Yankees Hot Stove: Mark Reynolds signs with the Brewers

Tom Szczerbowski

He was our last hope before the Yankees had to rely on a pile of garbage

Now that Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for the entire 2014 season, the Yankees need to figure out a way to fill in the hole left at third base. There were never any enticing options on the open market to begin with and a trade seemed unlikely because New York lacks any useful trade chips, so it seemed like the answer would come in the form of cheap major league deals for the few options out there.

Mark Reynolds was thought to make a lot of sense for the Yankees before the suspension was announced, however, afterwards it became apparent that the they were not planning to add any more infielders on major league contracts. They offered Reynolds a minor league deal, but it was widely believed that the slugging corner infielder wouldn't accept that. To them, they had already signed Brendan Ryan, Kelly Johnson, and Brian Roberts, so I guess they felt that three was enough. Unfortunately, that still leaves an open platoon position somewhere, whether at second base or third, and gives Eduardo Nunez a shot at a roster spot.

Now Reynolds has signed with the Milwaukee Brewers on a minor league contract, though it is believed that he has a much better chance at making their roster than he would on the Yankees. I don't know why he would think that, considering the shape the Yankee infield is in, but if he prefers to play first base, then he made the right choice. Reynolds would have been needed to play third base in New York, though his ability to play first would have been an added bonus.

At this point, the Yankees are basically out of options, unless there is some kind of unforeseen maneuver that Brian Cashman is planning. They were briefly interested in Michael Young, but he's closer to retiring than accepting a minor league deal to play below-average baseball. That would be the end of any significant signing they could have potentially made, so instead it will be up to the scrap heap, once again. Cashman loves to go dumpster diving for players he might be able to squeeze value out of and then throw away. He's collected Zelous Wheeler, Russ Canzler, Dean Anna, and Scott Sizemore and plans to find someone productive out of that lot.

It's not like the Yankees really had much of an alternative for third base, not like second, where they let Mark Ellis and Omar Infante sign elsewhere, but it's disappointing to see them let Reynolds slip away. He wouldn't have been perfect, by any means, but he's at least a major league-caliber player when used correctly. The Yankees now only have hope on their side. Hope that one of their options even turns out to be better than Eduardo Nunez.

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