With Girardi saying Bird might not come back this year, I was thinking of things to do at first if we are really without the preferred first baseman for the rest of the year, since Tyler Austin is now hurt again as well. I refuse to consider a full,year of Chris Carter an option.
-Chase Headley: While he isn't the best hitter in the world, he is probably the best in-house bat available that can play first. This move would probably mean Torreyes and/or Andujar playing third.
-Rob Refsnyder: He has not been nearly consistent enough at the plate, but it remains an option.
-Gary Sanchez: This would require Sanchez starting to take some practice at first, but I feel it would not be a bad thing if Sanchez was taken from the backstop. Romine is far better at calling pitches and blocking missed pitches, so it may make up for the questionable bat the Yankees would have behind the plate. I especially feel more comfortable when Romine catches for Tanaka and Sabathia, due to Sanchez's questionable fastball calls. There is no reason to use Romine at first for long because of how superior defensively he is behind the plate, aside from preventing base stealing, and physically the taller and heavier Sanchez is better fit for first base.
-Starlin Castro: As with Sanchez, this would require practice before implementation. But moving Castro from second base wouldn't be terrible as he isn't exactly a world class fielder. This would likely result in Torreyes, Refsnyder, or Tyler Wade getting time at second base. And with the likes of Torres, Wade, and Mateo trying to get major league time in the near future, it would be good to increase Castro's flexibility - especially as long as he can hit .315
Big trade options:
-Jose Abreu: With the White Sox at the bottom of the AL Central, they might be willing to listen for Abreu, especially with the players we can offer for him. If they cannot field a competitive team, they are willing to look for future players.
-Eric Hosmer: With Hosmer hitting free agency at the end of the year and the Royals potentially being unable to retain him, the Yankees would undoubtedly have an easier time pulling Hosmer than Abreu.
Small trade options:
-Joe Mauer: It would be tough to convince Mauer to leave Minnesota due to his no trade clause, but it wouldn't hurt to make the attempt to get him. Because of his high salary, the Twins' asking price is likely to be low, especially if they start to really slip in the standings.
-Martin Prado: While he hasn't played first base since 2012, he wasn't that bad at it when he played (359 innings over 56 games). His utility is unquestionable and his bat will give .270 at worst. I would welcome a second stint with the Yankees very freely.
Free agent options:
-Justin Morneau: In my mind, there's no excuse for this man to not be on an MLB roster. Over the last three years (albeit with two in Colorado, but I don't put as much weight on that whole thing as some other people), he hit .304 with an .823 OPS. He also plays above average first base - possibly better defensively than anyone else listed as options here. At age 36 he is the shortest potential term option, which is positive if Bird is really going to be the Yankees first baseman of the future.
-James Loney: He's mostly a decent contact hitter now, but if he can be expected to hit between .260 and .300, I would be pleased with this as a low-risk signing.
I really hate seeing Chris Carter play, so if Bird is out for at least two more months and Austin either cannot perform or is also hurt for too long, I would like to see something done, if this team is going to continue competing. It is never good to have a position where, no matter who is playing there, the bat seems to be silent - especially at such a hitting-heavy position as first base.