Odds and ends. Who else this offseason? LF?

Interesting in that A-Jax and the Melkman are gone but nothing on LF. (Remember that Hairston and Hinske are free agents and we don’t know where they may be headed). So as of now you have Granderson, Gardner and Swisher, and despite everything, Cashman insists that Granderson is the CF.

So who plays LF? Damon has basically said that he knows that he doesn’t fit the Yanks’ payroll. To which I would like to add this to all the Holliday dreamers (nice pun this time of year, but unintended): If JD doesn’t fit the Yanks’ payroll, what makes you think Bay or Holliday will? Wouldn’t it just be easier to bring JD back? After all, he’s a proven entity in NY, unlike the others. Probably cheaper, too. But if he doesn’t fit, then Bay or Holliday won’t either.

As Mike Puma writes in the Post, Damon says that his price is too high for them right now. he doesn’t think he is their solution.

Cashman calls LF “an evolving situation.” I had my pick of Byrd. Who knows about DeRosa at $6M. It appears that JD won’t lower his demands to that range. Cashman states that he won’t be adding a major player to the OF.

What Cashman said I do agree with. It’s easier to find someone for LF than find a pitcher for the #4 spot—especially one who won 15 games last year, consistently gives 200 IP and 200K and was 4th in CYA voting.

No offense to MLBTR, but on 11/11 I pulled off their list of 2010 Top 50 Free Agents and their picks on where people would wind up. They have been consistently wrong. About the only ones they had correct were Pettitte back to the Yanks and Scutaro to Boston. That’s about it.

So who are the OF remaining on the list? Holliday, Bay, Damon (and if you believe Cashman, scratch all of them), Byrd, Vlad (if you think he can play the OF anymore; as with Matsui, I think not); Russell Branyan (yeah, I know, but I’m just listing him here because he has played LF in 150 games; no, I am not interested; great lefty power, .234 BA; 113 OPS+; tons of K’s; 162 game average .234-30-73 with 174 Ks. Last year for Seattle “all or nothing” Branyan hit .251-31-76 with 149 Ks, OPS+ 128). Jermaine Dye is also out there (mostly RF and I don’t think he would be good at switching to LF in Yankee Stadium; also 36 and if the Yanks don’t want to pay for a 36 year old JD, then Dye is off the radar, too).

…and one more name. I wonder if he fits the Yanks plans. I obviously don’t have the medical records and don’t know how that throwing arm is recovering…

but could the 2010 LF be the X-man? Xavier Nady? Nady is a free agent who has no leverage, missing most of the 2009 season (8 for 28, 4 doubles, 2 RBI). Nady is a .280 career hitter. 162 game average .280-21-78. I’d like him to walk a bit more, as his bb/k ratio is 34/107. The career OPS+ is 108.

This offseason, we look at all kinds of various lineups with possible pickups/trades. Let’s say (and I’ll use the Johnson 2nd scenario rather than the Johnson 5th, which is what I’d prefer).

Jeter SS
Johnson DH (with the OBP)
Teixeira 1b
Alex 3b
Granderson CF
Nady LF
Posada C
Cano 2B
Swisher RF

I put it that way for R/L/S/R/L/R/S/L/S.  … and batting 9th is a guy who had 29 HR and 82 RBI last year. Let me say it again… insane.

I am wondering if Nady may be the rabbit up Cashman’s sleeve. He made $6.55 M in 2009 but $3.35M in 2008 and $2.15M in 2007. Unlike JD, who is coming off a great year and great postseason, Nady has no leverage, coming off a wasted year.

You wonder about his health. Maybe Cashman sees the medical records. Maybe the X-man is the answer at $2M with incentives?

Today I heard talk about that other team in NY. Are they still alive? Good point on Colin Cowherd’s show. Bay turned down Boston, and apparently the only other offer is from the Mets? Shows how badly he wants the Mets, right? The same goes with Benjie Molina, whom the Mets also offered a contract to. Neither exactly rushed to sign it. Not only that, Jason Marquis, a NY lad, didn’t sign with the Mets but went to…the Nationals.

Nice piece by Joel Sherman today. Apparently the Yanks were aware that Holliday would require too much (and Toronto would prefer keeping him out of the division), the Phils wouldn’t like dealing Lee to the team that just beat them in the Series, and despite looking at Harang, Zambrano and a free-agent crop including Piniero, Washburn (looking at him yet again) and Garland, they weren’t bowled over by any of them.

Also interesting in Sherman’s take that Vazquez may have better stuff than Lackey but the fortitude question comes up.

I see Sherman (as I read his column now) raised the point I discussed yesterday: about Vazquez being a 4, and not the projected ace of 2004. Sherman also points out what I pointed out above: Nady on a low-base, high incentive contract could be an option. Lastly he points out something else I mentioned yesterday: either Hughes or Joba gets #5 with the “loser” setting up Mo. Some loss. Other teams would like “losers” like that, right? So it may appear that those who wanted Joba in the bullpen all along (and then take over for Mo) may be getting their wish.

Sad news today for one like me who was a child in the 1960′s (that is age-wise; child IN the 60s not OF the 60′s!): Connie Hines, who played Mrs. Wilbur Post on Mr. Ed, died.

I know he is doing well with the Vikings but I can’t take the Brett Favre drama anymore. The wanting to go back with the Pack after announcing his “retirement.” The going to the Jets. More wishy-washiness. Now the incident(s) with Childress. It seems like Favre thinks he is bigger than the NFL sometimes. I respect his accomplishments… as for the man himself, not so much.

Lastly, let’s hope that Vazquez has a bit of “Ralph Terry” in him. Vazquez, of course, gave up the grand slam to JD in Game 7 of the ALCS that ensured Boston’s 2004 comeback. Let’s hope for redemption, ala Terry. After all, it was Terry who gave up Mazeroski’s WS-winning HR in 1960, only to win two games in the 1962 WS, becoming the MVP of that Series. A 1-0 shutout in Game 7. Granted he got a little lucky when McCovey’s liner went straight to Richardson, but after Maz, Ralph could use the luck.

For those bashing the trade because of what happened in 2004, they best remember their Yankee history and hope the redemption Terry received in 1962 is experienced by Vazquez.  

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5 responses to “Odds and ends. Who else this offseason? LF?

  1. nice post– Nady could be a good idea– but what about his ability to make a throw from LF after recovering from second TJ surgery?

    ( insert johnny damon arm joke here )

  2. OK–how many Yankee left fielders does it take to screw in a light bulb? Two, if the first trying it is Johnny Damon. [baddump btzz]

    I read a few days ago how JD and Boras did not think that they misread the market this year or the Yankees. Ha. This was a poor year to be a free agent left fielder/DH type, and the salaries showed it. Now, I’m not at all convinced there isn’t some collusion going on among teams the last couple years. Yet that said, the market conditions simply did not favor JD making those demands. This was not Posada after 2007, with a dearth of good catchers available and a couple teams with cash, including and especially the Yankees, needing one after his stellar 2007. I’d still love to have JD back, but it seems decreasingly likely, in no small part because he misread the market. He could have taken a deal not unlike Pettite after 2008, which by the way worked out well for both sides, and parleyed it into something good. Plus, two years and $20 million was better than Abreu for a LF in serious defensive decline. JD dropped, outright dropped, no fewer than three balls in left. I wonder if Boras brought that up in his long-term sports actuaries…

    On Nady, I really like him and his game is good when he’s healthy, but his elbow clearly has me worried. I would not sign him with the expectation of making him the everyday LF. Plus, they have Hoffman, on whom they seem high (unless that’s a negotiating ploy), who would be the righty fill-in anyway. If Nady were healthy, this would probably be a settled issue.

    Isn’t it something to imagine that Swish, who also led the team in walks and also had a .371 OBP, might be batting 9th? That could happen. It’s that great a lineup. I too would prefer Johnson, whom my good friend Frank the Sage termed “Bucket Feet,’ batting 5th. If he had even decent speed, he would be great for the two-hole and, even slow as molasses, isn’t bad there. But he makes Teixeira, possibly batting right after him, seem fast.

    Lastly for now, so glad the Yankees passed on Washburn.

  3. Yes, definitely worried about Nady’s ability to throw. Of course the Venus De Milo would then have Damon’s left arm and Nady’s right arm.

    …and hence the need for BG/Hoffmann to be the d replacement/PR and occ. play.

    Just an aside…how many remember that for the last out in the WS that Hairston was in LF (Damon had to be removed after cramp rounding the bases early in Game 6) and Gardner was in CF (Melky got hurt in Game 4 and was done for the rest of the Series)?

  4. of course i remember feeling so bad for them both that they weren’t on the field as they won the championship– i’m happy that melky will have a ring to show off to his new team mates. i think the only other one there is chipper, right?

    have a happy holiday

  5. Just took a look. Chipper was there in 1995 (ROY runnerup, but he isn’t the only Brave with a ring. Get to that in a minute). Looking at Chipper’s stats you really get a wakeup call to how great his career has been. 1st ballot HOF. .307 average and 426 HR. A 143 OPS+ !!! Which raises the question…best 3B in Braves history….Chipper? or Eddie Mathews (521 career HR, .271; 493 of his HR were as a Brave)

    So what other Braves can show off a ring? Garrett Anderson. His 2002 Angels ring.

    Also Derek Lowe with his 2004 Red Sox ring.

    …and of course any coaches/execs… Manager Bobby Cox is one.

    I think that’s it.

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