Cashman Reaches Out To Derrek Lee, Says Chipper Would Be ‘Perfect’ For Yankees
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees need bats right now.
More specifically, they need a first baseman with Mark Teixeira out for eight to 10 weeks. Or a third baseman, which would help if Kevin Youkilis moves over to first.
How’s this for creative? New York has approached Derrek Lee about coming out of retirement and resurrecting his career in the Bronx.
Cashman confirmed that he reached out to the 37-year-old and has spoken to him. According to a tweet from Jack Curry of the YES Network, the general manager said, “I made a call. I liked him as a player.”
Curry tweeted: “Cashman called Lee a Yankee type because of his approach and makeup. When asked about chance of signing him, simply said Lee isn’t here now.”
Lee last played in the big leagues in 2011, playing 85 games for the Orioles and 28 games for the Pirates. The 2005 National League batting champion hit .267 that season with 19 home runs and 59 RBIs.
In his 15-year career, the three-time Gold Glove Award winner batted .281 with 331 dingers and 1,078 RBIs.
If the Yankees go with internal options to replace Teixeira, it remains to be seen who will fill his void.
“If Opening Day was tomorrow, I’d say it’s either Kevin Youkilis or Dan Johnson (playing first base),” WFAN’s Sweeny Murti told Mike Francesa last week. “It didn’t sound like it was the best option they wanted to choose, but a combination of (Jayson) Nix and (Eduardo) Nunez could play third base. They’ve shied away from playing Nunez anywhere but shortstop, but obviously things change when you have injury situations like this. Nothing is ideal right now.”
Manager Joe Girardi also indicated that there is uncertainty with Teixeira down.
“That’s something we would have to look at,” the skipper said in regard to the first-base situation prior to knowing the severity of Teixeira’s injury. “We have a number of guys that have played there. Juan Rivera has played there, Dan Johnson has played there. (Kevin Youkilis) has played there. There are a number of things you could possibly do.’’
Cashman said he’s “not optimistic” about Lee signing with New York, according to Curry. He also said, “If Chipper Jones wants to come back, I’d love to have Chipper.”
Jones, a career Brave, retired from baseball this offseason after a 19-year career. The Yankees’ GM said that Jones would be “perfect” for the Yankees and he plans to call his agent, according to Curry.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post spoke with Jones’ agent, B.B. Abbott, and as expected, it seems highly unlikely that the future Hall of Famer will ever play again.
“I will tell you what (Chipper Jones) has told me: He is retired and not planning to come back at all,” Abbott told Sherman. “I don’t think (joining the Yankees) is something he would consider, but he would be flattered. We talked a lot about him in pinstripes because of all the great players the Yankees have had, but it is probably too late now.”
Jones addressed the matter at 2:00 p.m., tweeting: “Enough with the rumors! While I am flattered about the speculation of being enticed out of retirement, I’m happy with life as a bad golfer!”
Cashman has also looked into third baseman Scott Rolen, reported Curry. The GM said that he believes the 17-year veteran would play in 2013 if the circumstances were right.
The 37-year-old batted .245 with eight homers and 39 RBIs in 92 games for the Reds in 2012.
Desperation, anybody? Any interest in either Lee or Chipper, Yankees fans? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…