Coming up to the July non-waiver trade deadline, second base has been a position where a lot of Yankee fans have hoped for an upgrade. Brief power surges aside, Stephen Drew has struggled to the tune of a 72 wRC+ and below-replacement -0.3 WAR.
Well, as it happens, the team has just made a headline move for the position, but rather than bringing in a veteran the Yankees will be issuing a promotion to blue-chip prospect Rob Refsnyder.
Hearing that Refsnyder will be recalled from AAA and join Yankees tomorrow.— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) July 10, 2015
There was never any question about Refsnyder's ability with the bat during his ascent through the system, and this season at Triple-A Scranton he's continued to hit; posting a slash line of .290/.387/.413 and a strong wRC+ figure of 136. The only reason he wasn't already up with the big league team is so he could continue to work on his defense in the minor leagues. After struggles in spring training and early in the year, Refsnyder was starting to get better reviews of late, and clearly the Yankees believe he is good enough to have earned a callup.
No word yet on what the roster move is that will create space for Refsnyder. It is possible that Chase Headley is about to be sent to the DL, which is what has opened up a spot on the 25-man roster. Refsnyder isn't on the 40-man roster yet either, so if the 25-man move is a DL stint for Headley, this callup will require another move as well here. The Yankees have a couple of options there, we should shortly find out what happens.
It is worth noting that Refsnyder is too good a prospect to be brought up as a bench player. At worst, he might be part of a platoon with Drew to start, but if Drew is going to be covering third base for Headley even that isn't going to be the case. Drew is of course a known quantity at this point, and not producing enough to hold down a regular job, so hopefully the Yankees will give Refsnyder every opportunity to claim the full-time starting role.
Best of luck with the New York Yankees, Robert Refsnyder. May you make the second base position at the Bronx yours for the foreseeable future.