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The Yankees sign Brendan Ryan

Nov 18, 2013, 9:41 AM EDT

brendan ryan yankees Getty Images

Jon Heyman of CBS reports that the Yankees and shortstop Brendan Ryan have agreed to terms. Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported that the sides were close last week.

Ryan is one of baseball’s worst hitters, but he’s perhaps the best defensive shortstop this side of Andrelton Simmons. His signing by the Yankees is an indication that, nope, the Yankees don’t plan on going out and getting a new everyday shortstop. Rather, they’ll hope Derek Jeter can handle the job for one more season, with Ryan around to spell him and replace him late in close games.

  1. chip56 - Nov 18, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    The important thing about this signing is that it means the Jayson Nix era in New York has mercifully come to a close. It could also be paving the way for a trade involving Eduardo Nunez.

    • Kevin S. - Nov 18, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      You misspelled “non-tender” towards the end of that last sentence.

      • dan1111 - Nov 18, 2013 at 10:27 AM

        I dunno, maybe they should see if some team will trade a top pitching prospect for him. After all, it might work out well in hindsight.

      • Arods Other Doctor - Nov 18, 2013 at 2:25 PM

        dan1111 … who the eff would trade anything of value for Nunez, much less a “top pitching prospect”? Hate to break it to you, but the guy isn’t very good.

    • bigharold - Nov 18, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      “..the Jayson Nix era in New York has mercifully come to a close.”

      Nix’s BA & OBP for the few years is better than Ryan’s, Nix is more versatile and is younger.

      We’re only talking about a bench position here but Nix has served the Yankees well and at this point is better than Ryan.

      • cackalackyank - Nov 18, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        Agreed. I hear the voice of Obi-wan saying “this is not the signing you were looking for”.

    • anxovies - Nov 18, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      Nunez is probably going to get another year because of his improvement in the field and his potential as a hitter. You may be right about Nix leaving, although I question the “mercifully” comment. He did a pretty valuable job bouncing around the infield the last two years plugging holes caused by injuries.

  2. historiophiliac - Nov 18, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    I think platooning short stop will ensure another Yankees championship in 2014.

    • nbjays - Nov 18, 2013 at 10:03 AM

      Only if platooning means putting in Jeter when you need a bat and Ryan when you need a glove.

      • dan1111 - Nov 18, 2013 at 10:29 AM

        I think in this case it means “give them both Groucho Marx glasses and hope the umps don’t notice it’s two different people”.

      • bigharold - Nov 18, 2013 at 11:05 AM

        “.. give them both Groucho Marx glasses..”

        Bobby Valentine? Is that you??

  3. uyf1950 - Nov 18, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Nice insurance signing for SS in case Jeter needs more days off or DH’ing for probably just a few dollars by MLB standards and considering how many other holes the Yankees need to fill with their available dollars. Besides Nunez can always fill in offensively at SS if need be. Better to use the big dollars for a starting pitcher, catcher and right fielder and potentially a better 3rd base option.

  4. ud1951 - Nov 18, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    Is there a defensive/offensive offset stat in Sabermetrics, this guy strikes me as the poster boy for costing you more runs on offense than he saves on defense. And add that he rarely shows up ready to play unless he’s given a lot of supervision. If he is still playing shortstop on a semi-regular basis for the Yankees in August, I predict it will be another long winter next year for the Bombers.

    • uyf1950 - Nov 18, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      Do you honestly think that one role player batting at the bottom of the order even if he plays 60 plus games will have an sort of significant impact on the Yankees 2014 season if the Yankees can accomplish what they need to with their other off season signings? Because that seems very, very unlikely.

  5. Joe - Nov 18, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    “His signing by the Yankees is an indication that, nope, the Yankees don’t plan on going out and getting a new everyday shortstop.”

    One of the five sentences in the attached article reads: “The Yankees are still pursuing free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew as they have questions on both sides of the infield.”

    What I think this is indication of is that Ryan is a safety signing. If they end up needing someone like him, they have him. If they have three of Jeter, Cano, ARod and Drew, Ryan gets released.

  6. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 18, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    He’s kind of like those slick-fielding prospects in the minors who struggle with the bat, except without all of that burdensome “potential to improve.” I wouldn’t be surprised if Nix gets a contract somewhere and turns into an average-or-better regular. Nix was also decent at 3B and 2B when needed. Perhaps Ryan can perform there as well, but he hasn’t apart from a handful of games for the Cards way back when.

    For a role player I suppose it doesn’t matter, but it is hard to get excited about this one at all.

    • ctony1216 - Nov 18, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      Considering the way the Yankees went through backup shortstops last year, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ryan was an ex-Yankee by May 1. Right now, the Yankees have 4 shortstops, including 3 who can hit, and 2 who can also play 3B. And the Yanks are also supposedly interested in Drew, who had a better year offensively AND defensively than Ryan did last year. Scratching my head over this one.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 18, 2013 at 3:19 PM

        The Yankees do not have a single infielder under contract who they can count on playing the infield in 2014, and Brendan Ryan was the first signing. Teixeira? ARod? Jeter? Cano? Somebody to catch whatever the pitcher throws? Right now they have Ryan, Nunez, Nix, and Cervelli. If Teixeira’s wrist is still sore in ST I suppose Vernon Wells will be penciled in there.

  7. uyf1950 - Nov 18, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    It’s now being reported that Ryan has signed for $2MM plus some incentives. FYI, last year Ryan earned $3.25MM after signing with the Mariners to start the 2013 season.

    It’s really not a bad deal at all for the Yankees, $2MM is pretty much petty cash by MLB standards.

  8. anxovies - Nov 18, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Kevin Long thinks Ryan has gone through too many changes in his batting stance and approach and is “fixable” as a hitter. Remember that he hit .292 in 129 games with St. Louis in 2010, when he was their starting SS for most games. Since then he has bounced from Seattle to Toronto, places that are not known for a strong hitting environment. At the end of last season the plan was for Long to work with him a couple of weeks during the Winter. If that happened he might be a pleasant surprise in 2014. Ozzie Smith was a .230 hitter until after he was traded to the Cardinals.

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