Yankees will sign Brendan Ryan as Derek Jeter insurance

Patrick Smith

Derek Jeter's health at his age and position is a question that necessitates backup plans at shortstop.

The Yankees have found their insurance at shortstop for 40-year-old Derek Jeter by re-signing Brendan Ryanaccording to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. While ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand reports that the deal is not yet final, Heyman's sources tell him otherwise.

Ryan was acquired by New York during the 2013 season, with the Mariners, Ryan's team since 2011, sending him to the Yankees for a player to be named later on September 10. While he hit just .197/.255/.273 for the season, Ryan's glove is one of the best in the league -- for a team without any capable options for the position, Ryan can at least perform half of his job well.

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He's very much a fill-in player at this stage, though: if he could hit like he did in 2011, when the shortstop batted .248/.313/.326, that would be one thing, but he's now on a four-year run of .217/.283/.294, for an OPS+ of 64. If all the Yankees use Ryan for is as a late-game defensive replacement for Jeter, though, as well as the occasional shortstop on days where Jeter slots in at designated hitter, then he shouldn't hurt New York.

According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the Yankees are still in on free agent shortstop and former Red Sox Stephen Drew, however, meaning that Ryan is possibly a temporary option, or that Jeter, if the Yankees can help it, won't go anywhere near shortstop in 2014. Drew received the qualifying offer from Boston, and would therefore require New York forfeit their first-round pick. The Yankees are currently slated to select 18th overall, the earliest they've drafted since 2005. They do have the potential to recoup picks through compensation as well, though, thanks to qualifying offers submitted to Hiroki Kuroda, Robinson Cano, and Curtis Granderson.

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