We all know about Brian Cashman's goal of upgrading the starting rotation before the upcoming trade deadline on Thursday, but it's pretty clear that the Yankees will also need to add another bat in the lineup in order to truly compete for a playoff spot. The addition of Chase Headley was a start, but now Cashman needs to add at least one more hitter.
There aren't a ton of options out there on the market, but a few that could draw some interest. According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the Yankees are showing interest in Minnesota Twins outfielder John Willingham.
Heyman says that the Yankees prefer Willingham, 35, over some other power outfielders, like Marlon Byrd and Alex Rios, mainly because of his contract situation. The right-handed hitter makes just $7 million this season, and is a free-agent after the year, while makes $12 million, with a $2 million buyout of a $14 million team option, and Byrd has an $8 million salary next year.
With Carlos Beltran still unable to play the outfield, and Ichiro Suzuki continuing to struggle in the everyday-outfielder role, Willingham would provide the Yankees would a much needed boost of power in both right field and the right side of the plate, which they've lacked since Alfonso Soriano struggled and was eventually released.
Willingham is batting just .215 with 10 homers in only 56 games -- he missed 41 games earlier in the year with a wrist injury, but appears fully healthy now -- while playing most of his games in the spacious Target Field. Power has always been one of his strenghts, hitting 35 homeruns back in 2012, a year after hitting 29 with the Oakland Athletics. Playing in big ball parks has not stopped him, and playing in Yankee Stadium could only help, you'd have to think.