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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Chase Headley #12 of the New York Yankees in action against the Houston Astros during the American League Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2015 in the Bronx borough of New York City, New York. The Astros defeated the Yankees 3-0. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

2016 Yankees position depth – Third Base

The New York Yankees have received solid contributions from Chase Headley since his arrival in a 2014 deal with the San Diego Padres.  Headley was acquired to bolster production lost by the suspension of Alex Rodriguez.  Although his defense was not up to the same level as his Gold Glove years with the Padres, Headley led the Yankees in hits during 2015.  The Yankees have had several third base prospects struggle in the minors in recent seasons, and while there are still quite a few possibilities available in the system, the best future scenarios may come from players making position changes.  Headley will have things manned for the next few seasons, but there could be some interesting developments moving forward.

In the Bronx

The Starter:  Chase Headley

Headley was a desired target of  Yankee fans for several years before the trade that brought him to the Bronx.  After his breakout campaign of 2012 where he hit 31 home runs and had 115 runs batted in, a move away from San Diego seemed inevitable once he reached free agency.  Although he has never come close to reaching the 30 home run mark since 2012, he had been a steady bat and was considered a premium defender at the hot corner with one Gold Glove under his belt.  His poor defense in 2015 made him the target of many fans as his 23 errors were far and away the most of his career.  Moving forward, Headley should still provide a steady presence at the plate with occassional pop and his defense should be expected to rebound to its prior level.  Headley is signed through the 2018 season and barring injury will more than likely be the regular third baseman during that time.

The Backup candidates

Rob Refsnyder

After the Starlin Castro deal, Refsnyder seemed to be destined to spend 2016 on the outside looking in.  However, he  has spent a portion of Spring Training working at third base in order to try to win the utility spot on the roster.  Refsnyder has made some very nice plays there thus far and has looked capable of making the transition.  If he can make the plays defensively, he will more than likely have the inside track, as his bat will overshadow the other contenders.

Ronald Torreyes

Torreyes will get a look during Spring Training to not only be the backup third baseman, but win the utility role.  Torreyes is known for his defense and can play second, third, and shortstop.  His bat is not completely a weak link, but he definitely brings the versatility the team is looking for and would certainly be an upgrade over Brendan Ryan from last season.

The Yankees did not have a quality reserve at third base last season and being able to give Headley days off will be key to his success not only this season but going forward as well.  Refsnyder and Torreyes will also be a part of an increasing need for roster flexibility in 2016.

In the Minors

Donovan Solano

Solano was signed to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training after spending parts of three seasons with the Miami Marlins.  Solano is a utility infielder that can also play the outfield if needed.  He has a career slash line of .257/.307/.302 and has decent discipline at the plate.  His glove is his claim to fame and he should play third base regularly for Scranton as he looks to try to reclaim a major league roster spot.

Deibinson Romero

Romero has spent the majority of his career in the Minnesota Twins organization, but spent parts of 2015 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and in Korea.  Romero was signed to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training and can play both first and third base.  He is known for a power bat and at one time was thought to have the best infield arm in the Twins organization.  He should get plenty of reps at third base in Scranton in 2016.

Dante Bichette, Jr

A first round pick of the Yankees in 2011, Bichette has put up inconsistent numbers since having a breakout campaign in 2012.  His power numbers were what got him his initial prospect status, but his lack of plate discipline has been his downfall.  His defense has improved drastically over the past three seasons, to the point that it probably at least rates as league average.  Bichette will begin 2016 as the everyday third baseman in Trenton, but will need to find consistency at the plate to move forward in the system.

Miguel Andujar

Andujar may be the best third base prospect the Yankees have, but he has struggled at the plate against competition that has generally been older than him.  Andujar was signed out of the Dominican Republic for $700, 000 in 2012 and has seen a fair amount of competition since coming stateside.  Only 20 years old, Andujar is projected to hit for a decent average with good power.  He should be able to stick as a third baseman, combining a strong arm with good range and hands.  Andujar may start another season with Tampa, but if his bat heats up he will quickly find himself in the mix in Trenton.

The Yankees seem set for the meantime at third base.  While they should have a veteran stashed at Scranton in case of emergency and a respectable number of prospects at all levels of the minors, there is also the possibility of a position change if one of their top shortstop prospects makes the big leagues.  We could possibly see Castro or even Jorge Mateo at third if he were to force his way to the Bronx and Didi Gregorius is still playing a solid shortstop.  The Yankees are set at the position for now and look as though they will have many options at the hot corner in the coming years.