The New York Yankees had numerous setbacks during their 2015 campaign. Injuries to key players, as well as lack of production, were things that hurt them during the regular season. This lack of production also led to a short postseason appearance, in which they lost in a rather embarrassing fashion to the Houston Astros. While each position on the diamond had its setbacks, second base is where the Yankees saw a majority of their problems. While Stephen Drew, Brendan Ryan, and Rob Refsnyder tried their best, the Yankees second basemen still finished near the bottom of the league in nearly every offensive category.
During the 2015-2016 offseason, the Yankees should be looking at a second baseman to fill this hole and give the Yankees more productivity. Ever since they lost Robinson Cano to the Mariners a few years ago, that position hasn’t been the same. In 2015, the Yankees second basemen ranked 14th in WAR, 13th in offensive WAR, 14th in batting average, 13th in OBP, last in hits and the list goes on. This lack of production hurt the Yankees and prevented them from scoring runs, and winning games.
While there are a number of second base options out there for teams to sign, a guy that has gone under the radar is Steve Pearce. Pearce, who has spent the last few years in Baltimore, is a free agent this offseason. While he has only played 18 career games at second base, the utility man has proven that he has the ability to play and learn new positions. Pearce, who is a career .247 hitter, can make an immediate impact in the Yankees lineup. His career numbers are better than what the Yankees second basemen put up last year by far. His average is about 20 points higher, and while his 15 home runs and 40 RBI are less than the 21 long balls and 64 RBI’s the Yankees second basemen put up last year, Pearce only played in 92 games as opposed to the full 162. Give him a full season and he will pass those numbers with ease.
While the Yankees certainly have the money to acquire anyone they want to this offseason, they could easily snag Pearce for next to nothing. Pearce made a career high $3 million last year, and after a down year his value dropped a little bit. The Yankees can probably get him for a two or three year contract for under $10 million. Considering they paid Stephen Drew $5 million last year, a lower cost and higher production is a rare opportunity in the game of baseball. The Yankees should be jumping at the chance to sign Pearce before someone else does.
Steve Pearce could be the next Yankee second baseman. Fans are torn, with some saying they should just give the position to Refsnyder, while others believe he is too inexperienced and needs to develop more. Adding a veteran in Pearce will not only increase productivity immediately for the Yankees, but will help in the long run by allowing Refsnyder time to develop and giving him big league experience before he eventually takes over the position in a few years. Steve Pearce has a lot to offer. He is not a big name in the free agent market, but fits what the Yankees are looking for. He has power, and can play a clean second base. If the Yankees are smart then they will sign Pearce to a contract, and will see more success at what was a dismal position for the past few years.