On Monday the Yankees signed infielder Neil Walker to a bargain 1 year deal worth $4 million. The Yankees have had their eyes on Walker since last summer when the Mets were shopping him and later sent him to the Brewers.
After the Yankees traded for infielder Brandon Drury from the Diamondbacks, many, including Walker thought that ended the chances of seeing him in pinstripes. However, Walker fell into the Yankees laps and Brian Cashman pulled the trigger. In my opinion this is a great move for the Yankees. It was clear that 2nd basemen Gleyber Torres, the Yankees number 1 prospect wasn’t ready to start the season in the big leagues after coming off of Tommy John surgery and only playing in 50 games above A ball in his career. He was sent to AAA on Tuesday. This also will likely mean that 3rd basemen Miguel Andujar, who has lit it up this spring, probably will being the season at AAA.
Granted this move, Brandon Drury will be the Yankees third basemen and either Tyler Wade, who has impressed the team this spring (can play all infield positions and outfield), or newly signed Neil Walker will play second base with the other becoming the utility player.
This move creates a lot of options for Aaron Boone. Walker can play third base and first base, along with second. That being said, it more than likely ends the shot of prospect Tyler Austin and veteran Adam Lind, from making the team as a backup first basemen.
In my opinion, the Yankees will go with Drury and Walker, as long as Walker hits this next two weeks of spring, otherwise, the youngster versatile Tyler Wade will get the nod for opening day.
If however the Yankees choose to keep Adam Lind or Tyler Austin on the big league team, that would led to the end of Ronald Torreyes who I have talked about before. He’s a fan favorite but he doesn’t do much that these guys can’t as well.
Walker hit .265 with 14 homers in just 111 games last season. His lefty swing is taylor made for the short porch in Yankees stadium and I think that plays to his advantage this season.
The Yankees can possibly have 9 guys hit 20 home runs this year. They are deep 1-9 and Walker only adds veteran leadership, as well as options and depth.