The New York Yankees are being forced to put all of their hopes into the health of Mark Teixeira in 2016. With Greg Bird officially lost for the season following a torn labrum in his shoulder, the veteran is all the team has at first base. Considering Teixeira's injury history, getting a contingency plan is a priority for the Yankees this offseason who now need options should something happen. General manager Brian Cashman plans to explore options.
Cashman told the media that he will look at options to build depth in the infield should Teixeira get hurt again. The first baseman was putting together an All-Star year prior to getting hurt and while the Yankees expect him to be fully healed come spring training, there is lingering doubt about the issue. Bird was the backup plan and now he is gone forcing New York to explore free agents and trades.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Juan Uribe could be a realistic option for the Yankees. Right now, Buster Olney of ESPN reports that Uribe could be headed to the Cleveland Indians, but Sherman believes the Yankees would be wise to enter the discussion. Yes, Uribe players third base. However, Sherman makes the case that Uribe could be used as a backup to Chase Headley would could then switch to first base if needed. Having Starlin Castro on the roster along with Dustin Ackley gives the Yankees some wiggle room in case of injuries, but Uribe would be a solid addition to top it off.
John Harper of the New York Daily News reports the Yankees could have a hard time getting help on the roster simply because everyone knows that Teixeira is the guaranteed starter. Pedro Alvarez might be the best available option on the market, but he is not going to want to play backup to Teixeira. He is looking to be a starter and will command a big contract along with it. Justin Morneau is in the same boat. At 34, Morneau wants to play for a contending team. That might be the Yankees. He is no longer a full-time player, but the Yankees do not need that. At the same time, he could command more money than New York is willing to pay.
All in all, the Yankees must hope Teixeira stays healthy to eliminate all issues. The team could try Alex Rodriguez at first base again, but that experiment failed the first time around. If Teixeira can return to form and play well, he might earn himself a contract extension for 2017 with the Yankees. If he struggles then he can expect to be traded or released next year.