The Yankees lost Curtis Granderson for about 10 weeks yesterday to a broken forearm, although to some people it feels like the whole season. Take away Spring Training, and Granderson is set to miss just 30 games of the regular season, which puts him on track to return some time in the early stages of May – hardly reason to panic.
Immediately after yesterday’s game, social media exploded with knee-jerk reactions about how the Yankees are “doomed” and that the season is lost. Will the Yankees miss Granderson’s power bat? Yes. They’ve lost over 100 home runs to free agency and injury in the offseason. Take away Granderson’s power, and Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano are the only guys in the lineup capable of taking any pitch out of the ballpark at any time. But as I said before, Granderson will only be out for about 30 games. The Yankees have plenty of options for replacements until he is able to return.
Yesterday, Brian Cashman said that right now the Yankees will be looking internally for replacements. This will include looking at Melky Mesa, Zoilo Almonte, Ronnier Mustelier, Matt Diaz, and Juan Rivera, to name a few. The organization will make any roster move with the idea in mind that Granderson will be gone for essentially a month once the regular season starts. If Granderson were lost for all 162 games, coupled with his impending free agency, you would expect the Yankees to make a more drastic move.
Personally, I think the Yankees should look outside of the organization for outfield help. If you run down the list of available free agents, you will find some familiar names that I think would be worth a shot. I’m of course talking about Johnny Damon and Bobby Abreu. Damon has made it clear in the past that he would love to retun to New York. A vital part in the championship run of 2009, Damon has spent time since with the Tigers, Rays and Indians. Although not the player he used to be, Damon would be a serviceable stop-gap option.
Abreu put up good numbers with the Yanks from 2006-2008 before going to the Angels and Dodgers. Both players have warranted little attention this offseason. Cashman should at least make a few phone calls to guage interest. Damon and Abreu would most likely receive minor league deals with invites obviously to Spring Training, so the cost and risk would be minimum. Yes these players are old (add em to the list) but remember, this is a short-term fix.
The Yankees should explore every avenue in trying to replace Granderson. Cashman has had success before with finding diamonds in the rough late in Spring Training, like proven veterans Eric Chavez and Raul Ibanez. Maybe lightning can strike again for the Yanks.