Nate Schierholtz - Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE
There are plenty of free-agent rumors floating around the New York Yankees as the Baseball Winter Meetings continue.
The New York Yankees find themselves with multiple needs as the offseason progresses, and as you might expect the hot stove rumor mill is churning with possibilities for the Bronx Bombers. Kevin Youkilis, Jeff Keppinger, Nate Schierholtz and others have been connected to the Yankees, so let's take a look at what is going on.
The Yankees are considered the "front-runner" to sign Schierholtz, a 28-year-old left-handed hitter who was non-tendered by the Philadelphia Phillies. He hit a combined .257/.321/.407 with the Phillies and San Francisco Giants last season, with six home runs and 21 RBI in 241 at-bats.
ESPN's SweetSpot blog had this to say about Schierholtz:
... profiles as a fringe starter on lower-tiered teams and a fine fourth outfielder on higher-tiered teams. You can boil Schierholtz down to the following: slightly below average bat, great glove, good baserunner. Schierholtz owns a career batting line of .270/.319/.409 while playing half his games in a park (AT&T Park) that's mighty tough on left-handed batters. The advanced fielding metrics, such as Ultimate Zone Rating, peg him as about a half-win net on defense each year, and it's hard to imagine anyone playing a better right field. And he's shown himself to be an adept baserunner. When you add everything up, it's a nice package that will attract a few teams needing outfield depth.
Valentine's View: If the Yankees were to sign Schierholtz you have to wonder if that means they will allow Ichiro Suzuki to move on to another team. You also have to think they would still be in the market for a right-handed hitter to pair with Schierholtz as part of a likely platoon. That right-handed hitter could be Scott Hairston, formerly of the New York Mets.
The Yankees, of course, have a need for a third baseman with Alex Rodriguez to be shelved for much, if not all, of the season by hip surgery. There is also Derek Jeter's ankle and age to consider.
[Related: Ex-Yankee Eric Chavez to Arizona]
There were reports Tuesday that the Yankees had contacted Kevin Youkilis. Youkilis reportedly has multiple offers and his price tag might be too high for the Yankees.
Lefty-hitting Jack Hannahan, non-tendered by the Cleveland Indians, has also been mentioned as a possibility.