8/1/2014 7:04 P.M. ET
Prado to play right, but could see time elsewhere
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
BOSTON -- The Yankees are planning on playing Martin Prado as their starting right fielder, a position that he has never tried in a big league game, but manager Joe Girardi believes the veteran's versatility will allow him to make the shift with ease.
"A guy like Martin Prado, who has moved around in his career and has played a lot of different positions, you feel pretty comfortable there," Girardi said.
Prado was expected to land in Boston around 5 p.m. ET on Friday, traveling from Arizona, where he had packed up his belongings in the D-backs' clubhouse. Girardi said that Prado would be available off the bench on Friday.
Girardi said that he would consider using Prado as a reserve at second base and third base, but the Yankees mostly want to see him in right field, where they've been searching for a right-handed hitter since releasing Alfonso Soriano in July.
Prado, who is under contract for two more years at $11 million per season, should also figure into the Yankees' future planning; second baseman Stephen Drew will be a free agent and third baseman Alex Rodriguez's situation is uncertain.
"I usually don't talk about next year, but there's obviously some areas that are available next year that he could fill," Girardi said. "It gives us a lot of flexibility this year, but it gives us a lot of flexibility next year, in a sense. He has played second, he has played third and he will have played right or left."
Drew embraces challenge of playing second base
BOSTON -- Stephen Drew's on-the-job training at an unfamiliar position began Friday, as he was asked to play his first big league innings as a second baseman. It can only help his acclimation process that he had just half a ballpark to travel.
Acquired from the Red Sox on Thursday afternoon, Drew shuttled his belongings into the smaller visiting clubhouse at Fenway Park, suiting up in road grays and preparing to take on his former club as New York opened a three-game series in Boston.
"It comes with the territory of playing this game," Drew said. "It's pretty strange to walk across the clubhouse and change uniforms, but I am looking forward to it. I really am. New York's giving me an opportunity here. We're still in the chase. It's something I've been used to and I am looking forward to the challenge."
Drew is replacing veteran second baseman Brian Roberts, who was designated for assignment on Friday. Drew has never played any other position than shortstop in the Majors, but with Derek Jeter installed there, manager Joe Girardi said that he plans to use Drew mostly as the starting second baseman.
"I'm just excited to get to play with a guy who is in his last year, and try to learn as much as I can from him and take it all in," Drew said. "This is something new for me. It's definitely going to be a challenge, but also I am looking forward to the challenge. I take pride in that.
"It's baseball. I haven't done it in eight years of the big leagues, going over to second, so that will be an adjustment. But I think the Yankees, with this move, they are confident in me just with the athletic ability that I have to move to second."
Girardi said that because of aggressive defensive shifting, Drew actually has seen some time on the right side of the field even while playing shortstop, so he should be able to make adjustments rather easily.
"I asked him; with the shifts, you know he's capable of doing it," Girardi said. "Getting comfortable might take a little bit of time, though. Anytime you switch double play partners, there's going to take some time to get used to that, too."
Drew said that he played two months of second base as a 10th grader on the varsity squad at Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Ga., which is quite a leap to manning the middle infield alongside Jeter. That fact does not concern infield coach Mick Kelleher.
"He's got great hands, quick feet and a good arm," Kelleher said. "So that's a nice combination for a shortstop or second baseman."
In a strange twist, Drew was traded for Kelly Johnson, who is one of Drew's best friends from their days together with the D-backs. Drew said he texted Johnson to give him a few pointers about living in Boston.
"I'm thankful for the Red Sox and what they did for me," Drew said. "Now it's time to move on."
Despite changes, business as usual for Jeter
BOSTON -- There are a few new faces in the Yankees' clubhouse, but as far as Derek Jeter is concerned, there wasn't too much of a ripple effect from Thursday's wild non-waiver Trade Deadline. It is business as usual for the captain.
"It is more an adjustment for the guys coming in," Jeter said. "The guys that are here, it isn't really an adjustment. For us as players, we don't have to adjust to new guys. We just want them to do things that they have always done."
Jeter said that he liked the Yankees' moves, adding infielder Stephen Drew, infielder/outfielder Martin Prado and right-hander Esmil Rogers in advance of Thursday's 4 p.m. ET deadline, but Jeter also is giving thought to the players subtracted from the roster.
"Anytime you have moves, people leave," Jeter said. "I am sad to see guys leave. Brian [Roberts], Kelly [Johnson], [Vidal] Nuno, these are guys you get an opportunity to get to know. You have two sides to everything. You are happy to be playing with new guys, but at the same time, you are sad to see guys go. That's what you have to juggle."
With the Yankees entering play on Friday three games over .500 at 55-52, five games back of the Orioles in the American League East, Jeter said that his team needs to win more games but is still in control of its situation.
"We are in a spot that everyone would like to be in," Jeter said. "We win our games, we are in good shape. That's where you like to be."
Yanks hope change of scenery benefits Rogers
BOSTON -- The Yankees have had good reports on Esmil Rogers for some time, and manager Joe Girardi is curious to see if his club can straighten the right-hander out after a rough season with the Blue Jays.
"We've always liked his arm," Girardi said. "Our goal is to see if we can get this kid on a roll and he can help us."
Rogers, who can be used as either a short or long reliever, said that he was working out in Toronto when he learned that the Yankees had claimed him. Rogers said that fastball command was responsible for his 6.97 ERA in 16 games for Toronto.
"When you're bad, you're bad," Rogers said. "This year, I got a couple of bad outings. I just tried to fix that and come in pounding the zone, use more of my fastball and my fastball command. ... I think my fastball is my power pitch. My slider is nasty. When my fastball and my slider command is good, it's all right."
• The Yankees optioned infielder Zelous Wheeler and outfielder Zoilo Almonte to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Friday.
• Monday marks the three-week mark from Masahiro Tanaka's platelet-rich plasma injection, and the right-hander will be examined in New York to determine the next course of action. It will represent the halfway point of the six-week rehab that the Yankees talked about after Tanaka partially tore his right ulnar collateral ligament.