-year-old who didn’t play at all last season and posted a sub-.800 OPS in 2010 and 2011 is hardly an ideal pickup, but at this late stage in the offseason there just isn’t much to choose from in terms of veteran bats who can also capably play first base on a regular basis (in other words, not Jim Thome).
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.