Yankees rumors: Mark Reynolds close to signing elsewhere

Eric Christian Smith

Is one of the Yankees' platoon options about to be taken off the table?

As the offseason drags on, the Yankees might be looking to add one more infielder. While they've already signed Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson, there was some potential that they might bring back Mark Reynolds to platoon at third base in case Alex Rodriguez is suspended for some (or all) of next season. Well, according to Mark Feinsand of the Daily News, Reynolds may not be an option for much longer. On Monday, Feinsand wrote, "The Yankees have been engaged with Mark Reynolds about a possible return, but a source said the power-hitting infielder appears close to signing with another team outside the Bronx."

While Reynolds is certainly not great, he does bring a good bit of power from the right side of the plate. Overall last year, he hit .220/.306/.393 with 21 home runs and 67 RBI (with the Yankees, Reynolds batted .236, hitting six of those home runs and knocking in 19 of those runs in 36 games) and, if combined with Johnson, Reynolds could give the Yankees quite a power hitting platoon at third. However, Reynolds would prove to be a liability in the field, as he put up a -5.7 UZR in just over 400 innings between the Yankees and the Indians.

As things currently stand, Johnson seems to be the Yankees' main option at third, leaving Brian Roberts to man second. Johnson hit .276/.235/.305 with 16 homers and 52 RBI in 118 games last season for the Rays, displaying some decent pop from the left side of the plate. He hits reasonably well against righthanders (.244/.335/.424 over his career, with a 103 wRC+), and while he's posted nearly an identical 105 wRC+ against lefties, he doesn't have nearly as much power against them (none of his 16 homers in 2013 came against left-handed pitching). Letting the right-handed Reynolds hit against lefties (.238/.359/.475 against them in his career with a 119 wRC+) would help them both maximize their strengths and provide a decent offensive combination.

The Yankees do have other options. The newly-signed Dean Anna has played second base and shortstop during his minor league career, but could potentially be switched to third if necessary. Still, he's completely unproven in the major leagues, as he's spent his entire six-year career in the minor leagues. He did however show some promise last year, hitting .331/.410/.482 for the San Diego Padres' Triple-A squad. The Yankees could also sign Stephen Drew. Drew had a solid year last season, batting .253/.333/.443, and is about the best infielder left on the market. However, as Tanya wrote, Drew is apparently awaiting "clarity" from the Yankees, perhaps on many games he might play with A-Rod's status up in the air.

While these options exist, are the Yankees going to regret it if Reynolds signs elsewhere?

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