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Brendan Ryan Is Not A Yankee

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Remember when Felix Hernandez took out Alex Rodriguez with a pitch to the left hand that broke one of Rodriguez's bones? The Yankees do, because Alex Rodriguez was one of their starting infielders, and now they're down a starting infielder. Say, what's that over there?

Well the Yankees sure as hell aren't moving Derek Jeter. They sure as hell aren't moving Robinson Cano. Ryan is basically only a shortstop, who might be able to cover second base for a little while in a pinch. I guess the idea here would've been infield depth with Eric Chavez and Jayson Nix handling third for the time being. The Yankees would've wanted Brendan Ryan as a backup shortstop behind Derek Jeter. Brendan Ryan deserves to be more than that.

So it's no surprise that no agreement was reached. Not that we know anything about the negotiations. Not that we know anything at all. All we know is that Jon Heyman says the Yankees tried for Brendan Ryan and didn't succeed. All right. If the Mariners see Ryan as a starter-caliber player, and if the Yankees see Ryan as a reserve-caliber player, those might be said to be irreconcilable differences. We all know what the numbers say about Ryan's defense but other teams might not feel like that's enough.

Incidentally, about Ryan's offense - he's sitting on a .575 OPS, but he's posted a .633 OPS over the past two and a half months. His career OPS is .642, this is 2012, and he's been playing half the time in Safeco Field. For a while, now, Brendan Ryan has been more or less himself, and what's killing him is having gone 5-for-56 between April 21 and May 16. We can't just write off the early part of Ryan's season as being irrelevant, because those numbers matter too, but Ryan's slump seems to be over. He seems to be back to being Brendan Ryan at the plate, which isn't good, but which isn't a disaster.

There's no reason for the Mariners to consider Brendan Ryan untouchable. If somebody wants to pay a decent price to get him, they should be allowed to do so. But Ryan is arbitration-eligible after the year, he's not making much in 2012, and he's not going to have the sort of numbers that cause an arbitrator to award a considerable pay raise. What the Mariners should probably plan on is having Brendan Ryan at short in 2013, with Nick Franklin applying pressure from below. If Franklin wins the job in camp, great. If Franklin wins the job in June, great. Ryan's not a long-term piece, but he's a capable bridge and he's a hell of a lot more valuable than his .196 batting average. Which, of course, the Mariners realize. Maybe more than anyone else.

If there's true value to be gained from shipping Brendan Ryan away, the Mariners should go after that value. If there isn't - and there probably isn't - then I'm pretty damn happy with having Brendan Ryan. Brendan Ryan is probably the best in baseball at something, and there aren't many players who could say that.