Davey Johnson managed 17 seasons in the big leagues and believed it to be absolutely crucial to introduce young players onto his roster regularly because of the energy and enthusiasm they could inject daily. Veteran players can lag through the grind of the long season, with nagging injuries, and if you had one or two newcomers hungry for success, Johnson thought, they could raise the bar for the others, naturally pushing the older players. A rookie hustling to first base on a routine ground ball or being in position to back up a play changed everything for the whole roster, in Johnson's eyes, because the established players wouldn't want to be embarrassed.
Joe Girardi, manager of the New York Yankees, has a similar affinity for young players, appreciating what they can contribute beyond the production measured on their baseball-reference.com page. Given a choice between mistakes made through overaggressiveness or through a lack of energy, Girardi would rather have the former, the teachable moments such as explaining to a rookie why he shouldn't have gone for an extra base, instead of watching a frustrated veteran lope to first base after popping up.
Girardi and the Yankees' staff might have this sort of choice in spring training when they pick a second baseman. After trading Martin Prado for Nathan Eovaldi, they don't have a clear front-runner at the position to play in an infield that also includes third baseman Chase Headley, shortstop Didi Gregorius and first baseman Mark Teixeira. The Yankees are monitoring the market, and if some attractive alternative at second develops, they could make a move.
But it's very possible the Yankees will choose among four options: