Monday, November 20, 2006

Shea Hillenbrand Backs Yankees GM Into a Corner

Free agent 1B/3B Shea Hillenbrand has Yankees GM Brian Cashman cornered with no way out. Nomar Garciaparra re-upped with the Dodgers, Frank Thomas can't play the field and signed with the Blue Jays, Gary Sheffield refused to play first and was traded to Detroit, Craig Wilson is a slow, defensive liability and strikes out too much, Phil Nevin's best days are behind him, Daren Erstad has health issues and is a shadow of his former self since his high-school sweetheart ran off with a fireman, and Andy Phillips can't hit. Where is Nick Johnson when you really need him? Cashman is whistling in the dark when he claims he has players within the system to fill the void at first base. Like whom? Cody Ehlers, an 11th round pick who is three years away at best? And forget about Eric Duncan, the 27th overall pick in the '03 draft. The Arizona Fall League has finally concluded with Duncan turning in another lackluster performance, hitting just .257 with a couple of homers. Duncan will be doing well just to keep from washing out at AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre. No, Brian Cashman needs a respectable right-handed bat to balance his lefty-dominated lineup. All the stars have aligned for Shea Hillenbrand, who likely will sign for what not so long ago was thought of as superstar money.