The New York Yankees are in search of a right-handed bat to complement their trio of lefty hitters set to patrol the outfield grass next season, reports Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News:
Cashman said he never made an offer to Ibanez. Yankees' priority is to sign a RH-hitting OF before they sign any DH, especially a lefty.— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) December 23, 2012
As it stands now, the Yankees' outfield consists of Brett Gardner in left, Curtis Granderson in center, and Ichiro Suzuki in right. All three players are left-handed hitters, which does not give the club any options for setting up any kind of platoon advantage in the outfield.
Feinsand speculates that free-agent outfielder Matt Diaz could be a good fit for the club. The 34-year-old has battled with an infection in his thumb the last few seasons -- which has limited his playing time -- but he is believed to be healthy now. The 34-year-old has always hit southpaws well, batting .324/.364/.498 with 31 home runs in over 1,000 plate appearances for his career.
Another right-handed bat that has been bandied about is veteran outfielder Scott Hairston. The Yankees have had conversations with the righty slugger recently, but Jon Heyman of CBS Sports believes that the outfielder is a tough fit for New York because they do not have a starting role to offer Hairston, which he is seeking along with a multi-year deal.