Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm Back!

So Kyle was nice enough to help me out with a blog post as I try to catch up on the homework I am behind in. Heres a brief assessment about the current left field situation for the Yankees

First I want to start off by thanking Christina for letting me guest blog. She does quite the job with this blog.

Well it’s less than 30 days until pitchers and catchers report. It’s been an exciting offseason, but one looming question remains. What will the Yankees do with LF?

Currently, the payroll is right around 200 million and Hal Steinbrenner claims the Yankees have 2 million left to spend. Could this be a tactic to get Damon to lower his demands or is he really serious about staying to a budget?

Damon had a solid year last season, but his value seems to be most when he’s able to play half his games at Yankee Stadium. He’s a liability defensively. He had a poor September and he ended up getting hurt in the WS. I do not see the Yankees giving him more than 1 year. I think Damon’s pride will not allow him to go back to NY at such a discount. Atlanta I suppose can be an option for Damon if they trade Melky. However, it seems like Damon is heading down the road Abreu was last year where he overestimated the market and had no suitors. Abreu had no offers heading into February and was forced to take a low 1 year deal.

This seems to be a situation where having Boras as an agent hurt Damon. Damon being on the market helped another Boras client, Matt Holliday, get more money, but it has not helped Johnny Damon.
Ultimately, I think Damon’s days as a Yankee appear to over unless he really took a hefty pay cut. So where do the Yankees go from there?

One option is Brett Gardner and maybe they look for a left fielder that can hit lefties to platoon in LF. Gardner has speed, plays good enough OF, and hits ok. No power, but he gives us another dimension to our lineup. I do not think he is the solution long term at LF, but for 2010 or at least til like July or August in 2010 the team should be ok with him.

It is possible going into the season with Gardner and then later in the season acquiring someone to play LF. There are usually outfielders available during the season. All they really need is a stop gap guy. Some that gives them depth. The Yankees do not have to have an all star at every position. With that said, if the price was right the Yankees should not intentionally pass up on a player that could fill a need.

Another option could be Xavier Nady. Odds are him and Boras will want a lot, but the reality is he’ll have to take a cheap incentive based deal. Also guys like Ankiel and Dye are still available.
I am looking forward to a return to baseball. Nets and Knicks just aren’t filling in the gap. There are the NFL playoffs, but baseball is what I have been waiting for.

Thanks Kyle. I hope everyone still reading is doing well! Sorry for being such a slacker. Once baseball returns there will be more as the adventures are just beginning!


hesstopher said...

I suppose if the Yankees biggest problem is finding a starting LF and a 5th man in the rotation, they've had a successful off season. Looking back on it I think Cashman made some great moves the past month.

The Yankees will not give into Damon. Something tells me Cashman and Boras have the type of relationship where they don’t play Bridge on Sundays, if you know what I mean. Especially after the whole A-Rod opt out extravaganza. Which is fine. Bridge is a mind-numbing game. Brett Gardner/Jerry Hairston Jr are adequate replacements. Barring injuries, I am content with their outfield Merry Go Round.

As far as Gardner not being a long term replacement? I wouldn’t give up on him just yet. He’s still a baby (26). He hit a respectable .270 in 108 games as a second year player. He’s a poor mans version of Ellsbury; he can steal those little white things with the best of them. I love the dimension he adds to the offense. Once he’s on base (except for the playoffs), opposing teams should essentially give him second base. Let’s also not forget it took Brett a couple of years in each level to dominate. So if we don’t see some sort of improvement this year, maybe he unfortunately is a AAAA player. Yet he deserves a chance to start in LF this year. Although all this is coming from a bias point of view. I’m a sort of a big Brett Gardner fan. If I could even come close to making a blog as good as this one, I would make a “Brett Gardner’s Outfield Catcher” blog.

As for Nady? Would love to see him back in pinstripes. He was about a .265-.280 hitter with the Yankees if I remember. So the only upgrade he would give over Gardner/Hairston would be power. Except Nady wants upwards to 4-7 million a year. Not happening after coming back from surgery my friend. We’d have a better chance at seeing Damon than Nady at that price.

I also read rumors that Damon was considering retirement. Highly doubt that. He's coming off one of his best years in his career. I can't see him going all Mike Mussina on us. Who knows, maybe Damon might rekindle some lost love with the Red Sox?

オテモヤン said...
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