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
  • JackISBACK

    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.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      You know who provides even better production than Nady?

      Mike Cameron.

      • JackISBACK

        Yeah, but Cameron is going to get atleast 2 years somewhere, and I just want to go year to year with Nady.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Yeah, but Cameron is going to get atleast 2 years somewhere…

          I have yet to see anyone say they think Cameron gets a two year deal from anyone.

          The rumor du jour is a 1/7 from the Padres. We can go a 1/8 or a 1/9 and trump that shit, and we’ve got a better situation to offer than San Diego does.

      • Tom Zig

        plus Mike Cameron is BFFs with CC Sabathia.

    • todd

      there is no way damon stays. boras will get him a 3 yr deal, maybe even with bosox. matsui’s only real option with mariners, and who knows if they will pay $10M or give more than 1 year. i would not be unhappy with giving gardener a shot for a year and if it doesn’t work to make a mid year trade. ultimate goal is to hope jackson takes over left and sign crawford next year for center. Given performance of phil and joba, i would keep joba in pen and trade phil for halladay even up.

      • Wilcymoore27

        The Yankee outfield in 2010 is NOT going to be LF – Swisher, CF – Gardner, RF – Melky Cabrera. If it is, heaven help us.

        • Bo

          Thats as close to a terrible OF as the Yanks can get. From an offensive standpoint.

  • http://www.i-yankees.com iYankees

    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.

    • Mike bk

      Cameron would not be playing left field, Melky would, Cameron is better defensively in Center than Melk.

      • http://www.i-yankees.com iYankees

        Ah, that makes sense. Don’t know why I haven’t thought of it that way. But, given his age, perhaps its better to keep Cameron in LF to limit some of the wear and tear and leave Melky, who has been fine there, in center?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I’m fine flipflopping them. They both play both CF and LF. They’re good enough defensive outfielders to handle either.

          • http://www.i-yankees.com iYankees

            Agreed.

          • pete

            i still think you should spell cameron every now and again so that he stays a +10 defender. Maybe have a couple games a week where you start damon in left then slide gardner into center and melky to left if a defensive replacement is necessary. I feel like cameron for 130-140 games will be a sick defender, but more than 150 and he might start to damon out on us.

            • Bo

              Camerons going to be 38 yrs old. There will come a point where his CF defense isnt what it was in 1999.

  • jsbrendog

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

  • Tubby

    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

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

      • Mason

        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

          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

      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.

    • http://twitter.com/JamalG_BB Jamal G.

      Jeter
      Matsui
      Teixeira
      A-Rod
      Posada
      Swisher
      Cano
      Cameron
      Cabretta

      • Spaceman.Spiff

        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

  • Tom Zig

    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.

    • Thomas

      Give Matsui a pat on the back and a Hummer.

      Man, I hope you mean the car.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Meh, he already has lots of cars.

    • jsbrendog

      i feel matsui is much mroe likely to repeat his offensive numbers than damon is

      • Tubby

        I tend to agree. Matsui has already shown that he can be productive even if he is a mess physically. I’m not sure we can expect the same from Damon. Those calves can be tricky.

        • Joe D.

          Damon’s had nagging injuries on and off (more on, really) for most of his contract with the Yanks. I think he’s proven he can play well at less than 100%, too.

          (Just making this point. Not arguing anything about Damon’s contract here. I will say if Boras wants more than one year + some sort of option, then Damon should go elsewhere.)

  • Free Mike Vick

    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.

    ;)

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Hmm… no.

      • Free Mike Vick

        figured the ;) smiley showed my hint of sarcasm.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          A “hint” of sarcasm isn’t enough. I require blunt force trauma amounts of sarcasm.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    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.

    • jsbrendog

      i’m gonna agree with this because i agree with what everyone says and not because it is a rational point with evidence that convinces me your point is valid. nope.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        ICWUDT

    • jsbrendog

      and ps, wow, nice name drop with eurabiel durazo, that name had completely left my brain until now. wasn’t it him who had some monstrous hr streak in arizona?

      • JMK aka The Overshare

        Until the coyotes got to him!

    • http://www.i-yankees.com iYankees

      In reality, Holliday only had one awful month with Oakland and that was in April, when he hit .240/.288/.360. After that, in May, he hit .291/.416/.456, in June he hit .280/.374/.440, and in July, although he was traded to the Cardinals at the end of the month, he hit .412/.487/.670.

      He was a productive player outside of the first month.

    • Free Mike Vick

      Holliday in YS could do very well.

      you have to think the short porch instead of the 20 foot high wall in RF would net a few more HRs by itself.

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      He had one awful month that killed his Oakland numbers, in his first month in a new league in a new park. He has a 133+ OPS for his career, a number adjusted for ballpark. He’s not a superstar, but he is a very good hitter.

      • http://www.i-yankees.com iYankees

        He reminds me of Nick Markakis, for whatever reason.

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona

          Markakis reminds me Paul O’Neill on quaaludes.

          • http://www.i-yankees.com iYankees

            Ha. Markakis is from NY, right? Glenn Cove?

            • Mike bk

              otherwise known as Glen Cove, but yes.

            • Free Mike Vick

              yeah…but i think he grew up in the south

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                Markakis was born on Long Island, New York, but he later moved to Woodstock, Georgia with his family.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_markakis

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                Fun Fact: Markakis went to Young Harris College, where he played baseball on Zell Miller field.

                Yes, THAT Zell Miller. He’s an alumnus.

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuBnlNjZq24 (safe)

                • Free Mike Vick

                  HELL YEAH…GET YOU SOME ZELL.

                  Proper way to challenge someone:

                  “”Well, first things first, you should make sure that dueling the offending person is worth it. I mean, is risking your life over some thoughtless jerk who cut you off in the grocery check out line really worth it?

                  Once you have that out of the way, it is time to get down to the actual challenge.

                  The crucial ingrediant here is a glove, preferably white (if it is not winter time, or you do not regularly carry around a pair of gloves, you may wish to start doing so) Remove said glove from your hand, and slap the offending cad across the face with it. He should be momentarily caught off guard by this. Next, throw the glove down haughtily, and declare (southern accent optional) “Sir, you have insulted my honour. I challenge you to a duel.” You may also, if you wish, demand satisfaction.

                  It may also be prudent to explain to the brute, if it is not openly clear, what exactly he has done to incur your wrath.

                  If the man has any honour, he will accept your challenge. He may also simply just apologise, but, if he is a real man, that is unlikely.

                  Also, believe it or not, most people no longer carry around good, old-fashioned dueling pistols these days. Signs of the times, I know. So if you want to do this right, you should proabbly carry a pair around yourself, to make everything easier.

                  You should also decide between the two of you on a location to do it, preferably somewhere secluded, and preferably at dawn. If you’re going to do something, you might as well do it right.

                  I suppose I should mention, thanks to this country’s out of control activist judges, that dueling is strictly speaking, illegal. Just keep that in mind.

                  Happy dueling.””

                  http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/70664

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  MMMARROM MMUUURRR!!!

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLSsswr6z9Y (safe)

                • Esteban
                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  At noon tomorrow, we shall have a Wedding! Or a hanging. Either way, it oughta be a lotta fun, eh?

                • Free Mike Vick

                  what makes one want to duel.

                  example

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJeRH90i3ps

                • Free Mike Vick
  • Tom Zig

    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?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Defensively, I’d say in CF it’s
      Gardner >>>>>>>> Cameron >>>> Melky >> an average big league CF.

      Gardner covers more ground than even Cameron, who still covers a ton of ground. However, Cameron’s got a crapload more power, so what he loses defensively he more than makes up for offensively.

      • larryf

        OK. Gritner is best in CF. He hit 270, costs nothing and is 24 years old and is healthy. We don’t need Cameron for power-we got plenty. Brett missed 6 weeks and, I think/hope, with a year of seasoning, KLong attention, and world series experience-we should expect improvement in all phases-maybe 50-60 SB’s. I like having a REALLY fast guy-we have none- rather than another power bat-we have 7 already…

        • Esteban

          I really can’t see Gardner as being anything more than below average as a batter. His ABs in the World Series were awful. But hey, his 2009 wOBA was .337 and Melky’s was .331 so what the hell do I know.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Take a look at the BABIP’s.

            • Esteban

              .312 for Gardner and .291 for Melky. Neither seems too crazy to me. Don’t get me wrong, I would prefer Melky over Gardner as an everyday player. Am I right though?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          We can have all of them, you know. There’s room.

          Damon/Cameron/Swisher start, HazMat DH’s, Melky and Gardner are the 4th and 5th OFs, and they get plenty of time since both Damon and Matsui (and to a lesser extent, Cameron) get rested aggressively since they’re all older.

          • JMK aka The Overshare

            This plan is great. Costly, though.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Yeah, it’s costly, but only year by year. So, we can pull the plug whenever we feel like it.

    • jsbrendog

      yeah it’d be just like gardner now except less speed, he can actually hit, and he is black, oh and they’re both mostly bald/shaved head no?

      the defense and k’s stay the same

  • JMK aka The Overshare

    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.

    • JMK aka The Overshare

      OK, I’ve decided I prefer Cameron and Matsui. I see Damon declining hard next year.

  • vin

    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.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Seattle?

      • vin

        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.

    • http://www.i-yankees.com iYankees

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

    • CountryClub

      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

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

        • CountryClub

          I wouldnt even do that if I were the Yankees. I agree with many others about a 1 yr deal with an option for a 2nd.

      • Joe D.

        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.

  • mr yankee

    how about carlos quentin?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      He’s under contract.

      We’re not trading good prospects for players under contract. We’re going to buy a few pieces on the free agent market and go back with the same core for 2010.

      • Mike bk

        what would Willingham or Hawpe (DH) cost in terms of prospects as both are going to get raises next year?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          (thinks for a moment)

          I don’t care.

          • http://www.facebook.com/dougchu Doug

            Willingham is 30. Pass.

  • mr yankee

    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.

    • pat

      If he’s embarrassed by the payroll then he sure has a weird way of showing it. Last winter is a good example.

      • mr yankee

        This is what I read in Ny Daily News-I am not saying its bible. I did not make it up

        • the artist formerly known as (sic)

          I think that you made it up.

          • jsbrendog

            ietc

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Heh.

              Well, I don’t think he “made it up”, per se, but I’m sure he probably is misquoting it and turning it into something it’s not.

              What article was this that you read this in, mr yankee? Let’s look this shit up.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      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.

      The Daily News is a shitrag. Don’t read it, it will make you dumber.

      And, stop looking for narratives. Narratives will lead you down the wrong road more often than not.

      • Tom Zig

        I read the Post and Daily News…

        However, only because it is entertaining, not educational.

    • Tom Zig

      I am getting the idea that we are not making an big signings or trades

      Progress.

  • JMK aka The Overshare

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

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      :: head explodes ::

      (and it takes a long time)

    • Free Mike Vick

      when did he get a new middle name?

      i thought it was, BARRY LAMAR BONDS?

    • mr yankee

      I love it pure left handed power hitter-very patient will come at cheap price. One year deal in Yankee stadium cant miss.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Yeah, but he hasn’t played in two years. That’s a big red flag.

        • Tom Zig
        • mr yankee

          True but I am sure he remebers how to hit-For this team it works out perfect. You could get him for a oe year deal easily. He could hit 30-40 bombs on a bad year and his obp is always high. Your the one wanting one yar deals and low cost moves, then here it is costs you nothing but a little money and the payoff could be huge.

        • pat

          Plus, steroids are kinda frowned upon nowadays.

          • mr yankee

            Who cares you already have AROD on the team whats one more gonna hurt. Ppai plays for the sox and they are not dumping him.

            • Tom Zig

              Why did you capitalize every letter of A-Rod?

          • Tom Zig

            Not if you come out and say you did some stuff when you were younger and you’re sorry about it. That’s all it takes

            • mr yankee

              Again I ask you if Bonds still can hit even 75% of what he did hen would you take it on a one year deal?

              • Tom Zig

                Barry Bonds hasn’t played in two years. He is 45 and will be 46 in midseason. Never played in the AL. Can’t play in the field.

                So what about this is a good idea?

                • mr yankee

                  I said for one year your tellng me for one year you would not take a chance. People are advocating Mike Cameron and Coco Crisp and whatever orther marginal player they can find. So why not take a shot on Bonds?

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Because 2010 Mike Cameron and 2010 Coco Crisp will undoubtedly be better players than 2010 Barry Bonds.

                  Dude is 45. And broken down. And rusty.

                • the artist formerly known as (sic)

                  No one fucking mentioned Coco Crisp.

                  Oh wait, someone mentioned Coco Crisp. You, and Mike. Mike mentioned Coco Crisp when he said there’s no point in talking about players like Coco Crisp.

                  “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. “

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                Again I ask you if Bonds still can hit even 75% of what he did hen would you take it on a one year deal?

                Yes.

                The odds of Barry Bonds, who is now 45 and no longer on steroids and who has been out of the game for two full years being able to hit even 75% of what he did before are long, long, long odds.

                It’s more likely that he hits about 40% of what he hit before.

                Pass.

            • pat

              Except he clearly didn’t do them when he was younger the .500 and .600 opb hulked out Bonds was artificially produced. Out of baseball for 2 years + more stringent roid testing + PR nightmare = no thank you Mr. Bonds.

              • Tom Zig

                Well “younger” is a relative term, he was “younger” when he did steroids, but he was a grown man at the time, so he can’t really use that excuse. and I wasn’t advocating for Mr. Bonds, I was just goofing.

                • mr yankee

                  Regardless it was a good thought. I like out of the box ideas. But lets settle on Mike Cameron-start printing the wrold series tickets.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Regardless it was a good thought.

                  No it wasn’t.

                  I like out of the box ideas.

                  Do you? I don’t think you do.

                  But lets settle on Mike Cameron-start printing the wrold series tickets.

                  mryankee: 1
                  Strawman: 0

      • JMK aka The Overshare

        I was just kidding. Not sure you knew that.

  • pollo

    CAMERON PLEASE

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

    • http://www.workwithpete.com Pete

      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

        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.

        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.

  • steve s

    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

      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.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        … says the guy who wants to sign Barry Bonds.

        • mr yankee

          I am sorry guys who break home run records in their late thirties and are going to the hall of fame are not has beens.

          • jsbrendog

            mike cameron plays baseball and will get paid to dos o this year.

            barry bonds has not played baseball nor gotten paid to doso since 07.

            barry bonds is a has been.

            • mr yankee

              You think Mike Cameron is more of an impact player than Barry Bonds?

              • jsbrendog

                at this point, mike cameron is a baseball player and barry bonds is not. so yes.

                if i have a baseball team i want the guy who is actually still playing and getting paid and in demand to play baseball. not a guy who hasn’t seen live pitching in 2 years and is not desired.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                You think Mike Cameron is more of an impact player than Barry Bonds?

                For 2010? Abso-fricken-lutely. Beyond the shadow of a doubt.

                Show me a 45 year old hitter who has hit well after taking two full years out of the game.

                Go ahead, I’ll wait.

                • mr yankee

                  Hey I think Bonds is a special case. You have to admit he was cut above the rest of the league. You dont think he has any chance to regain form?

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  I think his chances of regaining form are far smaller than Mike Cameron’s chances of retaining form.

                  Mike Cameron is EIGHT YEARS YOUNGER than Barry Bonds.

                  Eight.

                • jsbrendog

                  he was a cut above because he took lots of steroids and hit in the girly league

                • mr yankee

                  How aout Mark Derosa?

                • r.w.g.

                  You win.

              • r.w.g.

                our team has Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Jorge Posada, CC Sabathia, Derek Jeter, and Mariano Rivera already on it. We don’t need impact players. If the team wants to make a luxury buy on a guy like Holliday or Lackey, it is what it is and they could help, but they aren’t needed. I personally want Holliday but I’m about 90% sure we are going back to the show with or without him. The other 10% is why you play the games.

          • pat

            Except the means by which he broke those records ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE.

    • pat

      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

        but swisher sucks because he only hit 250!!!!

    • jsbrendog

      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.

      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

        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

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

        • larryf

          agreed! We have no patience.

          That’s enough…

        • pete

          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

            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.

  • Mike HC

    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.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Who has two thumbs and likes that idea?

      THIS GUY

      • jsbrendog

        hey i’ve got some stuff and like this too…but…that’s a whole different topic of conversation

    • http://sports-odds.com/images/stories/yankees-arod-teixeira.jpg JobaWockeeZ

      This.

  • Mister Delaware

    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.

    • jsbrendog

      he just had rotator cuff surgery on BOTH shoulders. damon might throw better.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Coco Crisp, 2009 WAR: 1.2
      Mike Cameron, 2009 WAR: 4.3

      Mike Cameron >>>>>>>>>>>>>> Coco Crisp

      • Mister Delaware

        Nothing disingenuous about using a counting stat to compare two guys with a games played variance of exactly 100.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Games played matters too.

          • Mister Delaware

            He was hurt, he got fixed. Potential money saving opportunity.

            (And I know you’re really fired up about this but not every guy brought up is a statement against Cameron. I like Cameron too and I’d take him over Crisp but maybe some team goes nuts and offers him a 3 year deal or something. Doesn’t hurt to consider non-Cameron CFs.)

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              He was hurt, he got fixed.

              Did he?

              • Mister Delaware

                If only there was a way a team could know before signing someone …

  • vin

    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.

  • larryf

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

  • Tank Foster

    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.

  • Esteban

    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.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      He is an option, yes.

      But, Mike Cameron on a one year deal is a better option than Marlon Byrd on a 2 or 3 year deal, all things considered. Cameron is capable of outproducing Byrd (who’s helped tremendously by his home park) at a shorter contract obligation.

      • Esteban

        Ha. I agree, that’s why I said he would be a good Plan B, in case Cameron doesn’t work out. But his focus on power over OBP does concern me.

      • Free Mike Vick

        i would figure Byrd could handle his own in YS…

  • sal

    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

    • jsbrendog

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

      this made me chuckle

  • Lou

    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.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      But what does Vlad do that Matsui does not?

      • Free Mike Vick

        well…Vlad hits right handed. Matsui is a lefty. So thats something Vlad does that Matsui does not. hehe

        i wouldn’t sign either one of them…both their knees are shot to sh**

  • Joe D.

    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.”

  • mustang

    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.

    • Tom Zig

      I called Mike Cameron a while back

      What’d he say?

      • Rey22

        I lol’d

  • Amol

    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.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      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

        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.

  • Jordan

    Benny Agbayani for LF – 2010!

  • http://pinstripepalace.blogspot.com/ Brien Jackson

    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?

  • macxz

    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

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

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

      not that I do not take issue with a lot of the other stuff there but good god Aubrey Huff is done

      this guy really sucks now

      not that he was ever great (damn good hitter for a lil bit though)

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I am literally scared shitless of this idea, this post, and you.

      (raises eyebrows, backs out of the room slowly)

  • DonnieBaseballHallofFame

    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?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Nah, not worth it. They’re not motivated to move him, and we don’t need to be trading for people.

      Welcome back, buddy. No hard feelings.

      (internet handshake)

  • Joe LA

    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

      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?

  • ledavidisrael

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

  • ledavidisrael

    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?

  • Wilcymoore27

    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.

  • Bo

    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.

    • johnny

      the goal is to win rings

  • Rob in CT

    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.

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  • Collin

    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.

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