There is no secret that the New York Yankees have some things going for them this season and beyond. They have an army of prospects looking to call Yankee Stadium their home. The challenge is the backlog at certain positions. First base is not one of them where the Yankees could trade for Justin Bour but at what cost.
In 2017 the Yankees committee of first baseman have slashed .200/.292/.377 with a whopping 13 home runs and over 100 strikeouts. Their first base team WAR at -2.2 is only better than the Los Angeles Angels. But how? Let’s take a look at first base for the Yankees in 2017. Greg Bird was set to take over the reins after Mark Teixeira retired. He appears recovered from the injury that cost him last year and ready to take his place. He lit up Spring Training and the world looked good. But one home run and a .100 batting average landed Bird on the disabled list to start May and he has not returned.
The Yankees thought they had a cheap power bat in the $3 Mil times two contract for Chris Carter. He had 40 home run power and would be great to give Bird a day off or come in as a pinch hitter. Alas he was thrust into the starting role and boy was he lousy. The .200 batting average was not shocking but putrid defense and only eight home runs in 200+ plate appearances caused the Yankees to DFA him twice.
Up next was Tyler Austin, another prospect with big upside. In limited 2016 time, he hit five home runs in 31 games. He fractured his ankle in Spring Training but worked his way back by June. He replaced Carter on a forever audition but that last a total of 15 at-bats before a hamstring strain but him out for hat could be the remainder of 2017. For those keeping track that is first baseman number three and it is only June.
Carter got another shot before stinking up the joint again which led to his second DFA. Ji-man Choi is the fourth guy up. He did hit a long ball or two but remember, he was basically given up for a sack of beans by the Angels after his “impressive” .170/.271/.339 line in just south of 130 games last year. He is holding down the fort in New York currently and that is not a good thing.
Let’s not forget the sprinkling of Matt Holliday, Austin Romine, and Rob Refsnyder this year as well. That puts the pre-All-Star break total to seven first baseman. There is no other way to address this than poor. Worse than poor just putrid.
There are options if the Yankees do not want to be to patient. The San Francisco Giants would probably push the $68 Mil contract of Brandon Belt out the door but frankly that is not too much of a step up given the investment. Yonder Alonso is having a career year in Oakland but the athletics would want an insane haul for him. Heck they could drive down the road and ask what a half-season rental of Lucas Duda would cost. But is the Yankees are determined to make a move than the Yankees could trade for Justin Bour but at what cost.
Why Bour? Yes he is 29 years old but that means there are plenty of years left in the tank. We are talking at first base here and not center field. He is a left-handed power hitter who could thrive in Yankee Stadium. He has 20 home runs and 59 RBI at the break with an OPS of .923. He would be under team control until 2020 and becomes arbitration eligible for the first time next year. So he is cheap power to say the least. So the Yankees could trade for Justin Bour but at what cost. What are they willing to offer given that Bour is no rental and the team still has believe in Tyler Austin and Greg Bird (if his injury can ever be resolved)?
All options will probably put the Yankees fan base in a tizzy to say the least but you have to give up to get. Especially when you are talking about cheap team control for three more years. While not official reporting is out there let’s look at a couple of options from the perspective of the demanding haul the Marlins will probably demand.
Yankees Could Trade For Justin Bour – 4 Options
Option 1 –
Yankees acquire Justin Bour for Didi Gregorius
The Yankees add the bat of Bour and hope that Didi can be replaced with the ton of talent and that we can fill in/test Tyler Wade the rest of this year. Plus Didi and Bour are both under team control until 2020.
Option 2 –
Yankees acquire Justin Bour and Kyle Barraclough for Miguel Andujar, Starlin Castro, Tyler Austin
It all comes down to team control. There is plenty of it in this deal and the Marlins could use Castro at second or even third since Prado is serviceable at best. The Marlins get low risk/high reward with Austin. Yankees get pen help and Bour to hold down first.
Option 3 – My personal favorite
DO NOT TRADE FOR JUSTIN BOUR AND GET PITCHING
It can be via trades in which we have to give up prospects, trading away veterans like Brett Gardner for middle inning or situational guys to a contender that needs a corner outfielder, or any mix therein. There are so many way to split this puzzle.
Option 4 –
There is not crazy need to resolve the first base issue. The bullpen has been a concern but the team can start by just benching Tyler Clippard. The team can call up a couple of arms to try out for the remainder of the season as well. I would offer Chase Headley as a trade chip but no team would want him.
At the end of the day the Yankees could trade for Justin Bour but at what cost, is it worth it, will it really change anything? Might the Bomber consider moving Aaron Judge to first base? Despite the belief from many in Yankee fandom, this is a rebuild and we are testing out players etc. Giving all the issues, injuries and internal drama there is no better time to test out all of these guys both at first and in the bullpen. Which option makes the most sense to you? Yankees Could Trade For Justin Bour but do any of these options ring real?
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