Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Aaron Boone Gone For the Year 

The man who almost cost the Mariners Freddy Garcia, Rett Johnson, and $1.25M cash at last year's trade deadline, is gone for 2004 thanks to a torn ACL suffered in a pickup basketball game. Ouch.

The injury will not only cost the ALCS Game 7 Hero his season, but it may cost him most of his 1 year, $5.75M contract as well.

"Concerning his contract, I can confirm that there are certain prohibited activities, which include basketball," Cashman said. Boone is eligible for free agency after next season, and if the Yankees successfully converted the deal to a nonguaranteed contract, they could release him and be responsible for only 30 days' termination pay, $917,553, instead of the full salary, which is paid over a 188-day season.

The rumor mills are swirling as to who will replace Boone the Lesser. The Yankees do not have a backup third baseman with full-time major league experience. Enrique Wilson and newly signed Miguel Cairo are options to fill the spot, as is minor leaguer Drew Henson.

But this is New York. Steinbrenner. Big money. No budget. Surely, Steinbrenner won't allow Enrique Wilson to be the starting third basemen. So what's a man with a bottomless wallet to do?

Jeff Cirillo. Unlikely. If the man can't handle the pressure of Seattle, I believe Mr. Furious would go postal in New York.

Pudge Rodriguez. Scott Boras' wet dream comes in the form of some rumor-mongering that Pudge could play 3B. David Pinto at Baseball Musings explores this possibility.

Derek Jeter moves from SS - his defense is in decline from heights that were not that high, so 3B becomes a possibility.

Fernando Tatis? Mark McLemore? Graig Nettles?

Update 10:52am PST with this excert from NY Daily News which takes on the same question...

With Aaron Boone possibly lost for the season, the Yanks have limited options at third base. Here's a list of contenders.

Jose Hernandez: Most recognizable free agent available, but swings at more pitches than Alfonso Soriano.

Mark McLemore: No bat (two homers last year) but a decent glove. Made two errors in 29 games at third last season.

Miguel Cairo: The prototypical utility infielder, he's played just 19 games at third in the past two years.

Enrique Wilson: If Yanks face Pedro Martinez every game, then he's a perfect fit. Has played in 123 games since 2002.

Jay Bell: Former Met is retired and looking toward a managing career, but could be lured back to Big Apple.

Drew Henson: Drew Henson: Yanks got Boone so they wouldn't have to answer questions about Henson anymore.

Erick Almonte: Filled in at short for Derek Jeter last year, but has said he thinks he's got a better shot at making it at third.

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