Yankees claim Travis Ishikawa off waivers

USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have claimed first baseman Travis Ishikawa off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles. Ishikawa had been in the Orioles system this season where he hit .316/.413/.525 in 208 plate appearances until he activated an opt out clause in June. Baltimore brought him up, but designated him for assignment just a week later. He hit .222/.333/.389 with the Brewers in 2012.

The Yankees have an obvious need at first base as they currently rank 23rd in the league for the position. Lyle Overbay has a 114 wRC+ against right-hander, but has struggled mightily against left-handers with a 36 wRC+. What the Yankees need is someone to platoon with Overbay against lefties or someone who can hit both. As a lefty, Ishikawa only has a 61 wRC+ against them, so he doesn't offer much of an upgrade over what they already have.

The Yankees transferred Kevin Youkilis to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster, so it looks like someone is going to be placed on the roster. If Ishikawa is brought up to the Yankees it's difficult to determine what his role will be. The team has now used their two 60-day DL moves on players other than Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. Luis Cruz, Alberto Gonzalez, and, presumably, Travis Ishikawa, would all be DFA candidates.

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