Yankees seek to fill infield void

Updated: April 14, 2014, 3:53 PM ET
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Even though they are in the midst of an infielder shortage, there is "no way" that the New York Yankees will sign free agents Stephen Drew or Kendrys Morales, a source familiar with the team's thinking told ESPNNewYork.com on Monday.

"Nobody's signing Drew or Morales, not at the money they're asking,'' said the source, who requested anonymity.

Drew, who earned $9.5 million as the everyday shortstop for the Boston Red Sox last season, is reportedly seeking a multi-year deal worth $14 million a year. Morales, who played 30 games at first base last season for the Seattle Mariners and was paid $5.25 million, reportedly turned down "multiple contract offers'' this winter to return to Seattle in 2014.

[+] EnlargeMark Teixeira
Stacy Revere/Getty ImagesThe New York Yankees expect Mark Teixeira to return to action Sunday, but still are looking to fill gaps at infield positions after recent injuries.

Drew and Morales are represented by Scott Boras, and both players rejected qualifying offers of $14.1 million to remain with their teams. A call to Boras seeking comment was no immediately returned.

The Yankees expect Mark Teixeira, who has been on the disabled list since April 5 with a calf strain, to return to the lineup Sunday in Tampa. Considering the number of games he has missed with various injuries over the past two seasons, the Yankees still are in need of an experienced backup.

Teixeira played just 15 games in 2013 due to a wrist tendon injury that required surgery.

The source said the Yankees would probably recall either Russ Canzler or Scott Sizemore from the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. Since neither are on the 40-man roster, such a move would necessitate someone being either designated for assignment or moved to the 60-day disabled list -- possibly Brendan Ryan (DL, upper cervical spine issue).

Meanwhile, the Yankees were informed Monday that catcher Francisco Cervelli has a Grade 2 hamstring strain and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list before Tuesday's game against the Chicago Cubs. However, it is expected Cervelli will be out significantly longer than that. A Grade 2 strain, while not the most severe form of the injury, often entails a four-to-six week recovery. Last season, Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton missed six weeks with a similar injury.

The Yankees have not announced who will be recalled from the minors to replace Cervelli as the backup to Brian McCann, who also was slightly injured in Sunday night's game when a pitch that hit Red Sox batter A.J. Pierzynski on the elbow ricocheted off McCann's right hand. X-rays taken of the hand on Monday were negative.

The most likely candidates to replace Cervelli are Austin Romine and John Ryan Murphy, both of whom are catching for the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

Manager Joe Girardi has already said Ryan will not be available until sometime after May 1, and since his DL stint was backdated to March 22, he could be placed on the 60-day DL and be eligible to return by May 22.

Sizemore is hitting .333 for Scranton, but has never played a game at first base in the major leagues. Canzler, who is hitting .269, is only slightly more experienced as he played eight games at first for the Cleveland Indians in 2012.

Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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