Monday, March 18, 2013

Teixeira's Season Hanging By a Sheath

"It hurts when I go like this."

The Yankees 2013 season is going from bad to worse and we haven't even gotten out of March yet. 1st baseman Mark Teixeira was already expected to be out up to two months with an injured right wrist, but word is now he could have season ending surgery at some point.

GM Brian Cashman told the media that there was a 75% chance that Teixeira would not need surgery, but at this point who can rule anything out when it comes to this year's team.

Teixeira hurt the wrist while using a weighted bat off of a tee at the World Baseball Classic. The injury likely would have occurred in Yankees' camp had the WBC not existed. The exercise was just part of Teixeira's normal routine.

What's not normal is the number of injuries the Yankees have suffered before the regular season has started. Curtis Granderson (broken forearm), Phil Hughes (bulging disc in back), Boone Logan (sore elbow), Clay Rapada (bursitis), and Alex Rodriguez (hip surgery) have all suffered injuries that vary in severity. Even Cashman broke his leg and dislocated his ankle while sky diving.

Teixeira's injury may be the worst of all (possibly surpassed by A-Rod, who also may be out for the year.) since there is so much uncertainty on how the sheath is his wrist will hold up. Unlike Toronto's Jose Bautista who had the surgery last year and missed 2 1/2 months of the season, the tendon in Teixeira's wrist is stable.

With it now likely that Teixeira won't return until June, Cashman has to continue to check the waiver wire, but also make more calls to add some pop to the lineup. He already made a good move when he picked up Brennan Boesch after Detroit released the outfielder.

Fans and some pundits (i.e. Mike Francesa) are calling for the acquisition of Justin Morneau from Minnesota. Morneau had had his own injury issues over the last few years (concussions causing the most trouble), but he did play in 134 games last season and produced 19 home runs and 77 RBI. (Plus a .773 OPS). He's scheduled to make $14MM this year and will be a free agent after the season.

The Twins have averaged just 64.5 wins over the last two years, so they may be willing to deal Morneau prior to season's trade deadline. They will ask for plenty for him, but given his salary, injury history and soon-to-be free agent status, they cannot expect to get a prospect laden package in return (perhaps Cashman can deal some of the overhyped pitching prospects in the system).

Twins GM Terry Ryan could probably get a bigger return for Joe Mauer than for Morneau, but Mauer does not fit into the Yankees plans. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, Mark Teixeira will.

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