Why the Yanks aren’t prioritizing center field

Cisco to bring wired experience to new Yankee Stadium
If you screw up, we will find you

We’ve heard from Brian Cashman that center field is not a priority this off-season. The Yanks have three immediate options in Johnny Damon, Brett Gardner, and Melky Cabrera, though question marks certainly surround each. With Austin Jackson waiting in the wings as the team’s number one prospect, they likely don’t want to make a long-term commitment. Basically, there are enough options in the short and long term that the team doesn’t necessarily need to make a move.

That’s not the only factor, though. As MLB.com’s Jim Molony points out, the center field market isn’t exactly inspiring. He notes the heads of the class are Ken Griffey and Milton Bradley, neither of whom plays center field in an ideal environment. Griffey’s range doesn’t permit his play there, and Bradley is too fragile to trot out every day. You can add Rocco Baldelli to this group, though he faces fragility issues as well.

This doesn’t bode well for the rest of the class, which includes Jim Edmonds, Willie Bloomquist, Mark Kotsay, Corey Patterson, and Scott Podsednik. Yuck. Apparently, Molony thinks that Jay Payton can play center and that the Mets would shop Endy Chavez, who is signed for just north of $2 million for 2009. None of these should even be in consideration.

So the Yankees might be planning to make Brett Gardner their Opening Day center fielder not out of want, but out of necessity. Let’s hope he can handle it.

Cisco to bring wired experience to new Yankee Stadium
If you screw up, we will find you
  • Jrsrock

    So we are 100% certain the Milk Man can’t deliver?

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      Are we talking about delivering outs?

    • radnom

      The milk man delivers just fine.

      Melky….not always so much.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if he beats Gardner for playing time next year though.

      But I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t either.

    • Tim

      Actually the milk man has a long history of delivering tasty dairy products many homes. It is Melky Cabrera who cannot deliver.

  • Chip

    Trade Kontos and/or IPK for Ankiel and/or Schumaker, solves a need for both teams while dealing from strength. DO IT

    • Ivan

      Ankiel is not that good. Other than his power and arm, he’s a mediocre player. Not good OBP% skill, not a good fielder, can’t hit lefties. No.

      • Chip

        I agree that I’d rather have Schumaker than Ankiel but Ankiel is quite certainly better than Gardner with a bat in his hands. Also, Ankiel can play an above-average right field as well which means we have a lot of flexibility in our lineup. Just for fun

        Paul O’Neill age 29 – .246/.346/.373 with 14 Hr’s
        Rick Ankiel age 29 – .264/.337/.506 with 25 Hr’s

        I’m by no means saying Ankiel = O’Neill but he could be a solid contributor out there with a ton of power.

        On the other hand, you have Skip Schumaker who is a very legit center fielder who gets on base at the .350 clip. So for this season you have a lineup of

        LF – Damon
        CF – Ankiel or Schumaker platoon with Gardner
        RF – Ankiel or Schumaker platoon with Nady
        1B – Nady platoon with Miranda

        Of course, all of this is rendered moot if we sign Tex but would you not say this a better team with one of those two on it while only having to give up someone like IPK who isn’t really being counted on to contribute at the major league level? I’d also say we take on Adam Kennedy’s contract and use him as a backup infielder. It’s not like 4 million is going to break us

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          Of course, all of this is rendered moot if we sign Tex

          Of course, all this is moot right now since the Cardinals would never trade us a legit big league centerfielder for two prospects who profile as a #3-#5 and a #5-AAAA starter at best.

          This is ludicrous. And please, I’ve already addressed the Adam Kennedy situation with you. He makes 4M. The Cardinals don’t give a shit about Kennedy, they’re not going to sign off on a deal that’s bad for them just to rid themselves of Kennedy’s 1yr/4M deal. That’s peanuts.

          • Chip

            OK so the first reply I get is that Ankiel isn’t good enough to trade for and the second reply is that Ankiel is too good to trade for. You guys really should get your story straight.

            As for the Kennedy situation, there are a ton of rumors that put Kennedy wanting out of St. Louis and nobody really wanting to take on his salary but if you have inside information, well I guess you’re obviously much smarter than me.

            For those of you who just know everything about trades and exactly who is getting traded for who I’d like to point out that WE DON’T KNOW. Excuse me for suggesting that we trade some young pitching for a center fielder. I suggested some players who should be involved and some that we could get back. If you want to whine about my ideas for trading what we have in excess (young starting pitching) for what St. Louis has in excess (two centerfielders). I never said that’s all we would send but simply pointing out things that make this trade something to look at. If you want to sit around and complain about other people’s ideas, go over to LoHud, there are plenty of people who share your mindset over there.

            I’m just saying it’s ludicrous that I put a thought out there and all of a sudden get attacked from all sides. If you’re all so damn smart then why don’t you throw ideas out about what it actually would take to get one of them? Or why you wouldn’t want either of them? You know, something to add to the discussion

            • Jay CT

              How many more years does Ankiel have till FA? He is a Boras client, no? I agree with Tommie, no way St. Louis gives him up for IPK. Not only does he play great CF defense, but they need power and are not going to easily replace him I don’t think.

              • Chip

                I agree that he won’t be had for just IPK but it’s not going to take the haul that Oakland gave up for Holliday to get him. Also, I think that Ankiel is a free agent after this season (not completely sure but doesn’t he have four years of service time?). I’m personally of the opinion that he’s a right fielder who can get by in center because he has a great arm.

                St. Louis needs starting pitching more than power at this time as long as Ludwick can keep it up (which I don’t think he will)

                • Jay CT

                  I don’t know that they can actually afford to lose a guy like Ankiel though. I mean, he seems a bit injury prone and unproven, and having Boras represent him makes him much more gettable, but as much as I would love it, I would be suprised. However, I do agree that he has a nice slope of improvement ahead- I have no stats to back that up other then he has not been a hitter for too long and seems to continue to improve

                • Chip

                  And that may be the case, we don’t really know what the Cards (or for that matter the Yankees) are truly looking for and what they’re willing to give up. I just thought that an outfield of Ludwick/Schumaker/Lopez is still pretty adequate while they fill a huge hole in their rotation. I obviously have no idea what they really expect to do this offseason

                • Jay CT

                  Yes but I think the reason people are jumping down your throat is because often times people forget other teams want to win as well.

                  Would you rather have Shumaker and Ankiel or Shumaker and Ian Kennedy? I just don’t think there is any reason to believe that Ian Kennedy makes the Cards better this season.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

              OK so the first reply I get is that Ankiel isn’t good enough to trade for and the second reply is that Ankiel is too good to trade for. You guys really should get your story straight.

              We’re not the same person, nor are we accomplices accused of a crime, so, no, we don’t need to get our story straight.

              That being said, yes, it’s possible that Ankiel is both overrated (and thus, we shouldn’t trade for him) and that he’s too good of a player to be traded for relative throwaways (like Kontos and IPK), and, it’s also possible that those throwaways that the Cardinals would never give up a decent-to-great CF for (like Kontos and IPK) are both decent prospects to be prized (they are) and yet unproven prospects that won’t bring back much in a trade (they’re not.)

              Not everything is cut and dried. However, what is cut and dried is that while the Cardinals are interested in moving an outfielder, because they have some in-house replacements and because all their big league outfielders are flawed in one way or another and far from locks to continue their current above-average production, they aren’t going to just give away an outfielder for a pu-pu platter simply because they do have those in-house replacements, because they’re not the cash-strapped Marlins auctioning off decent talent just to get out from under arbitration raises.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      [shakes head in disbelief]

      • radnom

        I almost said something but I can’t even tell anymore.

        I think its got to be a joke.

        I’m not sure.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          It’s not.

          • radnom

            I see that now.

            I had honestly typed out a reply but hit cancel because I wasn’t sure if it was serious or not.

  • Axl

    So what do you see the batting order being on opening day 2009 (assuming all are healthy)?

  • radnom

    I would still like Baldelli as a 4th outfielder.
    Assuming Tex signs else where…..

    Against righties:
    1B – Miranda
    RF – Nady
    LF – Damon
    CF – Gardner
    With Baldelly giving guys off every once in a while

    Against lefties:
    1B – Nady
    RF – Baldelli
    CF – Gardner
    LF – Damon

    That would be a fine solution for next year if we can manage CC.

    • Axl

      Just remember we allowed roughly 50 less runs this season than in 07…and that’s WITH Ponson, Hughes, Kennedy, Rasner, etc. doing shitty. While we scored nearly 200 runs less than we did in 07…with Abreu (100 RBI, .371 OBP) and Giambi (96 RBI, .373 OBP). I can’t predict the future…but I’m willing to assume that Miranda and Nady don’t match these…

      While we’d certainly have better pitching…we’d definitely need to fill the bats of Abreu and Giambi at least with something a bit more “sure”. I don’t know what that is though.

      • radnom

        How about Posada, Matsui and (improved) Cano? That will help won’t it?

        I still want Tex, but if he goes, there really are not many free agent options out there unless you want to drop a big chunk of change on a corner OF (i’d probably rather not).

        I think the above offense would be fine if we can sure up the rotation.

        • radnom

          Sorry to reply to you three times but essentially the other weak spot in the lineup would get shifted from C to 1B and change from Mollina to Miranda/Nady platoon (big improvement over last year).

          RF would take a hit though – going from Abreu to Nady/Baldelli platoon.

          Since we switched C and 1b as weaknesses, last years Giambi would have to be compared to this years Posada….lets call that a wash.

          Then add in any improvement by Cano/Gardner and the offense could actually be better next season IF we don’t have any major injuries.

          Add in half a season of Wang and Joba and a whole one of CC and the 2009 team looks much better on paper.

      • radnom

        Remember we had 2 huge black holes in the lineup last year, at C and CF.

        C gets immeasurably better and while CF will remain the weak spot in the lineup, I have to believe that one of Gardner/Melky can perform better than Melky did for much of last season.

        Hopefully we get Tex though, and there is nothing to worry about.

  • Jack

    . . . the center field market isn’t exactly inspiring . . .

    Please tell me that was on purpose, Joe.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      What, in reference to the Ajax thing? Yeah, I think that anytime the word inspiring or uninspiring is used on RAB, we’re referencing the inside joke.

      • Jack

        Just wanted to make sure.

      • Murph1010

        What joke is that?

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    The issue to me, though, is that we’re going to need more than one young outfielder in the long run. A-Jax isn’t enough. We’ve got a lot of old guys to still replace in the next two years.

    I’ve tried to input this question into the MLB Trade Rumors live chat for the past hour, with no bite, but is it possible the Rockies would be willing to flip Carlos Gonzalez? I’d be willing to go any young pitcher not named Hughes, Melancon, or Brackman on him.

    • radnom

      Outfield market looks better next offseason, which is great because that is when we have everyone coming off the books.
      Might as well wait until then unless an opportunity knocks us off our feet.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      but is it possible the Rockies would be willing to flip Carlos Gonzalez?

      I highly doubt it. He’s likely going to be the new centerpiece of their franchise, going forward, a fleet, plus-plus defensive base-stealing sparkplug. In that ballpark, he could hit 20 triples.

      • Jay CT

        Plus he projects for power I thought. I was actually suprised Oakland dealt him for what will probably be half a season of Holliday

  • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

    I’ll take Gardner for speed and defense, something this team SORELY needs. If he can hit .250 I’ll be extatic !I don’t care if he hits ALL singles. His speed will get him in scoring position every time. His defense will SAVE runs too, which is as good as being on base and scoring.

    Once he has confidence he’s not going anywhere, the bat will come around.

    Build from within. Balance of kids and veterans. Any of this ring a bell?

    -Scott

    • whozat

      “His speed will get him in scoring position every time.”

      Will that make up for the fact that he’d rarely be on base?

      A guy with no power needs to be getting on base at a .360 clip or better. At LEAST Not _hitting_ .360 or better, but working enough walks to get on base that much. If he’s hitting .250 (which is really not an outrageously low number for him like you seem to think), then he needs around 100 walks spread over 600 plate appearances.

      Tough to get those walks when NO pitcher is afraid of throwing you strikes.

      • steve (different one)

        .250 with all singles? where do i sign up?!

        • Chris C.

          Good grief. Would you rather have a guy who can swipe 50-70 bags a season while causing pitchers to get careless with the following hitters in the order, or a guy who can pop one out of the park maybe 10-15 sporadic times a year?

          Outside of Gardner, the Yankees don’t have anyone that scares any pitchers or catchers when they’re on the basepaths. And Damon and Jeter are getting slower every year.

          Enough with the “all singles” bullshit. The guy’s a lead-off hitter.

          • Chip

            I agree, what’s the problem with him being on first base? He throws the pitcher off a bit and makes sure the Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeters behind him get a steady diet of fastballs. Plus, what’s the difference between a single-steal and a double when you’re leading off?

            Also, every hit to right center or left center is a possibly triple for this guy. He’s just crazy fast

            • Jay CT

              Is Willy Taveras exciting? I like Gardner alot, but he seems to be not much better

              • Chip

                I’m not sure about Taveras on defense but I’d say Taveras circa 2007 with the steals of Taveras circa 2008 could be a very exciting guy to watch. I’d be fine throwing that guy in my nine hole with this lineup. The problem is, Gardner will at least initially strike out more than Taveras does

                • Jay CT

                  As I said, I like Gardner. Referencing your last point, if the team wasn’t upgrading to someone like Ankiel, I would say go with him. I am just saying I don’t know what hes going to do and I don’t think its fair to put all this pressure on Austin Jackson assuming he will be ready in 2010. If the Yankees could somehow come up with a CF replacement for a couple seasons and ease AJax in I would be much more comfortable

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

                  If Willy Taveras was really a good leadoff hitter, Houston wouldn’t have deemed him expendable. He only got on base 33% of the time, which just isn’t enough. You can’t steal second if you can’t get on first.

                  If hitting .250, all singles, is really an acceptable level of production for you, Gardner better mix in 100 BB’s with that to make it starting-lineup worthy. I’m not saying it’s not possible, I’m just saying.

                • Chris C.

                  If hitting .250, all singles, is really an acceptable level of production for you, Gardner better mix in 100 BB’s with that to make it starting-lineup worthy.

                  Where did this .250 nonsense come from?
                  Is this based on limited AB’s during an abbreviated initial season?
                  And what do “all singles” turn into for basestealers? They turn into doubles, and fastballs to the following hitters from pitchers who don’t want the guy to steal.
                  The Yankees don’t have anyone that scares pitchers into getting the ball to their catcher in a hurry.

              • Chris C.

                And you base this on what? The small sample size of AB’s he’s gotten with the Yankees so far?
                If you haven’t witnessed improvement with this guy as his experience increased, then you haven’t been paying attention.

          • steve (different one)

            Enough with the “all singles” bullshit. The guy’s a lead-off hitter.

            considering i was just referencing the guy who posted this “If he can hit .250 I’ll be extatic !I don’t care if he hits ALL singles” maybe you should calm down.

            if Gardner hits .250 with all singles he WILL SUCK.

            now, i didn’t say he will hit .250 with all singles. the other guy did. but if HE DID hit .250 with all singles, he will be A BAD BASEBALL PLAYER.

            anyone arguing that knows JACK AND SHIT about baseball.

            • Tim

              . . . and Jack left town.

            • Chris C.

              “now, i didn’t say he will hit .250 with all singles. the other guy did. but if HE DID hit .250 with all singles, he will be A BAD BASEBALL PLAYER.”

              YEs, I know the other guy said it.
              But iff he hits .250, has a .370 OBP, steals 70 bases, and can cover the Grand Canyon in center, he will NOT be a bad baseball player.
              Unless you’re Joe Morgan these days, you shouldn’t give a rats ass about batting average.

              I predict the guy can do somewhere in between if given a full season……..maybe .275 ba, .350 OBP, 60 stolen bases, and a major nuisance for opposing pitchers.
              And THAT is what I would want at the top of a Yankee batting order. And it will never happen if the Yankees don’t at least give the kid a chance. There are attributes to his game that are worth taking a chance on.

      • Chris C.

        “Will that make up for the fact that he’d rarely be on base?”

        He hit .290 in August-September. So how long do you want to punish the guy for struggling when he first came up?

        “A guy with no power needs to be getting on base at a .360 clip or better.”

        Brilliant. So lets judge the guy on the sporadic time he’s had in the majors this past season, instead of looking at the progress he made as his experience and plate appearences increased.

        “Tough to get those walks when NO pitcher is afraid of throwing you strikes.”

        Yeah, Mickey Rivers was BAD for the Yankees. That never worked.
        I mean, what will Gardner do with all those strikes? I mean, I know he’s a professional hitter and all, but gosh! Perhaps he can drop bunts all day down the third base line, and turn them into doubles two pitches later. Or at least spend his games putting the ball in play somewhere, and applying pressure on the defense to throw his speedy ass out!

        So, are there any other young players with promise in the Yankee system that you’d like to NOT give a fair chance to?

        • Old Ranger

          Very good! 27/09.

        • whozat

          “I mean, what will Gardner do with all those strikes?”

          Swing and miss? Watch them go by? Go look at his K rate in the minors. It’s awfully high for someone with no power. And pitchers’ stuff and command just gets better in the bigs.

          Also, unlike you, I understand that slugging is not ALL ABOUT homers. It’s also about putting the ball in the gaps for doubles and triples.

          September stats for a team that’s playing out the string are not particularly meaningful. Also, AVG is not very important as an evaluation metric of a leadoff hitter.

          I’d rather have a guy that gets on base at a .380 clip and can hit line drives into the gap. I’d settle for a guy who gets on base at a .360 clip and yanks balls down the line for doubles, regardless of what his average is. Degrade Garder’s AAA average to account for the difference between AAA and MLB pitching, and he looks like a .250ish hitter (it’s called a Major League Equivalency), which means he’ll have to walk a LOT to make up for the fact that he doesn’t put the ball in play with authority. He DID walk a lot in the minors, but he also struck out a lot.

          • Chris C.

            “September stats for a team that’s playing out the string are not particularly meaningful.”

            Huh? The Yankees had some games that were absolutely meaningful to their opponants, so it’s not like Gardner was facing lousy pitchers.

            “Degrade Garder’s AAA average to account for the difference between AAA and MLB pitching, and he looks like a .250ish hitter (it’s called a Major League Equivalency),

            It’s called “speculation”. There have been many players who’ve eclipsed their minor league numbers while playing major league baseball, by way of maturation. It’s not as if Gardner is 30 years old already.

            “Also, unlike you, I understand that slugging is not ALL ABOUT homers. It’s also about putting the ball in the gaps for doubles and triples.”

            Unlike me? If the Yankees absolutely need their leadoff hitter to put the ball in gaps, then they’ve done a bad job with the rest of their lineup. Otherwise, Gardner will get his share of doubles, by either stretching singles, or stealing bags. The latter doesn’t go on the stat sheet as doubles, but do you care?

            “I’d rather have a guy that gets on base at a .380 clip and can hit line drives into the gap.”

            Jason Giambi does that. But Giambi can’t swipe bags, hit to the left side, throw a baseball, or cover an immense amount of ground in centerfield. So having a guy who can hit to a .380 OBP and line the ball in the gap is terrific, but what if the rest of his game is limited?
            Couldn’t the Yankees get those guys to drive guys like Gardner in?

            “He DID walk a lot in the minors, but he also struck out a lot.”

            That’s not a bad thing. You can teach a guy to cut down on strike-out. But it’s much more difficult to teach a guy how to work the count better. See Cano, Robinson.

      • Old Ranger

        Remember, the 2nd time around he was one of our best “clutch” hitters and hit around .290 showing a little more pop with the bat. He will walk more, he has good plate discipline…being a rookie, he didn’t get the calls last year. Keep the faith. 27/09.

        • Chip

          That’s a very good point, he had a strike zone twice the size of Giambi’s last season!

    • Old Ranger

      Yes it does! We have had good luck when we have tried to build like that…the 90s anyone?
      CC and Tex is all we really need to jump start the WS runs that will happen in the 2000s. Even if people know it or not; Brett can be a very intricate part of this team. As the team is constituted right now, we need him to hit .260/.275 with an OBP of around .350…conversely, if he hits near enough to make a difference it would justify keeping him in CF. This is a tenuous thread with Brett as our everyday CF but, he has a proclivity for adapting…I think he will surprise us all. 27/09.

      • Chip

        If Brett can hit .260-.275, I think we have our centerfield questions answered for at least the near-term and he’d be a very valuable trading chip for the next few seasons if A-Jax turns out to be all he’s hyped to be and if not, we still have Brett out there to provide that speed.

        • Steve

          To quote Girardi in a september pregame interview “If Gardner hits .275, he’ll score 120 runs, with the lineup we have. ”

          I also don’t think its unreasonable to expect .275/.350 OBP out of him. He hit .296/.414 OBP in a full season at AAA last year. He also averaged a line of .290/.389 OBP through 4 seasons in the minors.

          http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/G/Brett-Gardner.shtml

          The people who don’t like Gardner generally don’t like his OPS, and he’s not that type of player. He’s a tablesetter, you look at OBP and Runs scored with guys like him.

          • whozat

            All players are OPS kind of players. Steals can help make up for a lack of slugging, but that’s about it.

            A guy who gets on base at a .350 clip really isn’t that good of a leadoff guy, no matter how fast he is. If he brings some XBH to the table, that makes it acceptable. But, Gardner doesn’t. His entire offensive game is predicated on his being on base. And there are reasons to believe that his minor league success will not translate, which none of you have addressed. Instead, you’ve just ridiculed my position. I _AM_ looking at his game, not simply slavishly repeating OPS numbers. Here are the facts:

            1) Gardner walked a lot in the minors.
            2) Gardner struck out a lot in the minors.
            3) Gardner didn’t drive the ball much in the minors.
            4) Pitchers in the bigs have better stuff and better command than those in the minors, in general

            Given 1-3, my concern is that Gardner was really just waiting out guys with poor command and letting them walk him. That won’t happen as much in the bigs. He will be challenged by pitchers more, and I just don’t really see a swing there that’s going to punish them for challenging him. There is a very real possibility that he will be a slappy .250-.260 hitter (the rough MLE for a .290 hitter in AAA) that only walks enough to get an OBP around .320. That’s really, really just not enough offense for him to be a starting MLB ballplayer.

            • Chip

              I agree that Gardner doesn’t profile to be the all-star centerfielder some make him out to be but I’d be more than happy to see him put up a .350 OBP. I mean Johnny Damon is considered to be a fairly good leadoff hiter throughout his career and has a .354 career line.

              I am however completely with you on the need for Gardner to strike out less often. He needs to be putting the ball in play more and using his speed to pressure the defense.

              All in all, I’d be completely ok if our number 9 hitter was putting up a .260/.330/.380 line with great defense and tremendous speed.

              • whozat

                “I mean Johnny Damon is considered to be a fairly good leadoff hiter throughout his career and has a .354 career line.”

                That’s because Johnny also had/has good XBH power. If that was the main thing he brought to the plate offensively, he wouldn’t be considered an offensive asset.

            • Old Ranger

              1) Gardner walked a lot in the minors.
              2) Gardner struck out a lot in the minors.
              3) Gardner didn’t drive the ball much in the minors.
              4) Pitchers in the bigs have better stuff and better command than those in the minors, in general

              1) He knows the strike zone
              2) Everyone strikes out in the MiL (Umpires)
              3) This is the one I like…If you had watched him hit in Sept., you would have seen him use the bottom half of his body to help him with pop, a few 2 and 3 base hits in there.
              4) How many times have you seen a (good) pitcher walk the .200 hitter because he relaxed and didn’t pay attention? How many times did you see the speedy guy get walked because he tried to hard to get the ball over? 27/09.

              • whozat

                “2) Everyone strikes out in the MiL (Umpires)”

                Ah, so everyone’s K rate in the minors should be disregarded? That doesn’t make any sense at all. A lot of guys strike out in the minors because they swing at everything. Gardner doesn’t. He takes lots of pitches and racks up the K’s without the power to offset all of those contact-less outs.

                “3) This is the one I like…If you had watched him hit in Sept., you would have seen him use the bottom half of his body to help him with pop, a few 2 and 3 base hits in there.”

                I did watch him. “A few 2 and 3 base hits” against other teams’ September callups does not invalidate everything that went before. Don’t trust your selective memory. Trust the track record. Brett Gardner has never been much more than a slap hitter. Maybe he figured something out and will turn the corner as a hitter. However, evolution is more likely than revolution and the evolution of Brett Gardner along the trajectory he has shown thus far is not super promising.

                “4) How many times have you seen a (good) pitcher walk the .200 hitter because he relaxed and didn’t pay attention?”

                I don’t know. I do, however, know that such an event is much, much more likely to stick in my mind than the time said hitter makes an out — because I expected him to make an out. Thus, my memory is unlikely to give me an accurate representation of that hitter’s performance over time.

                • Old Ranger

                  Johnny never hit more then 18 HRs (once) in his 1st 9 years.
                  Brett will never hit as many as that but, he has hit the gaps much harder 2nd time around, avg. was up, S.O.s down etc. He will never be a star or even close but, he can be a very serviceable starter for this team in CF…both defensively and offensively for the next 5-6 years.

                  Given the same opportunity that Melky had, I believe Brett will produce and justify our optimism in his ability. He is a stellar defender, base runner and a much better bat then some of the players we have had…Shane, Molina, I-Rod, Melky, Shelley.
                  Give him the same chance as Melky had, then we will see. 27/09.

            • Chris C.

              “All players are OPS kind of players. Steals can help make up for a lack of slugging, but that’s about it.”

              So if steals can make up for a lack of slugging, and Gardner has a minor league OBP of a combined .390 (that’s all we really have to go on), what’s the issue here?

            • Chris C.

              “Given 1-3, my concern is that Gardner was really just waiting out guys with poor command and letting them walk him. That won’t happen as much in the bigs. He will be challenged by pitchers more, and I just don’t really see a swing there that’s going to punish them for challenging him. There is a very real possibility that he will be a slappy .250-.260 hitter (the rough MLE for a .290 hitter in AAA) that only walks enough to get an OBP around .320. That’s really, really just not enough offense for him to be a starting MLB ballplayer.”

              And this is EXACTLY why guys like Brett Gardner should be given a chance. Because while the above analysis may look good on paper, it says nothing of the kinds of adjustments and maturation a 25 year old kid can make after having a taste of major league pitching.
              When Bernie Williams was Brett Gardners age, a ton of people, including the Yankee owner, wanted him traded.
              And where would the Yankees be if Buck Showalter decided to send struggling starter Mariano Rivera back to the minors, instead of the bullpen?

              Folks, you’ve got to give these kids a chance based on performance, not projections!!! Yankee past success proves this!

              And if Gardner fails, so what? At least they tried. Then they move on. But if he succeeds, you’ve got a hell of a threat at the top of the order, and a guy who covers a ton of ground in center. Definietely worth the risk. No question.

            • Chris C.

              “All players are OPS kind of players.”

              Ichiro had a .774 OPS last season. All players are NOT OPS kinds of players.

  • Mulls

    what about hughes straight up for cameron maybin, that would solve our centerfield problem and help us build our new core. ajax could slide over to left.

    • Chip

      Whoa buddy, don’t suggest trades. There are apparently only a handful of people here who know the true value of all our players and they don’t like it when you suggest things without their approval

      • Mulls

        haha yeah…im with you on the skip schumacher trade.

      • FL Yank

        Chill out with the self-righteousness there buddy. If you put an idea out on the internet you best have the stones to deal with the criticism that will undoubtedly come along with it. One of the reasons your proposed trade probably would never happen is that IPK’s value is at an all-time low and Kontos is more of a throw-in than someone to center a deal around. I’m not in the business of trading baseball players but I gurantee that any talks involving Ankiel or Schumaker begin with Hughes/A-Jax and atleast one other blue chipper.

        • Chip

          Wow chill out yourself man. I was poking fun at those guys and if you had read what I wrote above that I never said only Kontos and IPK would be needed to get Ankiel or Schumaker. My point above is that we’re all Yankee fans and that jumping on people for having an idea doesn’t really add much to the conversation

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

            if you had read what I wrote above that I never said only Kontos and IPK would be needed to get Ankiel or Schumaker.

            BULLSHIT.

            Chip says:
            November 11th, 2008 at 3:35 pm
            Trade Kontos and/or IPK for Ankiel and/or Schumaker, solves a need for both teams while dealing from strength. DO IT

            Chip says:
            November 11th, 2008 at 4:06 pm
            Of course, all of this is rendered moot if we sign Tex but would you not say this a better team with one of those two on it while only having to give up someone like IPK who isn’t really being counted on to contribute at the major league level?

            Chip, we didn’t “jump on you” because you expressed an idea. We said to you that your idea was unlikely to happen. If we were short with you while saying it, it’s because you’ve been pimping this unlikely idea for some time now, and you haven’t made it any more likely in the process.

            You then tried to portray us as the bad guys for operating in the realm of reality, and then tried to act like we were putting words in your mouth by claiming that you’d not been proposing IPK and Kontos as the deal, but only as the “starting point” of your deal. Which is hot bullshit. If you had always been proposing other prospects as being included in that deal, you were doing it in your head and not out loud to us. because above, you were clearly claiming that Ankiel/Schumaker could be had for IPK/Kontos and nothing else.

            Stop spinning your position to portray it as less implausible than it actually is, and stop crying foul because people are criticizing your idea. Come up with better, more realistic ideas and you won’t be “jumped on”.

    • Jay CT

      I dont think there is any reason the Marlins would consider this.

    • Accent Shallow

      If you’re gonna move Hughes, you move him for proven talent. Not potential, as studly as that potential may be.

      Not to mention, prospect for prospect trades are pretty rare.

    • Chris C.

      I love how alot of the same fans who are denouncing Brett Gardner’s game because his minor league numbers “don’t translate well” to the majors, are more than ready to give Austin Jackson a spot in the Yankee outfield, despite his mediocre 2008 season at Trenton.

      It’s like the NBA draft. Everyone is always in love with the guy they’ve never seen play in college.

  • Matt from LI

    “I highly doubt it. He’s likely going to be the new centerpiece of their franchise, going forward, a fleet, plus-plus defensive base-stealing sparkplug. In that ballpark, he could hit 20 triples.”

    So is Dexter Fowler who is probably going to be better than C-Gonzalez. I agree with you on I don’t see them flipping him though. They could just slide Gonzalez over to left when Fowler is ready. That would be a serious defensive outfield on the left center side.

  • ko

    Center Field looks like a weakness for the Yankees for the next couple of years. Cabrera and Gardner are overmatched by league pitching and Damon’s arm is shot. AJax looks like he needs a couple of years in AAA before he’ll be ready for the big leagues. The Yankees, when they used to contend, would look at the situation and say “Let me spend some money on a guy to get me thru the night (the next two years) and I’ll worry about the payroll later. I want to contend”. The current regime is saying “I’m not spending. I’ll suffer for the next two years with a centerfield that is well below par for a contender”. I like the old way. The Yankees have tons of revenue and don’t have to act like pikers. I recommend Aaron Rowand for center field for the next two years and then take it from there.The Yankees can probably get him for not much from the Giants and have a major league quality centerfielder for the next couple of years until Jackson is ready to step in. Money shouldn’t be an object here, we’re talking about the Yankees, a team who, with their new stadium, will take in well over half a billion next year.

    • steve (different one)

      I like the old way.

      that’s b/c you have no idea what you are talking about.

    • Old Ranger

      The old ways, got us to this point…NO WS Rings.

      Let’s try the new thinking (which is the old …good way)! Cash and the Stines have a plan, let’s see if they can pull it off…and make it work.
      Cash has already told us he may not sign some of the players we (fans) think we should sign. What he means by that, I don’t know…maybe, no CC and Tex, I don’t know. 27/09.

    • Chris C.

      “The Yankees, when they used to contend, would look at the situation and say “Let me spend some money on a guy to get me thru the night (the next two years) and I’ll worry about the payroll later. I want to contend”.

      Bullshit. That is NOT how the dynasty was started at all. The Yankees may have operated that way AFTER they won a championship or two so they could MAINTAIN the high level to get them back to the dance, but that is certainly not how they built their championship team.

      I like the old way.”

      Good for you, champ. If you made this statement in 1993, then you’d have been in favor of sending Bernie Williams packing, and bringing in an aging Devon White!

  • Bruno

    Why the obsession with Rowand? I like him as a player and all, but SF JUST signed him! They’re happy with everything he brings to that young locker room, and he’s not giving them a Zito-like return on their investment. They’re not dumping him, he’s their best player!