With Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira scheduled to miss a significant portion the 2013 MLB season, the New York Yankees are exploring every option to improve their lineup.
Spring Training is almost over, and there aren’t many quality free agents available. Players like Carlos Lee and Scott Rolen are without teams, but neither seems to have much left. In order to sign a quality player to replace their corner infielders, Brian Cashman has begun to think outside of the box.
The Yankees general manager said he will attempt to get Chipper Jones to come out of retirement, according to Jack Curry of the YES Network. The third baseman announced last year that the 2012 season would be his final one in the Majors.
"If Chipper Jones wants to come back, I'd love to have Chipper," said Cashman.
Jones could be a solid contributor to New York’s lineup if he decided to return. In 112 games last year, he hit .287 with 14 home runs and 62 RBI. Even at 40 years old, the future Hall of Famer would likely be a solid contributor. He’s been a model of consistency, registering no less than a .800 OPS in any of his 18 seasons.
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After playing his entire career with the Atlanta Braves, it doesn’t seem likely that Jones will agree to play for another team. His agent, BB Abbott, told Joel Sherman of the New York Post that his client is done for good.
"I'll tell you what (Chipper) has told me. He is retired and not planning on coming back at all,'' Abbott said.
If Jones stays retired, the Yankees could bring in another retired player. According to the New York Times, New York will pursue Derek Lee.
Lee hasn’t played since 2011 when he split time with the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates. The first baseman performed admirably in his final year, hitting 19 home runs in just 113 games.
The report states that Lee is interested, though no deal has been reached. In his prime, Lee was one of the best players at his position. In 2005, his .335 batting average won him the batting title with the Chicago Cubs, helping him finish third in the NL MVP race.
At 37 years old, Lee would be the second-oldest Yankee infielder, behind Derek Jeter.