NEW YORK – The first step was quite simple.
With star star Aaron Judge poised to become 13th on the disabled list, the Yankees said he hoped to call Triple-A's Thaigo Estrada to take his place in Sunday's game against Royals at Yankee Stadium.
The next step? Who knows.
You do not replace just the judge, one of the most feared hitters in the game, who was bouncing .288 with five homers and 18 RBIs. You simply do not put a new face on the franchise when the face of your franchise falls. The judge suffered an indirect injury in the 9-2 victory over Royals at Yankee Stadium.
That the Yankees felt it was important to say in their official statement that they "anticipated" Estrada to take the post of judge on Sunday says a lot: they are not sure.
Here's a quick look at what general manager Brian Cashman could do:
Short Term: Bring Road up and do the starting outfield as follows: Mike Tauchman in the left field, Brett Gardner in the center field and Clint Frazier in the right field. Tyler Wade would serve as the fifth emergency outfielder.
Another short-term plan: They could use a Triple-A outfielder, though if that was in the plans, maybe they would have done it by now. Anyway, Billy Burns is in Triple-A. He played 242 major league games. The 29-year-old also has a lot of speed. Trey Amburgey is there too, and he has some pop. Adding any of them would require moving an injured player to the 60 day IL. The Yankees have a few candidates in that department.
Long term: José Bautista is a free agent. So is Denard Span and Austin Jackson. The Yankees have just signed with Logan Morrison, who is the first baseman with field experience. I doubt anyone would be ready for the majors now, considering that none of them had time in spring training.
Trades? It's a bit early in the season for most teams when it comes to negotiations. They do not usually pick up after the June amateur draft. But with the elimination of the August 31 waiver deadline, teams could feel a bit more heat to negotiate earlier. Joel Sherman of the New York Post speculated that Jay Bruce of Seattle, Shin-Soo Choo of Texas and Alex Gordon of Kansas City may be available early. "He also suggested that the puppies Ben Zobrist was a possibility.