By Alfredo Alvarez
Miami, Flo- Neil Walker and the Yankees reached a one-year deal for $ 4 million. With this move, the Bronx added another experienced player on the roster, but both GM Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone, made it clear that Walker is not guaranteed to be a starter.
A new man will put on the pinstripes. pic.twitter.com/OAzkCvsHRA
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) March 12, 2018
Cashman said that Walker, 32, will be asked to play first, second and third base, positions he played last year for the Mets and Brewers. However, according to both of them: “Nothing is yet known in the fight for the second and third base position.”
The two candidates who have most defended their case are: Tyler Wade and Miguel Andujar.
Wade, finished the game this Monday averaging 333, with 27 at bats, 2 doubles and 2 RBIs. On defense, he looked solid and its speed is impressive.
On the other hand, Andujar in 32 at bats, hits for 281, with 4 homers and 9 runners brought to the plate. On the field, he has also shown improvements and no doubt, he has fought for a position so far this spring.
Walker’s contract includes incentives of $ 125,000 if he achieves 425, 450, 475 and 500 plate appearances.
The Yankees had been interested in Walker since last season, but at the end he went from the Mets to the Brewers; ending with 111 games played in 2017, an average of 265, with 14 homers and 49 RBIs.
Danny Espinosa, who was released today to make room for Walker, leaves the fight. Espinosa, so far this spring, barely batted for 160.
Another one that was not in considerations, but is been a nice candidate was: Kyle Holder. Who was sent to the minors. Holder, was hitting 471 with 3 RBI’s this Spring. The young man showed that although he has a way to go, he will continue in the fight for a position in the future.
The other case that seems to have no consideration is Gleyber Torres. Only a 130 average, and still not recovered from the Tommy John surgery, to which he submitted on June 21. Torres, definitely needs more time, not only to mature but to heal 100%. Despite the Venezuelan, is still considered the 5th best prospect of all majors, and could be a valuable addition to the roster of the Yankees in September, when the roster size increases to 40. Or maybe, who knows if he get call up before in case of an injury or low performance from somebody once he is healthy.
Will it be that Andujar and Wade still have hope? Or is the Yankee roster already defined with: Bird at first, Walker in second, Didi playing short stop and Drury at third base?
If so, it remains to be seen who are the utility players and also, the first baseman, Tyler Austin, is not giving up. Today he connect the 3rd home run of the spring and he have already 5 RBIs.
For now, let’s continue to enjoy this Grapefruit League, where it is still not fully defined who will be the 25 warriors that will come out to conquer the dream title number 28, for the greatest franchise in the history of professional sports.
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