When analyzing the Yankee roster with a close eye, there are a few things that the Yankees could try to add: an additional infielder who can play SS for the bench, and perhaps another big bat to pinch hit in key matchups. You could even say the Yankees might need to bring back Brett Gardner to help their bench depth.
These are all valid talking points, which is why I have assembled a list of some key bench pieces who the Yankees can buy-low on. None of these guys are highly sought after names, but they are all impactful. While “dumpster diving” is “beneath” the Yankees, I think it’s extremely helpful for roster building.
Jedd Gyorko: 1B/2B/3B
Jedd Gyorko has somehow found himself without a job here in February, and the Yankees should try to land him. He’s a 32-year-old utility man with an above-average bat and defense, being one of the most underrated bench pieces in the league. He’s a right-handed bat with good defense and would be a very valuable asset on this team. From 2017-2020, he’s had a really solid stretch, with a .330 wOBA, 106 wRC+, 322 xwOBA, and 108 DRC+. He’s racked up a 16 OAA and 9 DRS while playing 1B/2B/3B primarily. He has some reps at shortstop, but he hasn’t done very well there. He’s a defensive upgrade and offensive upgrade as well, and can be a huge asset.
Asdrúbal Cabrera: 1B/2B/3B/SS
When it comes to names that have faded away, Asdrúbal Cabrera is certainly one of them. He was pivotal to the Nationals run through October in 2019, posting a 145 wRC+ with them when he was acquired. Cabrera has posted a .332 wOBA, 106 wRC+, .328 xwOBA, and a 105 DRC+ from 2017-2020. The only issue is we don’t actually know how good his glove is. OAA has him at -10 in 2017, but from 2018-2020 he was at a 15 OAA. DRS and UZR/150 however peg him as a negative defender, with roughly -44 DRS across all infield positions since 2017. This definitely makes me wonder if he’s actually a good fielder or not, but he is still a solid hitter who provides versatility as a switch hitter. Definitely not the safest bet, but for cheap he can be a pretty solid depth piece for the Yankees.
Brad Miller: 2B/SS/3B/LF
Brad Miller is certainly an odd baseball player defensively, playing nearly every position from 2019-2020. He had some sort of renaissance offensively, finally clobbering baseballs consistently. 2019-2020 isn’t a large sample size, but in that time span, he has a .358 wOBA, 124 wRC+, .357 xwOBA, and a 116 DRC+. He’s truly a stellar hitter, and he’s a left-handed option for the Yankees. His defense (while versatile) isn’t really that impressive, and so he’s basically a bleh glove with a really good bat. He’s no slouch at the plate, and if he is in pinstripes, he will do damage.
The Yankees’ bench is definitely far from perfect, but these options can help replenish it. Any one of these players could provide an offensive or defensive spark and give the Yankees much-needed depth for the infield.