With Aaron Hicks scheduled to miss half or more of the 2020 season due to Tommy John surgery, the Yanks made a necessary move in bringing back Brett Gardner for CF.
But Gardner is 36 and turns 37 next August. Giving him cover, and rest, is also necessary.
Which leads us to Cameron Maybin. Yes, Mike Tauchman can fill in for Gardner in CF, and both are lefty hitters, but what about a Gardner/Maybin platoon, with Tauchman filling in at all three positions if necessary (giving the corners, Stanton and Judge, a day off here to DH and also filling in at CF himself sometimes).
Maybin is a free agent and shouldn’t cost much. 33 next April, the righty hitting OF did surprisingly well for the Yanks last year, fitting in nicely after the Yanks picked him up from Cleveland where he started the year in AAA.
In 85 games, he hit .285-11-32, OPS+ 127. He also gave the Yanks an element of speed with 9 SB (although he was caught 6 times). Only Gardner–with 10—stole more bases for the Yankees than Maybin did last year (Tyler Wade, who only played in 43 games, had 7). He has had four seasons where he has stolen 20 or more bases. His 162 game average is .256-10-50, 26 SB.
After the Gerrit Cole signing, we’ll see how much $ the Yanks have in the till. A trade of J.A. Happ (with the Yanks picking up some, but not all of Happ’s salary) can help free up money. Money they then may use to bring Maybin back for one year at what should be a reasonable, relatively low-cost deal.
Clint Frazier isn’t an option for CF. With his poor defense, you even wonder about him in the corners. His bat is a nice option in case a corner OF gets hurt, but oh, that defense.
And we are talking CF here.
We’ll see what happens next.