Yesterday, the Yankees announced that it will be three weeks until they evaluate Mark Teixeira. That leaves the Yankees with Rob Refsnyder, whose natural position isn't first base, and Chris Parmelee, who hasn't had much success in his six seasons of part-time play in the majors. Even if the Yankees think Teixeira might make it back this season, Brian Cashman is probably going to take a look at first base options around the league.
In recent seasons, Cashman has traded for relatively low-risk, low-cost players such as Chase Headley and Brandon McCarthy. At the time of the each trade, both Headley and McCarthy were veteran players who were struggling and weren't under contract for the next season. Unless Cashman pulls off a major deal, here are a few players like this who he might be interested in.
Mitch Moreland, Texas Rangers
Contract: one year, $5.7 million
Of the 28 first basemen with qualifying at-bats, Moreland ranks 27th in wRC+ with 64 this season. This wouldn't seem like an upgrade for most teams except that Teixeira, before getting hurt, was ranked 28th with a wRC+ of 48. Coming off of his best season, Moreland was expected to be better than this. It's a good bet that Moreland will bounce back from his abysmal start, which makes him a good candidate for the Yankees. The biggest hindrance to this scenario is that the Rangers are currently in first place in the AL West. This might end up helping the Yankees though, since the Rangers could be looking to get more production out of first base than they are currently getting.
Yonder Alonso, Oakland Athletics
Contract: one year, $2.6 million
Alonso ranks just ahead of Moreland and Teixeira with a wRC+ of 69 so far this season. Just like Moreland, Alonso has had a bad start to the season, which makes him a good pick to bounce back. The A's are currently ten games in back of the Rangers giving them little need for a below-average 29 year old first baseman on a one-year deal. Acquiring Alonso would reunite him with Headley, who together made up half of the 2014 San Diego Padres infield. This speaks loud and clear about how bad the first base market is right now.
Mark Reynolds, Colorado Rockies
Contract: one year, $2.6 million
Unlike Alonso and Moreland, Reynolds' stats are right in line with his career. He has a wRC+ of 98, he gets on base often, and is playing serviceable defense. The soon-to-be 33 year old veteran can play both first and third, making him a good fit to backup Headley if needed. The Rockies are 26-31, eight games behind the San Fransisco Giants, and probably not serious about contending this season. If Cashman thinks that Reynolds would be a safer bet than Refsnyder, he might end up in Pinstripes again.
Chris Carter, Milwaukee Brewers
Contract: one year, $2.5 million
Carter has never hit for average, owning a career .218 batting average. The right hander strikes out a lot too, but makes up for it with incredible power, hitting 90 home runs over the past three seasons and 14 already this season. The Brewers are 26-31, already 14.5 games in back of the Cubs. That type of power combined with Carter's cheap contract should make him a hot target this season if the Brewers decide to sell.
If the Yankees acquire any of these players, they won't be taking much of a risk. All four players have cheap one-year contracts and aren't expected to contribute above replacement level. Over the past few seasons, Cashman has acquired players like this for very cheap. If the Yankees end up making a move this year, it might be someone on this list.