31-year old switch-hitting 1B Mark Teixeira played in 156 games for the Yankees last year and he was 146 for 589 (.248 avg, .835 OPS) with 90 runs scored, 39 homers, 111 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. Teixeira has now played in 470 games in his first three years with the Yankees and he is 478 for 1,799 (.266 avg, .877 OPS) with 306 runs scored, 111 homers, 341 RBIs and 6 stolen bases. He has played in 1,374 games in his first 9 years in the majors and he is 1,467 of 5,213 (.281 avg, .904 OPS) with 872 runs scored, 314 homers, 1,017 RBIs and 19 stolen bases. The Yankees would like Teixeira to hit for a higher average in 2012 but that’s nitpicking a little bit as he is good for 35-40 homers and 100+ RBIs this year as long as he can stay healthy. Teixeira is also a really solid defensive 1B as he has nice range and he only had 4 errors in 147 games at 1B for the Yankees last year.
36-year old lefty swinging Russell Branyan will try to win a job with the Yankees this spring. He played in 68 games for the D-Backs and Angels last year in which he was 25 for 127 (.197 avg, .665 OPS) with 11 runs scored, 5 homers, 14 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Branyan has now played in 1,059 games in his first 14 years in the majors and he is 682 for 2,934 (.232 avg, .814 OPS) with 405 runs scored, 194 homers, 467 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. Branyan is a all or nothing hitter, but he still would hit a lot of homers for the Yankees if he got to play fairly regularly. The only way that might happen is if Mark Teixeira got injured. Branyan played in 25 games at 1B last year and he made 1 error while showing about average range.
Switch-hitting Nick Swisher could come in from RF to play 1B if the need arises. He played in 11 error-free games at 1B for the Yankees while showing decent range.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 1B IN 2012: A