Dec
11

To trade or not to trade a spare outfielder

By

By the time Spring Training starts, odds are good that the Yanks will head into Tampa with five outfielders for four positions. Although Brett Gardner and Melky Cabrera are currently behind Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher on the Yanks’ depth charts, the team wants to bring Johnny Damon back at the best price and will look at Mike Cameron before the winter is out.

Therefore, the Yanks have a good problem to have: They have a trading chip. Either Brett Gardner or Melky Cabrera will draw interest from other clubs. The question, then, concerns the expendable one: Of Gardner or Cabrera, which one should the Yanks try to move?

Over the last four seasons, Yankee fans have grown quite familiar with Melky, for better or worse. As a 21-year-old in 2006, he inherited the starting left field job when Hideki Matsui went down with a wrist injury and was a pleasant surprise with the bat. He hit .280/.360/.391 with a 95 OPS+. While 2006 was a decent showing for Melky, the next two years would show him trending in the wrong direction. Over his next 1065 plate appearances, he hit .263/.316/.369 with just 16 home runs. With more Major League experience, he should have been getting better, but his only redeeming quality was his arm, and by the end of 2008, he had lost his starting job.

This year, facing some competition for his outfield spot, Melky seemed to turn it on early. He hit .285/.347/.439 in the first half with a few key clutch hits. He faded during the second half, but still managed to put up a 99 OPS+ season. For those of us in the anti-Melky camp, 2009 was a very pleasant surprise.

Still, we don’t know what to expect out of the youngster going forward. The 2010 season will be his age 25 year, and after 2148 Major League plate appearances, he has a career line of .269/.331/.385. He doesn’t have much speed or power but has a strong arm. He seems to be an ideal candidate for a fourth outfielder spot on a good team or a starting job on a lesser team but could still improve.

Then, we have Brett Gardner. A year older than Melky, the speedster has just 425 Major League plate appearances and three fewer years of service time. This year, Gardner hit .270/.345/.379. He covers a lot of ground in center field but doesn’t have Melky’s arm. He has a lot of speed but hasn’t gotten on base at a high enough clip at the Major League level to be a game-changer. We don’t know what Melky’s eventual ceiling will be, but Gardner’s may very well be what we saw this year. He’s a fast slap hitter, valuable as a late-game pinch runner but needs to find another 15 to 20 OBP points to stick.

And so the rumors. When Curtis Granderson arrived, many figured the Yanks would be able to trade one of their young center fielders. So far, rumor has it that both the Royals and White Sox have called to ask Brian Cashman about Gardner. Is the outfielder I find more expendable actually in greater demand than Melky? It would seem so.

Right now, we don’t have a sense of the potential returns. Maybe the Yanks could get Brian Bannister from the Royals, but then again, maybe he’ll be non-tendered today. The Yanks fleeced Ken Williams and the White Sox last year when they acquired Nick Swisher for a bunch of nothing. Could they do it again with Gardner? It’s nice to dream.

As it stands, the Yanks have the luxury of holding a strong hand made stronger by the Rule 5 arrival of Jamie Hoffmann. So far, Cashman has been able to capitalize on that advantage. Let’s see how he does now with a glut of young outfielders. If I were a betting man, I’d say we’ve seen the last of Gardner in pinstripes. But then again, if the Yanks sign another outfielder, Gardner may be more useful than Melky as a bench player. And so it goes.

Categories : Hot Stove League
  • dee

    Well, I definitely think the Yankees selected Jamie Hoffman knowing that they’re going to give up either Melky or Gardner.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Mmm. Yes. I didn’t consider that. Since Hoffman has to be on the roster or he gets shipped back to Los Angeles, it is even more likely that someone gets traded.

      • zzzzzz

        with hoffman’s skill set who is more likely to go?

        • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

          Probably still Gardner. Hoffmann’s got the defense to be that late-inning guy when needed.

          • Brian Ewart

            but does he have the speed to be a pinch-runner?

            • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

              Yes.

              • JeffG

                Not as fast as Gardner. I think he is better than Melky as a bench player in that his speed game is something the team could really benefit from.

                You can almost count on him to get a bag as with the other options you can’t.

            • Bo

              You dont worry about pinch runners before the season.

      • dee

        Exactly. I think they would have chosen a pitcher given that they gave up several in the past week, but I think Cashman was thinking otherwise.

  • Salty Buggah

    Gardy has more demand because of his outstanding defensive value. Teams know that they might not be able to start Melky and as a bench player, he is kinda meh with decent speed, bat, and defense. Gardner at least get on base more and has more speed and plays great defense.

    I dont know who to trade either but I really hope we can get something good for them if they are traded.

    • Bo

      You wouldnt trade for Melky unless you planned on him starting someplace.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

    I honestly think they’ll keep both. We were having the same conversation with Swisher and Nady last year, and look how that turned out.

    • radnom

      Yeah, but both of those guys had value.

      This year there are three backup OFers who are all pretty replaceable.

      • OldYanksFan

        Yeah, true. But if Melky and Brett don’t have much value, what will will get in return. Anybody really useful? I doubt it.

        Since Brett’s speed and D won’t ‘decline’, he can only get more valuable if he plays a bit and hits more. He is still an unknown quantity. He doesn’t have far to go to be better then Melky. I personally would like to see Brett get some consistant ABs, get his confidence up, and see how he might hit. His speed and glove are very attractive.

        • The Scout

          Gardner isn’t going to get consistent at-bats with the Yankees, however. Melky probably offers a better overall game as a left-fielder, which is where he’ll play unless the Yankees add a front-line outfielder. For the Royals, Gardner might start in center. If they view him that way, he should fetch a B-level prospect in exchange.

          • Bo

            He cna get consistent at bats in Scranton cant he?

            And be ready to come up in case of injury.

    • Mike bk

      wasnt part of the reason neither was dealt because we didnt know what swish would show up and also the hesitation to give up insurance on Hideki and his knee?

  • radnom

    It comes down to whether or not the Yankees sign 1 more bat or two more bats. If they only sign one (which isn’t unlikely) then you have to keep Melky because he is in a starting role (which neither Gardner nor Hoffman can handle).

    If two bats are signed, and Melky, Gardner and Hoffman are the 4th, 5th and 6th outfielders respectively, then you have a decision to make. If Melky actually has any value, I think you trade him. And by value I don’t mean a return of back-of-the-bullpen fodder. Otherwise, you trade Gardner for whatever you can get for him. You contend Gardner is a more useful bench player than Melky, but if I’m not getting a decent return on either of them, I would much rather keep the guy who has the ability to step in for a long period of time should one of the outfielders go down with a freak injury.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      if I’m not getting a decent return on either of them, I would much rather keep the guy who has the ability to step in for a long period of time should one of the outfielders go down with a freak injury.

      Well, realistically both Melky and Brett can step in for long periods of time and give you pretty much the same production. I think that Gardner is more useful as a late-inning bench player while Melky has a higher ceiling if he can realize it. That’s the real analysis since they both can do what you want them to do. Going forward, who has more value in the role they will be assigned to play?

      • radnom


        Well, realistically both Melky and Brett can step in for long periods of time and give you pretty much the same production.

        This is where we disagree. I don’t see any reason to assume Brett can match Melky’s production from last year longer than a month.

        • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

          Melky had a 1.6 WAR last year and Brett had a 2.7 WAR. So that right there tells me that Brett was actually better than Melky last year and in half the number of ABs.

          • radnom

            All that tells me is that WAR is a stat which is easily abused and too heavily weighs defense.

            How about the fact that Gardner had a monster (in a small sample size) May/June only to completely fall off the table come July (and for the rest of the season)?

            Melky was able to turn in an about league average offensive production from CF last year. You honestly think Gardner was more valuable in his limited at bats?

            • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

              So you don’t like WAR because you disagree with the results and they don’t agree with your perception of the two?

              Gardner is a better defender than Melky and a better baserunner. Considering the six-point OPS difference came about because of Melky’s early-season power advantage, I’d say Gardner was indeed more valuable.

              • radnom


                So you don’t like WAR because you disagree with the results and they don’t agree with your perception?

                No, please don’t put words in my mouth. It isn’t that I don’t like the ‘stat’, what I have an issue with is your sweeping generalization based on that stat.

                If you want to point to WAR and claim that Gardner’s ~350 at bats were more valuable to the 2009 Yankees than Melky’s entire season, fine. But you’re wrong. Not to mention that the main point being discussed is each player’s ability to maintain their production for a long period of time, which WAR fails to capture, but Gardner’s massive drop in OPS halfway through the season came along right about the time that pitchers started challenging him and he got completely out of wack.

                Maybe he can do it, but Melky more of a sure thing.

                • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

                  I’m still waiting to hear how I’m wrong.

                  DYK that from May 15 to the end of the season, Melky’s OPS was barely above .700? He didn’t have some great season. He had a great start and barely hung around for the rest of the year. Same old story.

                  Anyway, I’m not a fan of either. So we’re basically arguing over which not-so-good outfielder the Yanks shouldn’t trade.

                • radnom


                  I’m still waiting to hear how I’m wrong.

                  Well lets start here. First you say they that in 2009, Gardner was much more valuable (in much less playing time) than Melky. Now you say they are roughly the same. You are contradicting yourself there.

                  Secondly, the entire crux of your argument is that Gardner produced just as well as Melky in a limited sample size, so it is obvious that he can do so over an entire season. You repeatedly did not acknowledge the fact that Gardner dropped off a cliff halfway through the season. Yes, Melky was bouyed by a strong April (as usual), but if you check the rest of the season it was really a (awful) month of August that brought him down.
                  After Gardner’s hot start, his OPS was closer to .600 than .700.

                • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

                  Which hot start are you talking about? Gardner was hitting .235/.313/.388 through May 21. He then had a good May-July and saw his numbers decline after he hurt his thumb and lost playing time.

                  From May 23 through Sept. 19, Gardner hit .313/.383/.418. That’s an OPS closer to .800 than either of the figures you tossed out.

                • radnom

                  You were responding to something I said about Gardner’s ability to sustain production over a longer period of time, but have backed yourself up with nothing but comparisons of the two players previous seasons, relevant or not.

                  There is a reason Melky was the starting center fielder the majority of the season.

                • radnom


                  Which hot start are you talking about?

                  Sorry I mispoke. Not a hot “start” but those two months.


                  From May 23 through Sept. 19, Gardner hit .313/.383/.418. That’s an OPS closer to .800 than either of the figures you tossed out.

                  You are combining two periods here, one where he was very hot and one where he was very cold and making it look like he was solid during that entire time frame. OPS in July – .621. Agust/September? – .599.
                  During those time periods he struck out nearly TWENTY PERCENT of the time. I’m not someone who is hung up on strike outs but you have to admit that is the sign of someone who doesn’t have it all together.

                  If you want to blame it on the thumb, or playing time or whatever — fine, all I’m saying is it is more of an unknown than Melky.

                • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

                  During those time periods he struck out nearly TWENTY PERCENT of the time. I’m not someone who is hung up on strike outs but you have to admit that is the sign of someone who doesn’t have it all together.

                  In the end, I agree with your conclusion. He’s more of an unknown than Melky, and I maintain that they both aren’t very good. In my world, neither is a starting outfielder for the New York Yankees.

                  But striking out nearly 20 percent of the time is an indiction of nothing. You know who struck out more than 20 percent of the time this year? Nick Swisher. A-Rod wasn’t too far behind. You’re right not to be hung up on strike outs.

                • Ed

                  There is a reason Melky was the starting center fielder the majority of the season.

                  As far as I could tell, that reason was because Gardner got hurt midway through, and was never given a chance to make a claim for the starting job after that.

                  I find this conversation amusing, as a year ago a lot of people here would’ve said they saw no reason to believe Melky could be productive over a long period of time. Believing in Melky was only slightly less offensive than wanting Joba in the bullpen.

                • radnom


                  But striking out nearly 20 percent of the time is an indiction of nothing. You know who struck out more than 20 percent of the time this year? Nick Swisher. A-Rod wasn’t too far behind. You’re right not to be hung up on strike outs.

                  True, but the reason its cool for Swisher is he still walked a ton, keeping up the OBP. Gardner’s plummeted those last couple months.


                  In the end, I agree with your conclusion. He’s more of an unknown than Melky, and I maintain that they both aren’t very good. In my world, neither is a starting outfielder for the New York Yankees.

                  But that was no just my conclusion, but the entire foundation of my argument?
                  Regardless, I could live with Melky as the starting CF if the team is composed as it was last year…but I don’t think anyone feels either of them has any business being in the conversation for starting LF.

                • Salty Buggah

                  Most of Gardner’s value comes from his defense, which is exceptional while Melky’s is about average. Both are meh with the bat with Melky having more power and Gardy getting on base more but Melky is slightly better. The biggest difference is defense.

                  While you may be right about Gardy being in an unknown in the future, he was clearly the more valuable player in 09.

                • Salty Buggah

                  Back to the original point, I think Gardy can produce at least as much as Melky if forced to step in for long periods of time. While Radnom may not think that Gardy can match Melky’s production “longer than a month,” I think he can. Remember, that every level, Gardy has started off slowly and then adjusted to hit decently well. He could be somehow right that Gardy gets overexposed after a while (though we dont have much evidence for that) but I doubt it considering its Gardy can adjust well. Add in the big differences in defense and Gardy is more productive.

                • http://aol Rob

                  They both SUCK and it would be real easy and cheap to replace either. David DeJesus, Marlon Byrd, Cameron. They are starters on a Junior circuit team not the Yankees.

              • YankeeGaGa

                It is simple.
                Melky > Gardner. I do not need numbers to tell me otherwise, I just use my eyes.

                • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

                  Yeah. The guy who gets on base less and can’t cover as much CF ground is better. You’re right. Who needs numbers anyway?

                • radnom

                  Yeah, because that is exactly what I said.

                • radnom


                  Yeah. The guy who gets on base less and can’t cover as much CF ground is better. You’re right. Who needs numbers anyway?

                  I’m sure its much easier to distill your opposing argument to nonsense and make fun of the other person than actually address what is being talked about. Hope that makes you feel big.

                • radnom

                  Ooooh look I can do it too.

                  “Yeah. The guy who had a lower OPS and a much higher strikeout rate is better. You’re right. Who needs numbers anyway.”

                • Salty Buggah

                  I still don’t see why people care so much about K’s. It’s an out, just like any other out (not counting sacrifices). In the end, it comes down who makes the fewest outs.

                • Slugger27

                  salty, its the same reason we like our pitchers to have good K rates

                  if one of the yanks pitchers had a 2 Ks per 9 rate, u wouldnt say “so what? he’s getting outs”

                  Ks take all the error, chance, and defense dependent things out of the equation. no bloops, no booted grounders, no jermaine dye and adam dunn chasing balls down

                  much like Ks are very important to a pitcher, its certainly important when discussing 2 young players, early in their careers, who are trying to improve their game (just like our concerns with ajax)

                  they may not matter when discussing established veterans like mike cameron and such, but 2 players like gardner and melky, making contact is an important tool to use to measure future MLB success

                • Salty Buggah

                  OK, but I dont agree with that type of thinking. While it takes the chance of error out, in the end if a player, while K’ing more, makes the fewer outs than another player, who K’s less, the one with the higher OBP is the one that is. A good player will succeed without luck or error. For pitchers it’s different because a K is better than another out. For batters, it all depends on making the least outs as possible so it doesn’t matter if one K’s more.

                  I could somewhat see what you’re trying to say on using the ability of contact to evaluate potential. But as long as the contact rate is not absurdly low (that it’ll take away power ) and the player can work a walk, I dont think contact matters much. As Mike as said before, power and patience are the skills that last. Not speed or defense or even contact (as you can tell by aging players having a lower AVG but isolated discipline and isolated power still being in line with career averages).

                • Salty Buggah

                  I mean a guy like Melky, who makes a lot of contact, can always just hit it poorly for an easy grounder. But a guy like Dunn or Swish will K more and make less contact but will drive the ball more and/or make fewer outs anyhow.

                • Salty Buggah

                  *anyway

                • Mac1

                  Yep, Swish is a .375 obp guy with power, which is why its ridiculous to compare his K level with Brett Gardner – who has no power, can’t bunt and looked incredible overmatched at the plate in the WS (I know, small sample size).

                  High K rates are fine for power hitters or guys who have high OBP and decent power. For guys like Gardner, no dice – especially in probably the toughest division in MLB.

                • Bo

                  No Gardner was so much better that Girardi buried him on the bench the final month and in the post season for the inferior Melky.

                  Thats why you use common sense and your eyes.

                  if Gardner was actually so far and away better than him wouldnt stat freak Girardi have started him once? He was so afraid to use him he started Jerry Hairston in the OF.

                • The Three Amigos

                  Gardner barely played in the last 2 months. You are going to use 4 times in the playoffs that Gardner was used. It is obvious he has a whacked swing and when he doesnt play a lot, he is horrendous. However, when he does play consistently he can produce a decent stat line.

                  Plus, Gardner is the perfect OF off the bench. Great D and can play any OF position and can steal and bunt. (Not withstanding a miniscule sample size of the WS)

                • mf

                  I honestly have no idea who is better between Melky and Gardner. In the end, it probably depends entirely on need since they’re pretty close in overall production but have very different skill sets. And with Gardner, we’re talking about predictively useless sample sizes (especially on defense).

                  But to ignore Gardner’s K rate because A-Rod and Swisher K a lot too is pretty silly. I love statistics as much as the next guy, but you really do have to use your eyes some. There are guys who are patient, who wait for their pitch and then try to kill it. Those guys often strike out a fair bit. And then there’s Gardner – not one of those guys. He wasn’t making much solid contact even when he was putting bat to ball. He has a decent walk rate. To be good, he also needs to use his speed to maintain a high BABIP, but then he’s got to put the ball in play.

  • Mike bk

    the only point i think you are missing in your write up especially when considering interest from a team like the royals is that gardner might be more appealing simply because of service time and the fact he is under team control for 5 more years while is going to arb and probably going to get a raise to 2.5-3 mil so that for a lot of clubs even if production was the same would add to the attractiveness to gardner. the way i would look at it is any team linked to someone like podsednik is a team that would potentially be interested in gardner.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Another good point. Gardner is indeed more appealing from a service time perspective.

      • Ed

        Not just service time, but I believe Gardner has 2 options left, while Melky has none. About two months in AAA for Gardner results in an extra year of team control.

        Hmm, looking at game logs, when Gardner was optioned in ’08, it was for roughly 20 days. Can’t find the exact dates quickly, but it’s possible he was under the cutoff to not use an option then, leaving him with 3.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          Service time + minor league options + current salary + distance from arbitration

    • Salty Buggah

      Oh, good point. Gardy could then a better option to keep as he has more team control than Melky (which also makes Gardy more appealing in trade market as you said)

  • Mike bk

    to answer the topic itself i think it depends on who we sign. if we sign cameron who is a legit defender then it is almost assured we deal 1 of them because then we are talking about Curtis, Cameron, Swish, Melky, Gardner, Hoffman. If it is just Damon or Matsui then i think it is more likely we would keep both because of the decline in damon’s d and matsui’s inability to play the field.

  • Tseng

    I wouldn’t mind keeping both. If we sign Damon or Matsui, they would mostly play DH I feel (always in Mats case). Melky could play left and Gardner would be a bench guy (along with Hoff)

  • d

    KEEP GARDNERR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Slugger27

      these types of posts are what keeps me comin back to the site

  • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

    With Granderson having problems to left-handers, Gardner suffers, because he can’t hit them either. If you can’t use him on the days you sit one of your starters, he is pretty much expandable. Plus, as Mike bk said above, while Melky might be the better player, the salary and service time might make Gardner more attractive for other teams in a trade.

    • Salty Buggah

      Well, I’m not sure Melky is the better player. He has a higher ceiling and Gardy probably is what he is right now but Gardy is definitely the better overall player currently.

      • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

        They are pretty close, anyway. My main point is still that Gardner is pretty useless to the 2010 Yankees as he can’t hit left-handers and the Yankees have to spot covered with Granderson already.

        • Salty Buggah

          True

          Gardy career OPS vs LHP: .627

          Melky career OPS vs LHP: .680

          But 50 points isnt THAT bad considering his defense. Let me tell that I’m looking at both as 4th OF, not starters to clear any confusion.

          • Mac1

            Last year ops vs. LHP for Melky – .763, Johnny Damon .777.

            Hopefully, Melk can do that and more – no idea, but he turned a corner in many ways last year – still probably a really good 4th ofer, but that is valuable for the Yanks.

  • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

    What could the Yankees realistically expect to get in a Brett Gardner trade? Not very much, I guess.

    Screw that. With the White Sox involved, Ken Williams will probably trade us Carlos Quentin to have “Carlos Lee for Scott Podsednik, Part 2″.

    • Brooklyn Ed

      Luis Vizcaino was part of that trade too.

      So Brett Gardner & Kei Igawa for Quentin. booya!

      • aj

        Gardner for Scott Linebrink?

  • aj

    Or maybe Gardner plus someone for Matt Thornton? i don’t know why the Sox would give him up though..

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      Because he is 32. I posed this very question to Sky from BTB, and he thought the Yankees were giving up more value and that he would jump on it if he ran the CWS, but that considering the Yankees needs it made sense for them as well. I agree.

      • aj

        sign me up i’d do it immediately.

        • Salty Buggah

          In a vacuum, I would too. But would you do it considering we already have a similar Marte (though Thornton has faster stuff) so Thornton’s value will decrease a bit? Also, we have some lefty prospects in Dunn and WLDR that could soon come up (maybe later 09 or in 10?), though that shouldn’t affect this decision that much.

          (I’m on the fence so I’d like to see if having Marte affects anything)

    • Salty Buggah

      Actually, I think the Sox will jump on that. Gardy has a lot of team control left and is young/cheap. Thornton is 32 with 2 years option years left on his contract (10:$2.25M club option ($0.25M buyout), 11:$3M club option ($0.25M buyout)) and really broke out in the past 2 years. Gardy WAR’d 2.1 last year in limited time while Thornton WAR’d 2.5. The Sox also Jenks so Thornton is kinda not as important (unless Jenks is traded) I think Sox would trade Thornton for Gardy.

      • Mike bk

        if the sox do that ken williams should get fired and we should immediately deal marte for prospects.

        • Salty Buggah

          Really? I personally think this deal is pretty good for both them

          • Mike bk

            not at all for me. we know that WAR is skewed based on position and for starters. Remember Mo only had a 2.0 WAR last year while Thornton pulled a 2.5, so that should tell you about how good he was especially for his salary.

            • Salty Buggah

              Well, Thornton’s FIP was half a run lower than Mo and had 6 more IP. So yea, he is pretty good. (I think FIP, which WAR is based on I think, kinda hurts Mo as he is a special case but that’s not my point).

              However, it’s not “skewing” WAR by adjusting it for position and starting (more playing time/innings = more valuable obviously).

              Over the long run, Gardy is more valuable to the ChiSox (remember they had Scott Podsednik, Brian Anderson and Dewayne Wise manning CF last year) than Thornton is due to cost, team control, and ability (Remember, he WAR’d 2.1 in only a limited time)

              • Hey ZZ

                I think it could come down to who is the replacement player for each guy. If not Gardner who plays CF for the Sox. If they trade Thornton how big of a drop off is it to the next guy. If the next guy in line in the bullpen is Jose Veras (which is not realistic because finding bullpen arms is not very difficult) and they can find someone else on the cheap who could come close to Gardner’s production they probably do not make that trade.

                However, if they view Gardner as their best option and they think he can hold up as a starting CF over a full season he is definitely more valuable than Thornton.

                Basically, if they think Gardner can start 150+ games for them in CF and not be overexposed they should make that trade IMO

                • Salty Buggah

                  Agreed. If he’s not overexposed, he’d be worth a great WAR with his current offensive numbers and D. Good point of the replacements.

      • BklynJt

        Does anyone know how war deals with players with limited playing time (at bats, fielding attempts, etc)? I would think that less playing time should hurt the WAR metric, otherwise it is prone to SSS.

        • Salty Buggah

          Oh yea, it’s affected by playing time. That’s why mediocre 200 IP starters are better than good relievers. And that’s why we’re (some of us) saying Gardy is decent-good player because he had a good WAR despite limited playing time last year,

          • Salty Buggah

            To be clear, WAR does penalize players with lesser playing times.

        • whozat

          It’s a counting stat like hits or RBIs. You generate as many as you generate.

    • Mike bk

      no way they give him up. dominate numbers and basically no salary

      10 2.25 mil
      11 3 mil option

    • Mike bk

      besides wouldnt ozzie prefer to have melky?

    • Bo

      Why would the Sox give up their closer? A lefty at that.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        Q: Why would the Sox give up their closer?

        A: They’re the Sox. They gave up Swisher for bupkus, they took on Alex Rios’s horrid contract, they gave Mark Teahen twice what he was worth… they’re dumb.

  • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

    Did anybody hear anything about Melky’s injury since the WS? Will he be ready for ST? If not, maybe they will wait and not trade either until he is heatlthy again.

    • Mac1

      At the time, they said it was a two week type injury – just a pull.

  • http://claydavissayssheeet.com JMK aka The CAPSLOCK MONSTER

    Gardner should go yesterday.

    • Tom Zig

      Sheeeeeeeeeeiiittt

  • J.J.

    Unless they move one of Melky or Gritt for a legit LF like sending one of them as part of a package to the Royals for DeJesus….. I just don’t see why they’d trade anyone. I see Hoffman as not replacing Melky or Gritt but replacing Hinske.

    BTW wouldn’t the yanks need to sign a DH and LF before Melky is the 4th OF. If they sign a better defender(Mike Cameron) doesn’t Swish just slide into the DH role and play RF whenever A-rod or Posada gets a half day off by DH-ing?

    • Mike bk

      will people stop with the dejesus stuff. he cant hit lefties either and with granderson you cant have 2/3rds of your of that cant hit a lefty.

      • aj

        Dejesus= Melky with less speed and less of an arm.

        • http://hardballtimes.com/main/blog Dan Novick

          + better on base + better power

        • Mike bk

          i wouldnt go that far as dejesus is better in just about every offensive category, but he is slower and less arm defensively.

          • Salty Buggah

            and the arm doesn’t really matter as long as Dejesus keeps getting to all the balls he’s been getting to (Career UZR/150 of 18.8 in LF)

            • Mike bk

              i was fine w dejesus before granderson. the last 3 years his a .693 ops vs lefties, cant have 2/3rds of an of that cant hit a lefty.

              • Salty Buggah

                I don’t really want him but I was just pointing out that the arm doesn’t matter much. I’d rather have Cammy.

          • J.J.

            hes slow… who cares… he plays probably the best LF in the league besides carl crawford. what was i thinking daring mention his name?

            sidebar:: this wasnt a please flip Gardner/Melky post…. it was a HEY we still NEED both of these guys unless we intend to replace both a starting LF AND a DH.. which IMO is overkill… we upgraded Damon with Granderson… why trade more players away when they don’t have to?

            • J.J.

              I’d much rather leave LF open for the possibility that an aging players whose name rhymes with Beater may need to be there in 2 years

              • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor

                Hahahahaha. Wait, was that supposed to be funny?

            • Mike bk

              i have no problem with him being slow just that he cant hit lefties.

              • J.J.

                hes not horrible against lefties. hes still making contact .320 BABIP and a .290 BA if thats your thing. The fact that DeJesus makes contact leads me to believe it is batting stance/approach/mental issue and not a skill issue. He can physically hit the ball against lefties which is miles ahead of what granderson has been

          • Mac1

            He had 13 assists in LF last year – maybe he allowed 700 runners to advance and threw out only 13, but I remember him having an above average arm – but I really am not sure.

            I do agree that unfortunately the Yanks are a bit too LHed now. Another reason to keep Melk (along with I don’t think another team wants to pay 3 mil in arb for him)

        • Slugger27

          dejesus >>>>> melky

          fixed it for ya

  • http://hardballtimes.com/main/blog Dan Novick

    Are the Yankees prepared to go into the season with Melky as the starting left fielder?

    Melky would be the better starter, but if they go out and get a LF, then Gardner is the guy to hold on to. While Melky might be the better player, he doesn’t provide anything special to be leveraged off the bench like Gardner does (speed, defense).

    And Melky is going to make a few millon in arbitration that could be spent on someone like Cameron to play left.

    • Bo

      How is Gardner better defensively if we are comparing LF and RF? If Granderson is on CF everyday Gardners advantage is out meaning speed. Melky is probably a natural RF anyway with his arm. Gardner has a Damon type arm.

      • LI Kevin

        The only person who has a Damon type are is my daughter.

        • LI Kevin

          *arm

  • CJ

    Gardner, Hoffman, Miranda, Melancon for Nate McLouth…then sign Matsui and Jack Cust from NJ when he is non-tendered by OAK…Done see ya in 2010

    • Salty Buggah

      Sign Matsui? Probably agreed

      Everything else? Hells no

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Nate McLouth sucks.

      • Slugger27

        curtis granderson WAR:
        2008 – 3.8
        2009 – 3.4

        nate mclouth WAR:
        2008 – 3.6
        2009 – 3.6

        i by no means support anything CJ said other than maybe the “sign matsui” part (and barely even that) but i just think that we shouldnt let francessa’s annoying obsession about mclouth affect how we perceive him as a player.

        id rather have granderson, but mclouth’s a good player, just sayin’.

        • Salty Buggah

          Agreed. McClouth is good but not the stud Francesa says he is. I personally don’t think I would give up Melancon/Miranda/Gardner (meh on Hoffmann (yes it has 2 n’s)) for him

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor

      Hmmm…that made no sense. And that’s saying a lot considering the amount of booze I’ve drank on a school night (my mom is dictating this for me).

      • J.J.

        you may have just made my night lol

    • Hey ZZ

      Mike Francessa, is that you?

    • Slugger27

      all that is batshit insane

      /TSJC’d

    • Bo

      Why would Atl want those scrubs for a guy it traded 3 premium prospects for?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        Well, I agree that they wouldn’t trade McLouth for those scrubs, but, speaking in the abstract, a team would be willing to trade a guy it originally traded 3 premium prospects for for a bunch of scrubs later if it realized that the player they traded for wasn’t nearly as good as they first thought he was and that they drastically overpaid for him.

        Like, say… Nate McLouth.

  • Mike bk

    what is the ceiling for gardner? michael bourn this year?

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor

      Waterboy that can’t play football.

    • Salty Buggah

      Gardy = Ellsbury? (with better D and less power).

      • Bo

        Hes not in the same league as Ellsbury.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          Nope, he’s a better defender. Just because Ellsbury dives all over the place doesn’t mean he’s better. And, no, that’s not just from the numbers. Having gone to UConn, I watched a good deal of Sox games from ’06-’09 and Ellsbury’s defense is not good. He plays far too deeply, reads the ball poorly, and gets poor jumps. Just because he’s fast doesn’t mean he’s a good defender.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

            You’re missing the essential part of Bo’s comment:

            Gardner’s not in the same league as Ellsbury, because Ellsbury has already proven himself, and Gardner hasn’t. Therefore, since Gardner hasn’t yet done what Ellsbury has done, that means he never will and he’s a bum.

            Boversimplification at it’s best.

    • Slugger27

      his 2009 is his ceiling

      dont get me wrong, thats a useful player…. but aside from maybe cutting down on his Ks a little, 2009 gardner = future gardner

  • SheldonCooperPHD

    So so far we have:

    In favor of Melky:
    Better All Around hitter
    A much more viable starter right now
    Arguably More potential
    Appears to have less trade value (moving him might not even be worth it)

    In Favor of Gardner:
    Provides tangible assets as a 4th OF in speed and defense
    Excellent defender, to the tune of a WAR that was actually higher than melky’s this past year
    Under team control for much longer with multiple options

    considering the difference in team control this shouldn’t just be a decision based upon the outfield configuration for next year–it’s unlikely we’ll see both swisher + other possible signee from this year around for more than 1 or 2 yrs–conservatively assuming no significant improvement from either player the yankees than have a choice between a league avg outfielder they can plug in at any point for a couple more years or a useful 4th OF over 5ish yrs (all in the context of likely few home grown options over the next couple years considering the lack of advanced OF’s in the farm and not expecting much out of hoffmann)

    • Mac1

      Good pros and cons, although Gardy also looked overmatched defensively in the WS, he didn’t track down a ball in the LCF gap that MElky made a similar play in Game 1 off of Rollins, played a ball off of the CF wall into a triple that scored the first run in Game 6 off Pettitte and got turned around on a ball he was playing shallow on in straightaway CF and didn’t make a catch.

      Overall, I think Gardy needs to improve on his positioning and jumps (and he could most likely do that). Only other minor caveat, runners will be much more likely to try and take the extra base on him.

      Even with Melky’s erratic and possibly overrated arm they won’t.

  • Sleepy Carl

    I think everyone is overlooking the fact that the grit generated by Gardner single-handedly overcame the other players talent and brought home WS #27. If Gardner where traded, who would provide the ever so publicized and popular grit factor that this team has been desperately searching for over the last 9 years?

    • Mac1

      I think a baseball player who plays Hockey is about as Gritty as it Gets – hence Gardy is really unnecessary (GGJH , works well if you ask me).

      Seriously, Hoffman is supposed to be a real solid character and he can play all three of positions, steal a bag and is RHH – maybe we get to see all three compete in ST, but I think there are some teams that value Gardy’s speed and perceived Defense combined with his near ML minimum salary (and indisputed grit) and years of control – so maybe Cashman deals him.

      Also, according to RAB endorsed radio personality, Dr. Michael Francesa, Cashman told him many teams inquire on Gardy – for whatever that is worth.

      Who knows, some team may think Melky is going to break out or neither of them have any value, we’ll see.

      • Sleepy Carl

        Everyone know true grit must be under 6′ tall.

  • Mac1

    Sam Borden (he of the disturbing Lo-Hud headshot) is reporting that the Royals asked about Gardy after the Grandy deal went down. I wonder if they’d like to move DeJesus 5.2 mil guaranteed for 2010 (includes .5 buyout in 2011)?

    Maybe that’s Cash’s backup plan for Damon not taking what he’s offering?

    • Bo

      Would you do Gardy for DeJesus??

      So why would KC?

      • Mac1

        KC has 5.2 mil reasons to move De Jesus who at 30 is a nice player, but not one that is an important piece of a team like KC.

        He could help the Yanks but for KC does it really matter if Gardner is given the roster spot that De Jesus had?

        Also, maybe KC believes that Gardner could be an everyday player – so yeah, I could see KC making a move for a Gardner and a lower level prospect for De Jesus. Will they? NFI

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          Also, don’t forget:

          Kansas City is dumb. They’ve proven it time and again.

          I don’t think Gardner’s worth much, personally, but I’m tickled pink that the two teams who reportedly expressed interest in him, the Royals and White Sox, are the two teams with probably the biggest track record of mind-boggling stupidity over the past few years.

          Would I give up DeJesus for Gardner? No. Would the Royals? Yeah, they just might. They’re idiots.

  • Todd

    I think that people are making a false assumption that there is this glut of outfielders. The Yanks will “take a look at Cameron.” Well, they take a “look at” everybody in the name of due diligence. That doesn’t mean they will sign him. In fact, Cash’s quotes suggest he wants pitching, not another veteran outfielder on top of Granderson. They won a world series with Melky so they obviously believe that he is an acceptable player when surrounded with guys like Jeter and ARod. Also, the Yanks are not the only team that needs young cheap players on their roster.

    I think the plan is simply sign Damon to DH 3-4 times a week and play the outfield 1-2xs per week. Older players like Posada and Jeter will need the occasional day off to DH. Melky will play LF and fill in the other OF positions and eventually get 500 ABs. Gardner is insurance in AAA if he is beaten out, which I think he will be because he is a lefty. And Hoffman is the 5th OFer. I see no glut or excess necessitating a trade.

  • http://Youcan'tincreaseyourrange TLVP

    Gardner’s UzR is obviously higher than Melky’s, but Melky’s arm is better.

    UzR is obviously more important in CF than in RF or LF, whereas arm strength is more importnat in the corners.

    This would make Melky better relative to Gardner if they are competing for 4th outfielder rather than for the CF job.

    • Bo

      You leave out the fact that Melky can also play RF.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        In theory, Gardner could too. Neither one of them has a bat that could play there all season, though.

        That’s irrelevant, though, because the Yankees already have a RF.

        • Mac1

          The Yanks play Swisher there and he’s adequate, but as said here many times, they could go with Cameron over Damon and push Swish to DH, so its really not irrelevant.

          I don’t think the Yanks want to live with Gardners bat in the lineup, Melk’s – well they made that clear last year.

          Yanks wouldn’t want to have to put Gardner in RF in more than an emergency.

          Damon comes back, Melky’s 4th ofer and probably spells the corner guys regularly, Cameron comes in, they probably go with Melk more in RF and Swish DH.

          But if both guys plus Hoffman are in ST, wouldn’t be surprised if its a three way audition.

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            The Yanks play Swisher there and he’s adequate, but as said here many times, they could go with Cameron over Damon and push Swish to DH, so its really not irrelevant.

            Mike Cameron would play CF or LF, not RF.

            Damon comes back, Melky’s 4th ofer and probably spells the corner guys regularly, Cameron comes in, they probably go with Melk more in RF and Swish DH.

            If Damon comes back AND Cameron is brought in, Damon’s the one not playing defense. Cameron goes to CF, Granderson goes to LF, and Swisher stays in right. Damon’s the one who DHs.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

              If Damon comes back AND Cameron is brought in, Damon’s the one not playing defense. Cameron goes to CF, Granderson goes to LF, and Swisher stays in right. Damon’s the one who DHs.

              Not only that, but if Damon comes back and Cameron is NOT brought in, Damon’s still not playing anywhere but DH (except for the occasional game in LF when ARod/Posada/Jeter is DHing.)

              Both Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher are excellent offensive AND defensive outfielders; they’re both starting everyday somewhere. YES, that means Swisher starts in the outfield. He’s a better defensive corner outfielder than Damon, and he’s better than Melky too.

              Which means the discussion is “Who starts at DH and who starts at one of the three outfield positions? Your options are:

              A) Gardbrera in CF/LF and Damon at DH
              B) Gardbrera at DH and Damon at LF

              That’s a pretty easy question.

              • Mac1

                Nick Swisher is an excellent Defensive OFer? He’s ok and he’s better than “I see the wall, I SEE THE WALL!” (Bobby Abreu), but if I’m not mistaken, Joe Girardi actually pulled Swish a few times for Melk and kept Damon in LF (late in the game) – maybe it was where the lineup fell (i.e. Swish hit in the 8th and Damon would have gotten a turn).

                My scenario was either or – Damon or Cam (I worded it really poorly – I meant sign Mike Cameron INSTEAD of Damon)- not both – if its both, yeah, Melk is on the bench – obviously.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                  if I’m not mistaken, Joe Girardi actually pulled Swish a few times for Melk and kept Damon in LF (late in the game)

                  He did.

                  I still don’t understand that. It’s dumb, and Girardi’s decision was wrong.

                • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

                  He pulled Damon far more frequently than he ever pulled Swisher.

            • Mac1

              I worded that terribly, I mean if the Yanks only signed Cameron and didn’t sign Damon (i.e signed Cam over Damon – still sounds lousy) so the of would be Grandy, Cameron, Melky with Swish as a primary DH.

              I still wonder how serious the Yanks are with the rotating DH idea though.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      UzR is obviously more important in CF than in RF or LF, whereas arm strength is more importnat in the corners.

      No.

      Arm strength is more important in LF or RF than in CF, yes. But UZR is more important than arm strength at ALL THREE outfield positions.

      Getting to balls and converting them into outs is ALWAYS more important than making throws back into the infield. Guys with better UZRs should always start over guys with inferior ones, even if they have inferior arms.

      • emac2

        Always?

        You would take 1 UZR point instead of an 80 arm?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          No, because a one point difference in UZR isn’t statistically significant enough.

          A player with a UZR of, say, +4.0 and a player with a UZR of +5.0 are basically identical players. In that case, sure, you’d take the better outfield arm.

          I’m talking about taking, say, Melky over Gardner in LF/CF because Melky has a better arm than Gardner. That’s not wise, because Gardner is CLEARLY a better player in range, and that superior range is WAY more important than the added arm strength Melky provides.

          The problem with OF arms in general, though, is that a strong arm is A) rare and B) not much better than a weak arm, in terms of actually preventing runs.

          As you can see, the spread in value of a strong arm versus a weak arm is significantly smaller than it is with range. The very best arm is +45 runs compared to the very worst arm over a three year period. In range, the spread is almost 100 runs from best (Carl Crawford) to worst (Brad Hawpe). So, while arm strength is nice, it is simply not as important as range.

          http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/of-arms

          • emac2

            My point was only about your statement

            “Guys with better UZRs should always start over guys with inferior ones, even if they have inferior arms.”

            and how the hyperbole you like to add often invalidates your point.

            I generally agree that range is better then arm but a good arm has secondary effects that are more difficult to quantify. An especially weak arm has such a dramatic effect on the running game when compared to a strong arm that I would bet you end up with cumulative effects you don’t see with range.

            Looking at the Fangraphs quote, arm is about half as valuable as range – 45 vs 100 – so even the stats you quote seem to disagree with your “always” conclusion. Doubling your “arm rating” and comparing it to range would seem to be more reasonable.

            …not that I think you can make these decisions using a formula…

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

              My point was only about your statement

              “Guys with better UZRs should always start over guys with inferior ones, even if they have inferior arms.”

              and how the hyperbole you like to add often invalidates your point.

              But, it’s not hyperbole, because a guy with a UZR rating 1 point “better” than another guy is not a guy with a better UZR.

              That’s a statistically negligible difference. A single run of difference of UZR is like 5 points of batting average or something. It’s a distinction too small to be worth mentioning.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                You’re attempting to strawman my argument with your academic hypothetical.

                • emac2

                  And now time for a Fox News Flash!

                  Educators take their evil plans to the back alleys.

                  More at 10

    • themgmt

      UZR counts your arm too…

      And even if it didn’t, better range means you get to balls faster/closer and get rid of the ball quicker.

  • PaaakmaaaN

    To trade gardner + someone elsee for Carlos Quentin would be nice.

    I don’t think that it matters if we trade Gardner really…if we keep him it’ll help us(at the moment without Damon etc.) but if we get rid of him hopefully we can get back something that’ll help us win again.

  • Yazman

    Look at Gardie’s numbers AFTER he’s had regular playing time at any given level (AA, AAA, MLB). He takes a bit to establish himself, and then his #s get VERY good.

    I think you underestimate his upside.

    • Bo

      Whats his upside since he cant hit for power? You cant waste the LF spot on a guy with no ability to drive in runs. Thats a run producing spot. You can get away with his no stick in CF but not LF.

      • emac2

        Do you really think the discussion about hitting begins and ends with power?

        Do you prefer 20 home runs to 60 stolen bases?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        Whats his upside since he cant hit for power? You cant waste the LF spot on a guy with no ability to drive in runs. Thats a run producing spot. You can get away with his no stick in CF but not LF.

        Fine.

        Play Granderson in LF and Gardner in CF.

        Your complaints are now moot.

        • themgmt

          perfect

  • ADam

    A few points

    Jamie Hoffman is at best competing with Miranda for the “Eric Hinske” role this year in camp.

    Nick Swisher, Melky, Gardner arent going anywhere. As of right now, Swisher is the starting RF and Melk is the starting LF, and GGBG is your 4th OF/ speed demon… who hit 270 last year… not bad for a bench player who can run like the wind.

    Damon, may very well be done and ready to sign elsewhere, now if he goes the money route, look for him to sign a good deal for him, bad deal for a Non Contender like Baltimore, Kansas City, Washington. ( if he wants 3 yrs 30 million those are the only places that will have him.

    Dont mess up the good vibes that Swish/Gardberea create… why would you ever want to trade that away…

    Do you want more guys on your team like Swisher/Gardbrera… or would you prefer the likes of Kevn Brown/Jeff Weaver/Gary Sheffield.. Very few guys have been able to transform the yankee clubhouse… the last guy I can think of that did it was Paul O’Niel… Would you have shipped him out?

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Jamie Hoffman is at best competing with Miranda for the “Eric Hinske” role this year in camp.

      If it’s a competition between Miranda and Hoffmann, Hoffmann instantly wins. He can play all 3 OF positions competently and should at least not be an embarrassment at the plate. That’s already pretty much what Melky and Gardner do. Hoffmann > Miranda.

      I also fail to see what Nick Swisher has to do with any of this. He was mentioned in just one sentence of the article that had nothing to do with being moved. Right now, the OF across is:

      (someone)/Granderson/Swisher. The only thing left to figure out is the “someone” part, and I think it hinges on Johnny Damon.

      • Bo

        How do you say instantly wins? Maybe Miranda goes into the yr as the DH because they dont sign anyone.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          I was going on the premise of the “Eric Hinske role” that ADam laid out. If that was the case, Hoffmann would win because he can play all three OF positions well. I’d rather have that off the bench than Juan Miranda.

          And I know you don’t really think they’re going into this season with Juan Miranda as the DH.

          • ADam

            “I was going on the premise of the “Eric Hinske role” that ADam laid out. If that was the case, Hoffmann would win because he can play all three OF positions well. I’d rather have that off the bench than Juan Miranda.””

            And to clarify, I say the “Hinske Role” to mean Pop of the bench.. Not necessarily for defensive reasons…. Im sure if Miranda Outslugged Hoffman and wowed the yanks, Im sure they wouldnd mind having him play right in an emergency situation.

            That is why you Keep GGBG no matter what…

      • ADam

        I think a Lot less Hinges on Damon then we are lead to believe or what people think. I’m fine and I think cash would be fine with Cabrera in LF batting 9th.

        If he (Damon) wants to take big money from a non contender… good for him and Boras. IMHO when Olney reported that the yanks weere negotiating with him, i think B Cash gave JD a TIOLI deal. Probably with some sort of deadline.. and a hearty good luck.

        I think that if Damon wants to sign with a contender, i think hes gonna find the same thing Bobby Abreu found last year.. and if thats the case.. good for the yanks… they be able to totally get him on there terms…

    • emac2

      The good vibes???

      Did we join the hippie league?

      • ADam

        The good vibes???

        Did we join the hippie league?

        Ok lets get Gary Sheffield Back… and for good measure lets make sure Clemens is in the fold as well as getting Kyle Farnesworth Back…

        • emac2

          Do you think the problem with them as yankees was their vibe?

          I thought it had to do with drugs, age, health and even a general lack of skill in farnsworths case.

  • Bo

    If they dont get a deal they like and Hoffman plays good enough to earn a spot they’ll put Gardner back in AAA for depth. There are no high level OF’s ready to go there so just because you have extra guys now doesnt mean you wont need one done the road.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Yeah, that’s a good strategy, too.

      The only way you trade one of Gardner or Cabrera is if the deal is just right. It’s hard to imagine, though, a return that either one would bring in that is highly favorable to the Yankees. This isn’t to say that the team hypothetically trading for Gardbrera would be fleecing the Yankees in getting some great player the Yankees gave up on, but rather it’s hard to see either one of them bringing back something more than “meh.”

  • Usty

    I know someone brought up the options already, so why wouldn’t the Yankees just keep Gardner around and send him down to AAA to start the year? You keep Hoffman on the bench and see how he works out, while letting Gardy play CF for Scranton in case an OF gets hurt. I tend to think that would be the way to best maximize the value for Gardner instead of trading him.

    • Usty

      annnnd Bo beat me to it right above….that’s what I get for not refreshing before commenting.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      I tend to think that would be the way to best maximize the value for Gardner instead of trading him.

      I agree, unless the return is just too good to be true; and that’s highly unlikely.

    • Mac1

      Cash isn’t going to throw either away as some would have him do.

      I do think there is some team out there that would highly value Gardners speed and minor league obp and think they could turn him into a major leaguer.

      He’s under control for 5 years (two more at whatever they want to pay him) – those are the reasons I’d like to believe that the Yanks could get a solid major league player making decent money that a rebuilding team really doesn’t need. They’d take a flier on Gardy and save several million bucks – if Gardy blows – oh well…they’d be happy witht the payroll relief.

      Win\Win.

  • Chris

    Unless I’m wrong, both Melky and Gardner have at least one option left. There’s no need to trade them, since they can just be sent down to AAA for extra depth. Obviously, if a good deal comes along you take it, but there shouldn’t be any pressure to make a deal.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Melky’s options are done, I believe.

      • Chris

        I thought he had one left. In 2008 he was sent down in August, but because he was in the minors for less than 20 days (or whatever the cutoff is) it didn’t burn an option.

        Either way, Gardner certainly has options left, so there shouldn’t be pressure to trade him.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          No, Melky was already out of options in 2009. I don’t remember what years they were burned (definitely 2005 and 2006, probably 08 as well), but I’m 100% positive he was out of options by the beginning of the 2009 season.

          • Chris

            I believe that everyone thought that he was out of options, but then we found out he wasn’t because 2008 did not burn an option. One was used in 2005, one in 2006, none in 2007 (he was in the majors the whole year), and then the question was whether one was used in 2008 or not.

  • Grover

    I think Gardner will be part of the Halladay trade. Vernon Well’s days in center should have been over a couple of years ago. Melky is the keeper of the two after Damon resigns for hopefully one year and a team option.

  • emac2

    I find it more then a little odd that Gardner has fully developed after his first full season and yet Melky is still a work in process with 4 times the MLB at bats???

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports.....11.article

    most non Yankee fans know Gardner is better and actually recognize the value.

    I recommend not only look at stats but trends. He has been very consistant in his development trends through his entire career and you have to ignore a very strong pattern to dismiss him.

  • emac2

    As for who to trade?

    Trade Swisher and Melky.

    Instead of even thinking about the return we get on Melky or Gardner lets think about what we can buy with the money we save moving swisher.

    Like Mike Cameron….who at least plays good defense in between his closed eye visits to the plate.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Why would the Yankees trade Swisher? He’s ona team friendly deal for at least another season and is a good producer at the plate and an adequate defender in RF.

      • emac2

        You trade him because you can get a better player for the money you are paying him.

        I don’t consider his contract to be friendly but I also don’t forgive his ability to make contact just because it means bad pitchers walk him more often as a result.

        He isn’t cheap
        He can’t make contact when needed
        He doesn’t play well anywhere in the field

        He isn’t terrible but he is replacable with a better player for the same money in this market and I would prefer to see his money and Melkys money was spent elsewhere.

        The bottom line is better viewed when viewing groups of replacement players to get a real view of the impact of a move as a cost saving move shows it’s real value with the more expensive player you can now afford at another position.

        21 mil over the next 2 years for swisher and Cabrera (4 player years)or

        Damon, Matsui and Gardner for 2010 and gardner for 2011 (4 player years and less money)

        Cameron & Gardner for 09 and 10

        Sheets and Gardner for 2 years

        • Tampa Yankee

          This is all batshit insane! Nick Swisher >> all the guys you mentioned.

          • emac2

            well if you say so who needs facts?

            Can you repeat it one more time so I KNOW it’s true?

            • Tampa Yankee

              2009 WAR:
              Nick Swisher 3.5
              Johnny Damon 3.0
              Hideki Matsui 2.4
              Melky Cabrera 1.6

              • Tampa Yankee

                Cameron did post a 4.3 WAR but he can sign him AND keep Swisher.

                • emac2

                  We can’t sign both for the same money and my argument was that given whatever budget we set the money is better spent on someone other then Swisher.

                  I do agree that if money isn’t an issue we should sign everyone.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada
      • emac2

        How do you define team friendly deal BTW?

        8.375 per year for a player who shouldn’t really be starting seems pretty pricy to me. We have the budget for 24 players at that price but to afford the above average guys this would seem to be a position where you should be saving money to compensate.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          8.375 per year for a player who shouldn’t really be starting seems pretty pricy to me.

          I agree.

          The problem with your argument is that Nick Swisher isn’t a player “who shouldn’t really be starting”.

          Nick Swisher is a starting-caliber outfielder. Hands down.

          • emac2

            It all depends what your standars are.

            His defense isn’t enough for me to consider him starting material even if I was as overly impressed by passive hitters who survive only by the grace of bad pitchers making mistakes as you are.

            for those who need it short and sweet.

            Gardner @1 mil > Swisher @8 mil

            For those that need it spoon fed

            Because the extra 7 mil you save with Gardner upgrades another position far more then you lose with Gardner compared to Swisher.

            • king of fruitless hypotheticals

              i feel kind of dumb for asking this, but, its a friday, so wtf:

              this is sarcasm right?

    • Tampa Yankee

      lets think about what we can buy with the money we save moving swisher.

      No

  • UnNamed Yankee Source

    Awh hell, this is Kenny Williams that we are talking about trading with, ….how about we trade both Melky and Gardner for Carlos Quentin!

  • Pingback: Musings on on a Possible Extra Outfielder | Bronx Baseball Daily

  • ColoYank

    I go waaay back to a comment Ben K made up above: we’re just arguing about which not-so-good outfielder should we keep and which one should we trade. Most (not all) comments here take the situation in a vacuum, ie if no other changes are made to the team. I seriously doubt the Yanks are done setting up their outfield.

    We know what we have in Melky, and are understandably not too entranced with it. We don’t really know what we have in Gardner, but I’m willing to bet the Yanks think they have more in Hoffmann than they do in Gardner. The issue really rides on the next steps the Yanks do to fill their outfield.

    • emac2

      Why would you assume the Yanks see more in Hoffman then Gardner?

      This is a guy who has played in the majors and still not on the 40 man roster. I think people are getting way too excited about someone who is basically a longshot.

      I’m hoping he works out in a platoon with Gardner after Melky and Swisher are traded. I could see Garnder being squeezed to AAA because he is the one with an option but no way do they think Hoffman is better then Gardner.

      • ColoYank

        IMO they see more offensive potential with Hoffmann. Based on almost nothing at all, admittedly. I personally see Gardner as quite limited offensively. Hoffmann’s swing, speed, arm, and athleticism all seem to have appeal. I’m no expert – you may be totally right. Could be they simply needed another upper level outfielder because they’re going to make a trade of some kind.

  • Doug

    Found this quote concerning Gardner from the Chicago Sun Times quite humorous:

    “The winner would gain a left-handed hitter whom many believe could be on the brink of being a special prototypical leadoff man.”

    who’s many? find me one person outside of the author of this article

    • emac2

      I probably don’t count but I’m one.

      Prototypical leadoff hitter doesn’t mean power BTW.

      • Doug

        yeah, but it usually means a guy who can get on base well above league average (let’s say .370+). which gardner cannot.

        • emac2

          Gardner cannot based on your awesome scouting ability or because players don’t develop after 300 at bats in the majors?

          • Doug

            nope, on what scouts have been saying all along about him; that he won’t get on base enough to be a regular starter in the league. that he’s more a 4th OF. and so far, he hasn’t proven them otherwise.

            but, yes, he does still have time to develop.

        • emac2

          Damon had OBP’s over 370 twice in his first 9 years of MLB

  • Jordan

    As a bench player/4th OF, Gardner > Melky.

  • Nick Whitt

    trade swisher he is at a high point of value, which means better prospects

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      You can’t trade Swisher. Who’s going to play right field if the Yanks trade Swisher?

  • Gardy’s great!

    Your commentary on this STINKS! You show ZERO imagination. Gardner is the better player hands down. Melky didn’t improve this year at all…just look at his second half number to see that they are in line with the rest of his pathetic career. I am sick of watching Melky I’m hot for 40 games and suck the rest of the year.

    Hey Melky I hope you can find some NL shortstops to run into!

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Ladies and gentlemen, Jay Sherman.

  • Matty Ice

    I wonder if we can get some bullpen help from Chicago….there’s been rumors about Jenks bein traded for a while now. Or maybe Thornton?

  • macxz

    as much as i want to keep Gardner for speed.. but how bout this trade opinion.

    CHISOX:
    Gardner + 2 prospect
    for
    Paul Konerko (he can be our DH)
    OR
    John Danks (he can be our 4th starter)

    KC ROYALS:
    Gardner + 2 prospect
    for
    David Dejesus (he can be our LF, and swisher is our DH)
    OR
    Gil Meche (4th Starter)

  • Stephen Martell

    You keep both of them because they are young and valuable off the bench. Melky has a strong arm while Gardner is fast as f#ck. I wouldnt resign Damon because Id like to see what these young guys can do and Damon would only stunt their growth. The Yankees can win with Cabrera, Gardner, Granderson, and Swisher in the outfield. LF: Cabrera, Gardner — CF: Granderson — RF: Swisher

  • Scott S

    is anyone else worried that curtis grandersons batting averages have declined severely over the past three years?