LADY AT THE BAT: Nady, Swisher, Etc: Ring Around The Outfield

Monday, January 12, 2009

Nady, Swisher, Etc: Ring Around The Outfield

Ring around the outfield,
look at Swisher, Nady,
Damon, Melky, Matsui, aw, damn!

I'll admit I'm not much of a poet or lyricist, but this whole Outfield Carousel is just making me dizzy.

As most fans know, the Mark Teixeira signing displaced Nick Swisher and set those carousel wheels in motion. Everyone and his brother has been giving their opinions as to which outfielder the Yankees should trade. I don't want to be left out so, here's my take:

Nick Swisher
: A career .244 hitter who's a virtual utility guy. Coming off a down year. Signed a $26.75 million deal in 2007 which will run through 2011 with an option for 2012. Bad year plus big contract equals untradable (or, hard to trade).

Xavier Nady
: A true outfielder with a career .280 average. He had a great 2008 season, batting .305 and showing power with 25 HR. He's currently arbitration-eligible. Easy to deal, nice return possible.

Johnny Damon
: Old. Going into the last year of his deal with the Yankees. Can't throw but speed is still adequate. Excellent lead-off hitter whom the Yankees would be lost without. Impossible to trade.

Hideki Matsui
: Old. Going into the last year of his deal with the Yankees. Coming off a second knee surgery. A below-average outfielder but a professional hitter. Impossible to trade.

Melky Cabrera
: Coming off a down year. Above-average defender with no plate discipline. Tearing it up right now in the Dominican Winter League, which is, essentially, a Double-A league. Arbitration-eligible. Has no trade value.

Brett Gardner
: Made his ML debut in 2008. Fastest guy on the team. Would make an excellent lead-off guy, if he learns how to hit. Decent defender. To soon to think about trading him.

So what's the deal? What will happen in the outfield for 2009? With Swisher's contract and the problems of Damon, Matsui, Cabrera and Gardner, the most obvious choice to go in a trade would be Nady. That would leave Damon in centerfield, Swisher coming off the bench, Matsui as DH, and either Cabrera or Gardner in rightfield. With Austin Jackson waiting in the wings (and expected to play in triple A in 2009) this very well could be a scenario the Yankees are considering.

So, in 2010, we could conceivably be looking at an outfield of Jackson, Gardner and Cabrera. An entire outfield of homegrown Yankees. Would that be asking too much?

Yeah, probably.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Think I'd rather Gardy or Melky in center, Damon in left and Swish in right. I agree that if anyone goes it's most likely Nady but I'm okay with that.

Swish said he's not comfortable in center and I take him at his word. I think Brett and Melky battle it out in Spring Training with the loser taking a seat on the bench.