Yankees could sign cheap veteran infielder to support third base

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Milwaukee Brewers, yankees
Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees manager Aaron Boone indicated earlier this week that Oswaldo Cabrera would start at third base, with DJ LeMahieu headed to the injured list to open the year.

The Yankees are already dealing with a number of injuries to veteran players, and losing LeMahieu will certainly be felt in the batting order. The 35-year-old played 592.2 innings at third base last season, posting a .994 fielding percentage with three defensive runs saved and three outs above average. This spring, he struggled to find his groove offensively over a small 10-game sample size. He hit .222/.276/.259, including three RBIs and a 47 wRC+.

On the other hand, Cabrera has plenty of experience playing every infield spot and should lock down the hot corner at an adequate level. However, he’s also been a bit underwhelming offensively despite heating up a bit more recently. Cabrera was awful in the batter’s box last year after showing promise in 2022, hitting .211 with a .275 on-base percentage. This spring, he is slashing .213/.302/. 362, including two homers and three RBIs.

The Yankees seem confident that Cabrera can hold down the fort in the meantime, but they shouldn’t avoid signing a veteran at a cheap price to help reinforce the infield.

The Yankees Could Use Another Third Baseman

One player they could consider is 30-year-old Brian Anderson, who spent last season with the Milwaukee Brewers and the previous six seasons with the Miami Marlins.

Last year, Anderson hit .226/.310/.368, including nine homers and 40 RBIs over 96 games. He is a solid defensive player and a bit more efficient offensively than Cabrera, so he might be a worthwhile signing.

This spring, Anderson has played 12 games, hitting .250 with a .344 on-base percentage, including two homers and six RBIs with a 132 wRC+. Considering he’s had a relatively hot spring, it is safe to say he may offer a bit more immediate value than Cabrera, but the Yankees seem keen on giving their young utility man the first crack at the job.

General manager Brian Cashman has been evading any new signings, riding with the current roster. He passed on several starting pitchers available in free agency, notably Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery.

Obviously, the Yankees don’t have much money to spend since they’re already at the $300 million luxury tax threshold, but it is quite obvious they need infielders. Anderson could be a good fit after being released by the Mariners on Tuesday.

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