Boone Out! Who's In-Part 2

The Yankees haven't made any earth shattering moves (yet) to replace the recently injured Aaron Boone but you really didn't expect them just to stand pat did you? Of course not. The Yankees have already begun there massive search to fill the whole at third base and started by signing journeyman Tyler Houston to a minor league deal Tuesday. However, many say not to expect the Yankees to quit there and despite their quickly dwindling options, another move could be inevitable.

Well, the Yankees certainly didn't wait long to act upon their sudden void left at the third base position. They signed Tyler Houston to a minor league contract in hopes that he could give some insurance at third base and provide some left handed pop. Despite this, many are asking, "is that it?" In the world of the New York Yankees and George Steinbrenner, it just doesn't seem likely that they will settle for less than the best. With their options continuing to drop rapidly, you can expect the Yankees to strike again and strike quickly. On the other hand, even if they are the Yankees what options do they have left?

One of the surprising front runners in the Yankee search for a third baseman did not stay on their wish list for long. The agent of free agent Jose Hernandez, was quickly contacted by Brian Cashman, but it was too late and the Yankee GM was informed that Hernandez had already signed with the LA Dodgers. So one of the Yankees top options had been eliminated just like that.

One of the Yankee longshots was shot down for good yesterday and eliminated yet another alternative in an already shrinking field of candidates. Oakland A's general manager informed the press that his star third baseman Eric Chavez was not remotely available. He was more than clear in his statement that the Yankees did not have anyone that the Oakland organization would be interested in. Again, this reiterates that the Yankees will have a very hard time making a blockbuster deal with the state that the upper levels of the farm system are in. As big of a longshot that this may have been, it has officially been put to rest and crushes another option for the Yankees. Along with that, rumors that had Troy Glaus and Corey Koskie as possible future third baseman for the Yankees have also been erased by team officials who say that the players arent going anywhere.

So, this recent news has many people asking what is left for the Yankees. Well, despite losing some alternatives to their situation at third base, new ones have emerged as well. One idea that the Yankees could certainly be pondering at this point would be to give recently signed Homer Bush a chance to win the job in spring training. However, this is a long shot by the standards of the Yankees organization and has very little chance of becoming reality.

There are some new options for the Yankees to consider that have come up in the days since the injury to Aaron Boone. A very strong possibility could be Milwaukee Brewer's third baseman Wes Helms and many feel that he could be part of a plan to set up a platoon situation that would also involve Tyler Houston. He could be had at a very reasonable price for the Yankees if they were to trade for him and is definetly a strong candidate to become latest addition to the Yankee roster. However, nothing has been publicly discussed and as far as we know ther have been no trade talks as of yet.

Two other players that the Yankees could think about would be former Mets farm hand and now Oakland Athletic Marcos Scutaro along with former Yankee farm hand Mike Lowell. Scutaro would be a very cheap, and modest option to fill the gaping whole left at third base but could be the type of player that could surprise a lot of people. Scutaro could be had for next to nothing according to many sources, but again the Yankees don't have reputation of taking on players of Scutaro's stature. Lowell, however, is a different story and has always been interested in returning "home." He structured a very complicated contract with the Marlins that said in so many words that if the team did not have a new stadium in the works by the 2004 season, he had the option to opt out of the last 3 years of his 4 year contract and become a free agent. So, this leads many to believe that if the Marlins were out of the race in 2004, they would be looking to trade Lowell before the trading deadline. However, for him to ever join the Yankees, many components would have to fall exactly in to place so it seems highly unlikely that the deal would ever transpire.

Since the beginning of the speculation to who would replace Aaron Boone at third base, one name has leaped to the head of the pack as the leading candidate. That name is Adrian Beltre of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 24 year old Beltre has greatly under achieved with the Dodgers but still has a lot of potential. Los Angeles may be looking to unload Beltre's contract and he could possibly be had at a fairly modest price of Yankee prospects.

The list of long shots has lost a few names in recent days but at the same time it has gained some new ones and some have options have even become more likely. Lately, there has been desperate, yet baseless outcries for the return of Yankee legend Scott Brosius. However, some wonder if this could actually happen. In a recent radio interview, Brian Cashman did not sound as if he thought the idea to be as ridiculous as some might expect. On the other hand, this still falls into the category of the longest of long shots. More, in the seemingly endless list of long shots would be ex-Yankee and semi-retired Charlie Hayes, Jay Bell, and Matt Williams. Of course, there is no absolutley no evidence to support that any of these players will be joining the Yankees or even have an interest. Also, an option for the Yankees that was a wild long shot was shot down. Gary Sheffield recently contacted Brian Cashman and informed him that he would be more than happy to play third base. He has not played the position since 1993, but Cashman nixed that idea on Thursday.

You can expect the yankees too move quickly to acquire a new third baseman for the 2004 season and don't expect them to stand pat with Tyler Houston. Brian Cashman is already working the phones to try to find out "who's in" at third base.

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