Nov
10

Looking at some free agent outfielders

By

Mike Cameron crashing into the wallEarlier today we heard that the Yankees are looking for a way to keep both Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui around in 2010, a fine strategy as long as they both come back on short, one year deals. But what happens if one bolts? What if someone guarantees Damon two years, or Matsui really wants to play alongside Ichiro? If either leaves, the Yanks would have to bring in another above average outfielder to replace the lost production.

There are over 30 outfielders on the free agent market, but most of them aren’t full-time players, which is what the Yankees would need. For one reason or another, there’s no point in talking about guys like Garret Anderson, Coco Crisp, Cliff Floyd, Ken Griffey Jr., Vlad Guerrero, Austin Kearns, or the like. Instead, lets take a look at nine players that a) could be realistic options for the Yankees if Damon, or Matsui, or both leaves, and b) we’ll hear suggested as fill-ins by fans, the MSM, etc.

These guys are listed alphabetically, so don’t read anything into the order. Ages are as of April 1st, 2010.

Rick Ankiel, 30
After a storied return to the majors after his pitching collapse, the blush is officially off the rose. Ankiel batted just .231-.285-.387 in 404 plate appearances in 2009, missing time with a shoulder injury after crashing into the wall. Lefties completely neutralized him (.234-.265-.294), and his .288 wOBA was ahead of only Willy Taveras’ unfathomable .259 mark among guys with at least 400 plate appearances. Ankiel’s defense in center and right field was abysmal (-12.0 and -12.2 UZR/150′s, respectively), though he was solid in left (+53.5 in a limited sample) and his arm somewhat makes up for it.

That said, Ankiel is a lefty swinger with above average power, and those guys tend to mix well with Yankee Stadium. By no means is he someone you’d slot into the outfield every day, but he could be a very useful fourth outfielder, like a more athletic Eric Hinske. There’s just no telling how Scott Boras will market him, and anything more than one year with a low base plus incentives is too much.

Jason Bay, 31, Type-A
One of the big two free agent outfielders, Bay’s name is frequently bandied about in Yankeeland because he just so happens to pay for the rival Red Sox. There’s no denying that Bay’s a superb offensive player (.397 wOBA), but his ineptitude against non-fastballs will always hold him back.  Despite his excellent OBP and crazy good IsoP, Bay’s defense is so atrocious that it negates a large chunk of his offense. His -11.2 UZR/150 in left was simply awful, and because of that his WAR was an unspectacular 3.5 in 2009, exactly the same as Nick Swisher’s.

The Yankees have been making tremendous strides in recent years with getting younger and more athletic while improving the defense, and Bay goes completely against the plan. Considering that he’s balking at Boston’s four year, $60M offer, there just doesn’t seem to be a fit for Bay in the Bronx, especially when you consider they’d have to forfeit a first round pick to sign him.

Marlon Byrd, 32, Type-B
Believe it or not, Byrd was once ranked as the 26th best prospect in the game by Baseball America, ahead of guys like Adrian Gonzalez and Miguel Cabrera back in 2002. After bouncing around between the Phillies and Nationals early in his career, Byrd finally blossomed in Texas, where he’s hit .295-.352-.468 during his three year tenure. He’s benefited greatly from playing in Arlington, putting up a .309-.375-.522 line at home over the last three years, while hitting just .281-.328-.414 on the road. Byrd’s defense in center is unacceptable (-9.5 UZR/150), but he’s solid in the corners.

As a Type-B, the Yankees wouldn’t have to forfeit a draft pick to sign him, but those home road splits are concerning. Like Ankiel, he’d be fine as a fourth outfielder, but he’s not an everyday player for a championship club.

Mike Cameron, 37, Type-B
The oldest player featured in this post, Cameron was also the second most productive player in this group last year thanks to his 4.3 WAR. He’s been a consistent .340 OBP/.200 IsoP player for nearly a decade, though that comes with the caveat of lots of strikesouts, more than one every four plate appearances. Not quite the legendary defender in center he once was, Cameron’s +10.3 UZR/150 is nothing to sneeze at. He’s been on great teams, been to the playoffs, and played in New York, so the adjustment period should be minimal.

Like Damon, Bobby Abreu’s contract may have set the market for Cameron, meaning $9M a year. It’s a perfectly reasonable salary for a one year deal, and he’d fit in well with the Yankees as a complementary piece. The strikeouts are ugly, but the defense and pop make up for it.

Jermaine Dye, 36, Type-A
Mike Cameron might be oldest player in this post, but Dye has certainly aged the most. His .340 OBP/.200 IsoP is solid, though he struggles against same side pitchers (.236-.323-.434 vs RHP) and has shown a tendency to wear down late in the season over the past few years. By all accounts, Dye is a DH masquerading as an outfielder, because his best UZR/150 over the last four years is the -21.4 mark he put up in 2008. If you think Nick Swisher is an awful outfielder … heh, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Much like Bay, Dye goes completely against the Yanks’ plan of getting younger, more athletic, and better defensively. Maybe they bring him in on a non-guaranteed contract to compete for a spot in Spring Training, but other than that, stay the hell away.

Matt Holliday, 30, Type-A
The big free agent fish, Holliday was the third most productive outfielder in baseball last year thanks to his 5.7 WAR (trailing only Ben Zobrist and Franklin Gutierrez, of course). We’re all aware of how Holliday struggled in the AL with Oakland, but that probably had plenty to do with their big home ballpark and acres of foul territory. The fact of the matter is that he’s an extremely productive hitter, but one that struggles against quality fastballs and has seen his IsoP decline for three straight years. His defense is well above average, though his UZR/150 has also declined for three straight years.

Reports say that Boras is seeking Mark Teixeira money for Holliday, but he’s simply not that kind of player and will likely have to “settle” for Carlos Beltran money, if he’s lucky. I’m not sold on his ability to be a difference maker in the AL East like Tex is, and at that price tag the Yankees should steer clear. It’s not hard to envision a Carlos Lee scenario playing out, where after two years whoever signs Holliday is looking to unload him.

Xavier Nady, 31, Type-B
The incumbent, the interest in Nady should be directly related to the health of his elbow. He is what he is when healthy, a solid complementary player that’ll get on base 33% of the time and knock about 20 balls out of the park. Unlike the other guys in this post, Nady is versatile, capable of playing the outfield corners as well as first base, and he could even fill-in at third base in an emergency. He’s below average with the glove pretty much everywhere, though.

Nady’s a bit of a ‘tweener, he’s too good for straight up fourth outfielder duty, but he’s not a starter on a top tier club. Since he’s a Type-B and made an affordable $6.55M last year, the Yankees can offer him arbitration and at worst get stuck paying him about $7.5M for one year. Nady would be a fine Plan C, though everything depends on that elbow.

Marcus Thames, 33
Chances are you already know Thames’ story. He grew up in the Yankee system, then homered off Randy Johnson on the first ever pitch he saw in the big leagues. Traded away less than two years later, he’s since developed into a power factory (.260 (!) IsoP over the last four years) but not much else with the Tigers. He’s a two-and-a-half true outcomes guys, drawing the occasional walk when he isn’t busy striking out or hitting homers. Thames’ defense is awful, well into the negative double-digit UZR/150′s in the corner spots.

The ability to hit for considerable power keeps Thames out of the Jermaine Dye stay the hell away grave, but he’s got one foot in. He’s an okay bat off the bench, or maybe the righty half of a DH platoon, but that’s pretty much it. Frankly, there’s nothing Thames does that Shelley Duncan couldn’t do.

Randy Winn, 35, Type-B
The Giants told Winn to take a hike yesterday, so he’ll have to take his slap hitting act elsewhere. His offensive output dropped off a cliff last year, as his OBP sunk below .320 and his IsoP dropped below .100 despite a normal BABIP and line drive rate. Winn’s defense in the corners is what keeps him from being replacement level, but at his age, who knows how long that will hold up.

No longer a starting caliber player, we might have to dip into the veteran leadership jar to artificially boost Winn’s value. The Yankees don’t really have a place for a guy like this, they can get similar production out of Brett Gardner for a fraction of the price.

* * *

So there you have it. The Yankees could choose to go all in with the likes of Bay or Holliday, or they could go for a stopgap like Cameron or even Nady for the time being. Ankiel or Byrd could be brought in for bench roles, though they both might be able to land full-time gigs elsewhere.

I’ve made it no secret that I’m a Cameron fan, especially since he’s a better value than Bay. Assuming one of Damon and Hideki Matsui walks, Cameron could step right in to provide rock solid defense and an above average stick while playing every day. The short term commitment means that not only is it an easy move to back out of, but it also means there’s still a clear path for Austin Jackson in the future. As Buster Olney would say, it’s a great fit.

Photo Credit: Gene J. Puskar, AP

Categories : Hot Stove League

192 Comments»

  1. JackISBACK says:

    I like Nady the best amongst those, as he provides basically better production than someone like Ankiel and won’t cost as much as the big guys. Maybe its just because we saw him play here and all, but I’d go into the season as him being our 4th OF even if Damon/Matsui both come back.

  2. iYankees says:

    If the Yankees can’t sign Matt Holliday, I’d like to see them add Cameron. I’m not really a big Damon fan, so even if Holliday signs with another team and Damon is still available, I’d much rather see Cameron manning left field in 2010.

  3. jsbrendog says:

    before i even read i have to say i love the pic of cameron haha

  4. Tubby says:

    Good breakdown, Mike. If Cameron does replace Damon, where do you think he slides into the lineup? I don’t want him anywhere near the 2 hole.

    • Mike bk says:

      swish 2nd.
      jete, swish, teix, a-rod, jorge, dh, cammy/cano, cano/cammy, melky.

      • Mason says:

        I think Cano would be a good fit in the 2 spot if Damon leaves. He doesnt strike out a lot and his OBP is respectable.

        • pete says:

          he does hit a TON of grounders to 2B, though. We had to deal w/ jeter’s GIDP for years, i’d rather not get cano in on that action too.

    • Thomas says:

      I’d say Cameron would bat 8th ahead of Melky. I’d say either Cano or Swisher would bat 2nd and the other would bat 7th (I’d personally put Swisher at 2 with Cano at 7).

      This all assumes we resign Matsui and have him batting fifth.

    • Jamal G. says:

      Jeter
      Matsui
      Teixeira
      A-Rod
      Posada
      Swisher
      Cano
      Cameron
      Cabretta

      • Spaceman.Spiff says:

        Let’s go with

        SS Jeter
        2B Cano
        1B Teixeira
        3B A-Rod
        C Posada with plenty of days at DH
        DH Matsui/Damon whoever is willing to take the shorter/cheaper deal.
        RF Swisher
        LF Cameron
        CF Cabrera

  5. Tom Zig says:

    I’d like to see Mike Cameron and Johnny Damon. Put Cameron in CF, Melky in LF and Damon at DH. Give Matsui a pat on the back and a Hummer.

  6. Free Mike Vick says:

    Nady’s a bit of a ‘tweener, he’s too good for straight up fourth outfielder duty, but he’s not a starter on a top tier club.
    ______________________

    solution.

    Nady/Swisher platoon.

    ;)

  7. We’re all aware of how Holliday struggled in the AL with Oakland, but that probably had plenty to do with their big home ballpark and acres of foul territory.

    And yet, Jack Cust, Nick Swisher, Travis Buck, Frank Thomas, Eric Chavez, Erubiel Durazo, Miguel Tejada, Jermaine Dye, and Jason Giambi played in that same cavernous ballpark for that same team over the past decade or so and they all managed to put up an OPS+ north of 125.

    Maybe Holliday’s production was diminished not just because he was in a pitcher’s park, but because he’s not that good. Maybe Holliday is a better hitter than what his Oakland numbers would indicate, but also a far inferior hitter than what his Colorado numbers would indicate.

  8. Tom Zig says:

    Holy cow, a SI article about the top 50 free agents makes a UZR reference when talking about Mike Cameron.

    U-N-B-E-L-I-E-V-A-B-L-E

    Would having Mike Cameron be our CFer be like having Brett Gardner out there everyday, but actually being able to hit?

  9. JMK aka The Overshare says:

    Outside of Damon or Cameron, I don’t see a reasonably attractive option out there. I see some are high on Nady. He had one really good year. Other than that, as Ben noted, he’s a fringy-type. His injury risk is also unreal. Pass. Everyone else is either too expensive, a DH, or a good 4th OF type (Ankiel, Byrd, maybe Thames).

    Cameron and Damon sound good to me, though I wouldn’t be opposed to Matsui and one of the two, either.

  10. vin says:

    I just can’t imagine Damon going anywhere else. In this economy, I can’t see a non-contender offering him more money than the Yanks. And I’m not sure which contending teams can really use him.

    Boston – I think they either re-sign Bay or get Holliday.
    Twins – too expensive
    Detroit – best bet?
    ChiSox – maybe, but Quentin would have to move to RF
    Anaheim – they have enough expensive outfielder/DH types
    Texas – Murphy is too good to be a 4th OFer

    I can’t see an NL team paying him for 3 or 4 years to play the outfield without the benefit of the DH.

      • vin says:

        I almost put them in, but do they really have enough starting pitching to contend with the Angels and Rangers? Not to mention – battle the AL East teams for the WC?

        IMO, that money would be much better suited to going towards locking up King Felix and finding another SP.

    • iYankees says:

      David Murphy should get some more playing time with the Rangers. Maybe he’ll Branyan himself and actually hit lefties in 2010.

    • CountryClub says:

      Heyman tweeted that Boras wants 4 years for Damon. He said posada got 4 years and jeter will get 4 years too. So why not Damon?

      Pretty funny.

      • Tom Zig says:

        4 years? Daaaayyyyummm. Cut that in half and we can start negotiating.

      • Joe D. says:

        Heyman tweeted that Boras wants 4 years for Damon. He said posada got 4 years and jeter will get 4 years too. So why not Damon?

        We can do that. A one year deal for $9 million with 3 team option years at $9 million each.

        See that? Negotiating with Scott Boras ain’t so hard.

        – Oh? I’m being told that Boras likely meant four guaranteed years. That wacky Boras, he barely got four years for Damon four years ago. In that case, I’d offer Damon a laurel, and hearty handshake and send him on his way.

  11. mr yankee says:

    how about carlos quentin?

  12. mr yankee says:

    I am getting the idea that we are not making an big signings or trades. I just hope that Cashman and the brain trust know what they are doing. I do have one warning of note I read in the NY Daily news yesterday that Cashman is embarrassed by the payroll or something to that effect. I hope his ego does get in the way of signing players this year. As I have said in the past being the Yanks GM comes with spending a lot of money and if he all of a sudden feels an issue with that then there are bigger problems than we know.

  13. JMK aka The Overshare says:

    I’ve got a name for you guys—BARRY FUCKING BONDS!

  14. pollo says:

    CAMERON PLEASE

    Stick him in left and call it a day. Resign either Matsui or Damon to DH.

    • Pete says:

      As much as it would pain me to see Matsui go, IMO Damon & Cameron seems like the best option to get through the next year or so…

      • jsbrendog says:

        damon had a near career year, matsui was near or a slightly smidgen above his career averages no?

        how can you bank on damon to repeat his more so than matsui? neithe rone should be playing the field..

      • Reggie C. says:

        Boras is already comparing Damon’s value to Jorge Posada. Damon looks to be aiming for 4 years, which sadly is 3 years longer than what the Yanks should do.

        Honestly, Cameron + Matsui just looks more realistic.

  15. steve s says:

    All the posts in support of Cameron are misguided IMO. He will be 37 on Opening Day and is at the end of his career. His numbers in the second half last year were paltry (.241 BA and .311 OBP). He stole only 7 bases. His numbers over the past 3 years were mediocre to poor (BA: .242; .243; .250; OB: .328; .331; 342). If this guy was on the Yanks last year with his numbers there would be a great clamor to get rid of him. Other than being CC’s buddy and apparently a good guy in the clubhouse bringing a guy like this on board is just going backwards and sends the wrong organizational message to guys like Melky, Gardner, Austin Jackson.

    • mr yankee says:

      I am with you Mike Cameron is very medicore. Why have a 37 year old mediocre outfield. This guy is not at all an impact player. Dont fuck around with these has beens.

    • pat says:

      He’s better than Melky and Gardner. It sends a message that even though you won a ring you better not get complacent because we’ll replace your ass in a NY minute. And come on, we don’t really use batting average to judge a player’s productivity anymore.

    • jsbrendog says:

      no this is the right message to give ajax, the only one that matters. we plan on having you be our cf of the future so this guy is here to keep it warm for you for one year until you’re ready, whch we think you will be. who gives a shit what message it sends to gardner? melky, meh, 4th of is what he did most of this byear so if he does it again next year he will have more than enough opportunities to play his way in like he did this year.

      this is a moot point. messages. heh. unless they’re teix messages

    • Reggie C. says:

      Steve.

      Gardner is a fringe MLB player. Melky was tolerated last season b/c the corner guys both slugged and got on base at above ML avg clips.

      The organizational message is still the same: EARN IT!

      • steve s says:

        Cody Ransom was a fringe MLB player. Gardner, before his injury, was an asset offensively and defensively. He has, at every level of play, eventually exceeded expectations. If Yanks want a payroll under $200MM this is the kind of guy they need to cultivate. He is one of the few Yanks that can get a bunt down, go first to third, score from first on a double, disrupt the other teams defense and he throws his body into walls to make a catch. Give him 500 at bats and you will see 50 SB’s and 100+ runs.

        • jsbrendog says:

          cody ransom was a player that should never have seen the major leagues, not a fringe player

        • larryf says:

          agreed! We have no patience.

          That’s enough…

        • pete says:

          brett gardner is an ideal 5th OF. Great baserunning, great defense. Should probably never start a game without some kind of weird circumstances mitigating it. Melky Cabrera is a fringe starter, but a superb 4th outfielder in that he is a switch hitter with some power, some speed, solid D, and a great arm (any great asset deserves mentioning when referencing bench players). Mike Cameron is an excellent complimentary-type starter because his positive contribution to the team, in terms of defense and offense, is good.

          In my opinion, the ideal scenario for next season is as follows:
          C Jorge
          1B Tex
          2B Cano
          3B A-Rod
          SS Jeter
          LF Damon (often melky)
          CF Cameron (occasionally melky)
          RF Swisher
          DH Matsui (often damon)

          Bench:
          Melky: startable 4th outfielder who can play all 4 outfield positions and thus spell a tired/seriously slumping player a day or two, can take over any outfield position in the event of an injury
          Gardner: 5th outfielder – def. rep, pinch runner
          Hairston/Pena: utility – hairston can hit for some pop which pena can’t do, but pena’s a ridiculous defender and you can get the pop from hinske, so i’d take pena
          Hinske: bat
          Frankie C: backup catcher and team mousse and comb supplier

          • king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

            ok, i’ve been trying so hard…but all 4 outfield positions ???

            WTF did this become a slow pitch beer league???

            Matsui and Cameron, $18 for both, let damon get underpaid 3 years somebody else and wait for Boras to screw us later.

  16. Mike HC says:

    Why not sign Damon, Matsui and Cameron. The Yanks have wanted Cameron for a while now, and nothing that Melky or Gardner did this season should have changed that. The Yanks will need to sign somebody to play LF and DH, so they might as well stick with what won them a WS this past year. I don’t see why the Yanks can’t get this done.

  17. Mister Delaware says:

    I’d rank Crisp above several of the players listed. Upper tier CF defense and a .283/.344/.407 line his last healthy season would trump the value we got out of the CF spot in 2009.

  18. vin says:

    Re-signing Damon, Matsui, and Andy should (by all accounts) cost around 5 million less than what they made in ’09 (assuming Andy’s base contract).

    Re-sign those guys to short deals, take that 5 mill and put it towards Aroldis Chapman. That should be the extent of Cashman’s big money moves this offseason.

    I am curious to see how much Jeter and Rivera command after their contracts expire next year. Their next contracts may significantly impact the ’10 FA class.

  19. larryf says:

    Use CC to get Lebron-not Cameron. Damon/Matsui/Gardner/Swish/Melky next year. No Nady/Hinske/Molina AJ in 2011

  20. Tank Foster says:

    Sign all three, plus Cameron. I’d be on the “redundancy” track with this, figuring you probably are going to have stretches without Damon and/or Matsui next year, so it would be nice to have Cameron rather than Gardner in there. Cameron can start in CF daily and Damon share DH duties with Matsui. With injuries and resting guys, it would work out nice. But one year deals, only, for all. In 2011, purge the old guys and bring up AJax.

  21. Esteban says:

    Is Byrd really not an option? As a plan B, I think he would be pretty moderately priced. But then again, his walk rate halved and his OBP dropped from .30-.329 from ’08-’09 as he increased his IsoP from .164 to.195.

  22. sal says:

    I just read that Damon is looking for three- or four-year deal @ Jeter money ? even 3 years at 45mil sounds nuts after he just came off a career year for him.

    I keep hearing 18-mil for 2 years as the yankee offer. that sounds high to me.

    I’ll take Cameron @ $62,000 a K. 9 -mil one year deal

  23. Lou says:

    I am not sure why we would need to replace Matsui and Damon with 2 OFers. Sure, someone has to play LF, got it, but why does the DH have to be an OFer? I mean, we will already be carrying 4 OFers (as this post does seem to assume Gardbrera will be manning CF maybe LF in the case of Cameron. I would think Matui’s replacement could easily play any position, I mean Godzilla hasn’t played the field in a year and a half. I am also a little surpsied that Vlad Guerrero was automatically ruled out. I actually do not believe he would be a terrible DH. If the yanks do bring Damon back to play LF, how many DH games does that really leave the DH as they do want to rest their regulars.

    Games: 162
    Less
    ARod (10)
    Jeter (8)
    Tex (2)
    Posada (15)
    Cano (2)
    NL (9)
    Remaining 116

    So thats approximately 115 games. I wouldn’t be surprised if Vlad could be a productive hitter in that amount of appearances, especially if he never has to take the field.

  24. Joe D. says:

    A fun bit about Mike Cameron from Baseball Prospectus 2003:

    “Having hit four home runs in the game, already tying the major league record, in his fifth at-bat, Cameron was up with a 3–0 count, and took a strike right down the middle. Faced with the choice between hacking at the pitch, which no one would have blamed him for, and playing the game, forsaking the record to get on base again, Cameron watched the pitch go by. You want an unselfish, giving player? Here he is.”

  25. mustang says:

    I called Mike Cameron a while back he is a perfect fit and the Yanks have been after him. Cheap, good defender, and productive the perfect guy to keep the seat warm until they figure out what they have in Jackson.

  26. Amol says:

    You know, it’s too bad the Yankees’ didn’t give Juan Miranda some Triple-A experience in the outfield. He wouldn’t be good, obviously, but it’s hard to imagine that he’d be worse than guys like Damon, Dye and Thames. In any event, with the right platoon partner, Miranda would at least make for a viable option at DH.

    • He wouldn’t be good, obviously, but it’s hard to imagine that he’d be worse than guys like Damon, Dye and Thames.

      No, it’s quite easy to imaging that he’d be worse than Damon, Dye, and Thames. He could make Dye look like Carl Crawford in left.

      I think people underestimate how titanically awful a guy who is barely even a first baseman could possibly be in a corner. Miranda’s 25 and he’s a first baseman. The reason he’s a first baseman is because he’s tried every single other position and failed, including RF and LF.

      • Amol says:

        I guess I feel like there’s some sort of lower limit on how bad an adult with two functioing legs and the hand-eye coordination needed to hit a major league curveball can be, and Thames and Dye seem to be close to that limit. I accept, though, that I could be entirely wrong about that, which is why I was bemoaning the fact that the Yankees never put him in the outfield. I’d just like some more concrete evidence than a presumption based on the fact that he’s 25 and a first baseman, especially since he hasn’t played a single game in the outfield since he left Cuba three years ago.

  27. Jordan says:

    Benny Agbayani for LF – 2010!

  28. As an aside on Bay, does anyone know how the Green Monster factors into UZR? Balls that hit 20 feet up the wall don’t get counted against the LF’er right?

  29. macxz says:

    1. Sign atleast 2 pitchers via trade or free agent.

    · Andy Pettite – if he doesn’t retire

    · Doug Davis – I think he will be cheap

    · Rich Harden – injury prone, but he is good

    · Jason Marquis – cheap

    · Justin Duchscherer – cheap

    · Jon Garland – cheap

    · Randy Wolf – I think he will not seek long term so that’s good

    · TRADE for ROY HALLADAY

    · TRADE for MATT CAIN

    · TRADE for JOSH JOHNSON

    *1st half JOBA, 2nd half WANG then put Joba @ the pen

    2. Revamp the Outfield.

    · Johnny Damon – LF sometimes DH

    · Jermain Dye – RF

    · Jason Bay – if he comes cheap, LF (doubt it though)

    · Rick Ankiel – CF

    · Chone Figgins – sign him to play LF

    · Mike Cameron – 1 year deal is good..

    · Randy Winn – 1 year

    · TRADE for MATT KEMP

    3. DH scenario.

    · Hideki Matsui – if he resigns

    · Johnny Damon – if he resigns, and we get another outfielder.

    · Aubrey Huff – cheap, plays 1b/3b too

    · Nick Johnson – cheap

    · Jim Thome – he has a power bat, good to protect A-rod

    4. Bench.

    · Jerry Hairston Jr. – very good bench player

    · Jose Molina – good catcher to back up Posada

    · Gregg Zaun – backup Posada

    · Mark Derosa – cheap

    · Joe Crede – injury prone but has a good power bat

    · Miguel Olivo – good backup for Posada

    * if we didn’t get a backup for Posada just brink up Cervelli

    5. Bullpen.

    · Rafael Soriano – can set up MO, if Hughes fails

    · Kevin Gregg

  30. DonnieBaseballHallofFame says:

    Any shot at Granderson via trade? I have heard they need to trim payroll. I know we would have to trade a painful piece or pieces for him but I would love to get this guy on our team.

    Anybody know what happened to talented good all around OF players? Have they all become shortstops in little league these days?

    I still think there will be serviceable one year stop gap players that might be around due to non tenders because of over price arb players. Then again what do I know?

  31. Joe LA says:

    Is Figgins a true third baseman now? I’m not really suggesting that the Yankees should go after him (mostly because of age), but considering how much time he’s spent in the outfield over the last few years, doesn’t he at least deserve a place on the possibilities list?

    • Joe LA says:

      I realize he hasn’t been a true outfielder since 06, but do you think he’s so locked into the position that he won’t market himself as a 3b/of?

  32. ledavidisrael says:

    Anyone think YS would kill Cam’s power? Being a pull power hitter and all.

  33. ledavidisrael says:

    How can you justify the comments about Matt?

    Reports say that Boras is seeking Mark Teixeira money for Holliday, but he’s simply not that kind of player

    They have produced the same WAR over their careers, even though matt played one less year. Shouldn’t that make up for league adjustment?

  34. Wilcymoore27 says:

    Count me as a Cameron hater. Each time the past two or three years that Cameron’s name came up in trade rumors with the Yankees, I cringed.

    Cameron strikes out a ton, as Mike admits, and his batting average ain’t all that hot either. He’d be a righty hitter in Yankee Stadium, which contrary to what you’ve read about is still not exactly a right-handed power hitter’s ballpark. And don’t expect him to get any better at this stage of his career. If he becomes a Yankee, I’m predicting BIG disappointment for Yankee fans.

    If it were up to me, the Yanks would bring back Matsui and Damon. To me, Matsui is a no-brainer if he’ll take a one-year deal. There is no better DH in the American League. I’d also like Damon back. He’s still an offensive force. But I wouldn’t go more than two years, and beyond that, I’d have to reluctantly say goodbye.

    Bay and Holliday are clearly the best players on the board, but I’m not that enamored of either of them. Signing Bay or Holliday also means the Yanks give up a first-round draft pick, plus lots of money. And we have to endure more criticism of how the Yankees buy their championships. I don’t mind the criticism, per se, but I worry about what future shackles might be imposed on the Yankees as a result.

    My choice would be: 1) bring back Matsui (for one year, if possible, two if necessary), 2) bring back Damon (for 2 years, but not longer), 3) consider bringing back Nady (if his arm is sound and either Matsui or Damon doesn’t return), and 4) look ahead to the arrival of Austin Jackson in about a year.

  35. Bo says:

    Mike Cameron??? Is this 10 yrs ago???

    I thought the goal was to get younger and more athletic??

    The Cameron boat left the doc 3 yrs ago when they didnt get him. Got to come to terms with the fact that they are letting melky and gardner battle it out as they wait for Jackson.

    Cameron would be a terrible fit for this lineup. Hes an all or nothing hitter who doesnt run anymore.

    Damon is the perfect fit for the lineup as we have all witnessed. I’m sure they’d rather have him back than Cameron.

    I wouldnt be shocked if they went the Holliday direction if Damon priced them out by wanting 3+ yrs.

  36. Rob in CT says:

    My plan A for LF would be Holliday. He’s a very good hitter. He had an awful April, but then hit just fine in Oakland. Dropped ball in the playoffs notwithstanding, he’s solid defensively. He’s on the right side of 30.

    If his demands are beyond what the Yankees want to pay, then Plan would be between Damon and Cameron. Damon on a 2 year deal is fine. Anything more and no thanks. Cameron is the better defender, but as much as Johnny’s bat appears suited for New Yankee Stadium I would think Cameron’s is not suited for it, which would concern me. Both are old, so that seems like a wash.

    For DH, I’d try to bring back Matsui on a 1-year deal. Failing that, I’d call Jim Thome. Maybe even look into Nick Johnson.

    Pitching: bring back Pettitte on yet another 1 year deal if possible. 2 max. Kick the tires on Lackey. If for some reason he’s being undervalued, make a run at him (n/a if they’ve already signed Holliday, I’d imagine). But I doubt that.

  37. [...] outfield is the Yankees’ biggest area of concern this off-season, and to that end Mike examined the free agent class yesterday. There are some attractive names on there, but there’s nothing that makes me think, [...]

  38. Collin says:

    1) Let Damon walk to someone who will overpay.
    2) Resign Matsui to a one-year deal
    3) Sign Cameron to a one-year deal
    4) Sign Ankiel to a reasonable deal

    LF: Cameron/Ankiel
    CF: Melky/Gardner (occasionally Cameron, if need be)
    RF: Swisher
    DH: Matsui/Ankiel

    I like Cameron in our lineup and in the outfield but only if he comes for one year. I see Ankiel mashing in Yankee stadium as a lefty and his defense would be okay in limited quantities because of his arm. The Yankees should load up the lineup with lefties because of the stadium to load up on regular season wins. What this gives us is 3 guys that could play anywhere in the OF, including center (Melkman, Gardner, Cammie) and then two guys who can play in the corners (Swish and Ankiel). Matsui was fine as a DH last year and, if Ankiel performs well, he could eventually take over that role.

  39. [...] have interest in John Lackey, though the case against him came two years ago. The market for free agent outfielders is pretty good, but the same can’t be said for setup [...]

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