In the wake of Mark Teixeira’s right wrist injury, the Yankees contacted Derrek Lee to see if he would be interested in coming out of retirement to fill in at first base. However, they are going to have to go back to the drawing board.
Lee is just the latest retired player to turn down the Yankees, joining former Braves third baseman Chipper Jones. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman confirmed to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com that he also reached out to Scott Rolen, but he got the impression that he will not play this season.
Assuming the Yankees stick to internal options, they could go with Dan Johnson, Juan Rivera or Kevin Youkilis at first base. If Youkilis plays first, Jayson Nix, Eduardo Nunez and Ronnier Mustelier are among the possibilities to fill in at third.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.