The New York Yankees are heading into the 2016 MLB Season with a lot of confidence and aspirations. Pretty much like always, but maybe more than the average recent year. The New York Mets, following a World Series appearance, are just as ambitious. But shuffling around the injury-proneness of Alex Rodriguez and David Wright does pose a significant challenge.
Rodriguez will be 41 in July. He played 151 games in 2015, almost all of them as a designated hitter. That’s the most he played since 2007, resulting in 33 home runs and an .842 OPS, his best since 2010. He’s not the only aging player in the rotation or the lineup, which means the Yankees could use some help, especially at the infield, and the Aroldis Chapman suspension could mean they should find themselves another reliever.
The Mets don’t seem to be looking for any new relievers and Wright is much younger than A-Rod. However, the 33-year old third baseman is on a restricted 120-game plan, which might even be too much. He was on the field for just 38 games last season, and the last time he had no injuries during a season was 2012. The spinal stenosis isn’t going away, and while he had impressive numbers in the few times he was available (.289 batting average, .379 OBP, .814 OPS), the Mets could use some outside help.
There’s been talk of making a trade. For Yangervis Solarte of the San Diego Padres who can play all over the infield, doing quite well for himself since leaving the Yankees. There’s Derek Dietrich of the Marlins who has shown some potential and it’s a team that’s always looking to make trades. The same can be said of Luis Valbuena of the Houston Astros, although he counts for power alone (25 home runs in 132 games last season), batting just .228 in his career.
Right now the Yankees aren’t counting on outside help. They’ve been focusing on trades this offseason, and for infield help they’re looking at Robert Refsnyder, a second baseman who batted quite well in his 16 games with the team last season, to learn to play third baseman. Someone who could become a viable trade target if things don’t work out with Refsnyder is Cody Asche of the Philadelphia Phillies, who can play both left field and third base.