Yankees lineup vs. Dodgers; Carlos Pena, Brandon Inge, Kelly Shoppach are free agents

Jason O. Watson

On the day of the trade deadline, the Yankees made no deal and no additional reinforcements are coming. The lineup will just have to hold on a little longer until Curtis Granderson returns on Friday and, if he doesn't agree to a suspension, Alex Rodriguez sometime next week. In the meantime we get to stare at this lovely lineup:

Brett Gardner remains in the leadoff spot despite the return of Derek Jeter, and Robinson Cano stays in the three hole. Alfonso Soriano has replaced Vernon Wells and the injured Travis Hafner as the cleanup hitter, though he's only collected five hits in the four games he's played as a Yankee (all of them came in his last two). The lineup falls off a cliff from there, as it often does, with Brent Lillibridge, Jayson Nix, and Chris Stewart. After Soriano, not a single player has an OPS over .500 over the last week. Just when you thought the lineup couldn't get worse, the Yankees had to play NL baseball and Hiroki Kuroda rounds out the lineup. New York faces Clayton Kershaw tonight, so this might not be pretty.

Brian Cashman might not have made any deals today, but there are still pickups that can be made. Carlos Pena, Brandon Inge, and Kelly Shoppach are all free agents and each one of them plays a position the Yankees need help to improve. That doesn't mean they should pick them up, but this year has been filled with the likes of Chris Nelson, Brent Lillibridge, and Travis Ishikawa, so what's another one?

Pena has actually been worse than Lyle Overbay (.209/.324/.350 vs. .248/.297/.428) and is still owed a portion of his $2.9 million contract with the Astros. Inge has a dismal 20 wRC+, which is somehow better than Lillibridge, Luis Cruz, Alberto Gonzalez, and Reid Brignac, but is actually worse than Austin Romine (32) and David Adams (48).

The only one that is actually worth picking up is Kelly Shoppach because his 78 wRC+ is better than both Stewart's and Romine's, but that would require putting three catchers on the 40-man roster and the Yankees aren't about to do that. The Yankees love Stewart and they're not going to give up on a prospect like Romine, especially since he's hitting .571/ .625/.857 over the last week. Shoppach is a minimal upgrade and one Brian Cashman might not even see as worth a roster move. Francisco Cervelli is likely out for the season, so they need to figure out something with the catching situation if the offense is going to get better.

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