Greg Bird was going to be so much fun! Sure he was coming off an injury but he had seven sprig training homers and coming off shoulder surgery power is the biggest issue and worst case the team had Chris Carter and Tyler Austin, if anything that's too much depth! And now here we are in July; It doesn't look like Bird is going to be able to Contribute, Tyler Austin played four games before he got hurt, Chris Carter has been so ineffective that he has been designated for assignment twice and now the Yankees first baseman is Ji-Man Choi. I remember when Choi signed with the team and I thought why would someone with major league experience sign with the Yankees considering how much depth the team had at first base, don't I look sillier than John Sterlings home run call for Choi, "Ji-Man the He-Man". The Yankees need an upgrade and everyone's first choice is Yonder Alonso and probably the second choice is Lucas Duda and both are appealing, they are both on expiring contracts and both are on bad teams that will look to trade talent for prospects. Djoep2000 talks about both players in their post here and here but to sum it up both guys would probably take at least two good prospects for two months of either Alonso or Duda and considering other teams want 1st base help that price may go up. There are other options though Brandon Belt, Jose Abreu, Matt Adams; but one that I haven't seen suggested is John Jaso.
Do you remember John Jaso? He used to be the catcher for the Rays but then he started having issues with concussions and he transitioned to DH in 2014 but in 2016 he signed a two year deal with the Pirates and last year played pretty much exclusively at 1st base and managed a wRC+ of 111 but this year he was transitioned to the Outfield when the Pirates gave the job to prospect Josh Bell. Jaso was suggested by MLBTR and i've been really intrigued by the idea, Jaso would seem like a good fit his offensive numbers don't jump out at you but it seems like he would benefit from the transition to Yankee Stadium. He is a left handed batter and his pull rate this year of 46% is right in line with his career line of 42% and he is hitting fly balls at a rate of 47.7%, two things that would be really good to see in Yankee stadium. I expect that Jaso would also come much cheaper than many of the other options on the list and the Yankees will need to move some people with their upcoming roster crunch, a prospect that the Yankees are unsure about protecting. I am not saying they will be able to trade Jake Cave for Jaso but I don' think they will have to trade Mateo and Clint Frazier either. If the Yankees arent going to go after a controllable piece then I think a player like Jaso could be a good fit, his Fangraphs WAR is only 0.2 but a good part of that is him playing the outfield regularly. That being said I don't know if the Yankees would want to risk targeting a guy like Jaso considering their lack of options at 1st base which is why I'm calling him plan C. The other benefit is that the Yankees would make Jaso cut his awful, awful dreadlocks; I'm all for the Yankees relaxing their hair policy but I think Andrew McCutchen cut his because of how awful Jaso looks with them.
Jaso might also be a candidate for an August trade but I doubt the Yankees will be looking to acquire a 1st baseman in August considering they needed one as of April, but who knows.