Now that the Yankees have secured a solid starter in Andy Pettitte
, they have the luxury of essentially being able to cool their heals
until Spring Training. Their roster has rounded out fairly nicely, with the Sheffield trade bringing a young starter and 2 young relievers into the mix, and the only major change the Yanks would still like to make would come in the form of a defensive first baseman
, which would allow dear Giambi to focus 100% of his energies on hitting homers (I like how if you look at the picture on the left you might think he is making a great play, leaping into the air to snag the ball...until you look down and realize he is literally 3 inches above ground)
. Free agent and sensitive soul Shea Hillenbrand
has been considered for the gig, but the Yanks are apparently only looking to sign him to a 1 year contract and he is hoping for a longer deal; there have also been a few whispered rumors about making a trade for Richie Sexson
, but that appears to be solely speculation at this point. The latest unsubstantiated rumor
to make its way to the web involves 32-year-old free agent first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz
, who has played for the Twins, Boston, Mets and Royals. Dougie M (right, clearly capable of catching A-Rod's throws)
is not known for his offensive prowess – he has a decent lifetime batting average at .270 and an average OPS at .764 – but he is regarded as a skilled defender
. In 848 career games at first, Mientki has made just 28 errors (that’s a .996 fielding percentage
for those counting); Hillenbrand has made 27 first base errors in 365 games and Giambi has erred 73 times in his 1040 games at first. The Yanks were originally looking for a right hitting first baseman like Shea or Sexson to round out the batting order (Cano, Damon, Abreu, Matsui, and Giambi are all lefties), but Mientki will likely be very affordable and would certainly be a defensive upgrade.
No need to start practicing the spelling of his name for your “Mientkiewicz is a Bitch” (the only rhyming word I could come up with; I challenge you to find a better one) poster just yet: I don’t believe the Yankees have made any official contact with Doug, and the A’s are reportedly after the Mientkster as well, so I would not be too shocked if this rumor went off to rumor heaven along with the A-Rod trade rumors and Matsuzaka signing speculation before too long.