The 2014 trade deadline is creeping up on us, and while it looks like Brian Cashman will mainly be focusing on pitching, adding a bat, especially a right-handed bat, probably wouldn't be too bad of an idea. Since the Yankees cut Alfonso Soriano from the roster, they haven't really filled that right-handed bat off the bench role to come in against lefties. Right now the Yankees don't even have a true fourth outfielder since all they have is Zelous Wheeler and Kelly Johnson to fill in there. It might not sound like that big of a deal, but after seeing Johnson play out of position almost every day, it would be nice to actually have someone who doesn't have to fake it out there.
One potential target is John Mayberry, who despite having league-average overall numbers, has been killing left-handed pitching for years. He has a fairly pedestrian .212/.306/.398 batting line on the season, but if you keep him out of the lineup against right-handed pitchers, you suddenly have a 140 wRC+ hitter against lefties. That would be better than anyone the Yankees have right now with at least 30 plate appearances against southpaws. Most of those players are starters, the only other one of them that could be considered a possible bench player is Kelly Johnson, and he's at about a league-average 106 wRC+. Mayberry would actually be a legitimate lefty-killing option for the Yankees.
He also offers some defensive versatility, which the Yankees seem to like so much, as he can play all three outfield positions and would also be able to serve as an actual backup first baseman, unlike what Kelly Johnson has been doing all year. He doesn't play any of them too well, but it can't be any worse than what we've already seen at first base when Mark Teixeira isn't there.
The Phillies are on the verge of a fire sale, at least many contenders will hope they pull the plug; you never know with Ruben Amaro. Mayberry might not be a free agent until 2017, but he's starting to get expensive for a club who might be about ready for a rebuild. He's 30 years old, so if they are open to dealing him, they could take a young fringe prospect in hopes of getting some youth into the system.
While most teams will be checking in on Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley, the Yankees could also look into Mayberry as an important bench piece for this year and the next few seasons. While they don't seem to go after many right-handed hitters as free agents, every year it seems they're acquiring a right-handed bat for the stretch run. Last year it was Soriano and Mark Reynolds, before that there was Austin Kearns, Casey McGehee, Jerry Hairston, and others. It's just something that Cashman always does, but getting Mayberry would actually allow them to avoid needing to do this again next year and the year after that. The Yankees have already scouted him earlier in the season, so they might have already done their homework.