Legends On Deck

MLB Trade Rumors: Yankees Seeking First Base Help

Once again here we are just weeks away from the MLB Trading Deadline and teams are already out looking for what they need hoping to make their second half run to the post season a success.

MLB Trade Rumors reported on Tuesday that the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics are discussing a possible trade that could involve A’s first baseman Yonder Alonso.

Situation – The Yankees have been searching for a replacement for Greg Bird, who has been on the DL since May 2nd with a right ankle bruise. He is facing surgery to remove a bone that will likely end his season.

Options – The Yankees need someone who can be a presence this season and possible next because no telling when Bird will return. Even though they are looking at Alonso, there may be a better fit and he is right across town and a hometown boy. New York Mets T.J. Rivera, who was born and raised in the Bronx, has played 18 games at first base this season, also played first during the World Baseball Classic with Puerto Rico and did extremely well with an All-Star infield that included Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor and Javier Baez.  Rivera is more than capable of being that staple at first base for the Yankees and also the steady bat in the lineup. He can help in other positions as well if needed, as he has played third base, second base, and even left field. He can be a super utility ball player, which is an added plus.

Rivera is making the league minimum and is under the team control until 2019, and is at no great risk for any team looking for a consistent hitter that has already proven his worth.

Now Rivera does not have Alonso numbers (21 HR/44 RBI) but he is a clutch bat that puts the ball in play all over the field. As of July 17, Rivera is batting .296 (56 for 189), with 12 doubles, a triple, five home runs and 25 RBI’s in 65 games. He also had an 11-game hitting streak that was snapped on July 16th, as he hit .515 (17 for 33), with three home runs, and 10 RBI’s in that span.

The Mets have too many issues on their own team and are wasting Rivera’s talents.  He needs to be on a team that will utilize all that he can offer and just let him play everyday, because that is when he is at his best as Mets Manager Terry Collins noted recently to the press,

“At every level he’s ever been, because he’s hit, he’s played. He’s getting his chance to get in the lineup and play, and he’s doing what he [did] last year, and that is not only getting hits, he’s getting big hits.”

“When we started out the year … he wasn’t getting the playing time that he normally gets. … I think that had a lot to do with [T.J.’s performance]. What he’s doing now is what we saw last year because he’s playing every day.”

Mets fans alike are also starting to realize Rivera’s worth, and would be hellbent to let him go, but he is on a team that is struggling to find their identity and need new leadership, something that may not come for a while.

At this point, not sure what the Yankees would be willing to give up that can actually help the Mets, but it wouldn’t have to be much, and they are getting a bona-fide major league ball player destined to be an All-Star.

David Conde
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