With the lineup nearly set, is Nady worth the gamble?


“I will continue to look at any remaining piece, but it won’t be a big piece” – Brian Cashman on the left field situation.

There will be no Holliday under the Christmas tree. There is no Bay in the Bronx. Damon’s days in pinstripes have expired. So what, then, do the Yankees plan to do with left field? They currently have Brett Gardner penciled in there, and while some people are bullish on him, I think the Yankees would at least like to have a contingency plan. After all, not only is Gardner the top left fielder right now, but the fourth outfielder is Rule 5 pick Jamie Hoffman. That doesn’t seem like an ideal situation heading into the 2010 season.

Given the team’s current composition, and given the budget constraints the team faces, it appears a second-tier option will fit best. We’ve heard a few of those names bandied about lately: Mark DeRosa, Marlon Byrd, Xavier Nady. Each has his ups and downs, but when considering the Yankees’ situation, Nady fits the best. He’s a gamble, of course, but at this point his demands shouldn’t exceed what the Yankees are willing to spend. Taking a flier on his health could reap big rewards for the Yankees’ outfield.

The concern with Nady is his twice surgically repaired right elbow. He underwent the second procedure in early July, after first having it in 2001. The success rate for second-time Tommy John patients isn’t high, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Most players who undergo the procedure are pitchers, who need their arms a bit more frequently than outfielders. Nady’s arm might be weakened by the second procedure, but maybe not all is lost. If his medical reports show progress, perhaps the Yankees can use him as a 4th outfielder and contingency plan.

Under the best case scenario, Nady works his way into a regular role, much like the team expected of him in 2009. He’s rated below average by UZR, which is a concern, but he’s played so many positions that it’s tough to get a good sampling on him. His bat, however, can make up for that. He almost certainly won’t hit like he did in Pittsburgh in 2008, but if he can hammer out a low .800s OPS, he’ll be a valuable asset on offense.

The worst case scenario puts the Yankees back to where they are right now, only without the budget to acquire another outfielder. That’s the main reason why I think the Yankees might stay away from Nady. If they’re bullish on Gardner, then they’re probably seeking someone who can fill in for him in case he gets off to another slow start, as in 2009. They might want to go with a more reliable option, rather than another gamble. But given the budget constraints and available talent, they might not have that luxury.

If the recent reports are true and the Giants really have offered Mark DeRosa $12 million over two years, the Yankees are likely out. That limits their free agent options to Byrd and Nady. By the numbers it appears Byrd might be a fit. In his last three seasons, with the Rangers, he’s posted wOBAs of .350, .370, and .345, all above average marks. His ISO has risen in each of those years as well. Yet I doubt he’ll replicate those numbers outside of Rangers Ballpark, and especially at Yankee Stadium, which does suppress righty power.

The last question regarding Nady is of whether he’ll sign a one-year deal for $4 million or less. Scott Boras represents him, and will probably seek more guaranteed money. But will any teams want to take that kind of gamble? Considering the lack of interest in three higher-profile corner outfielders — Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, and Johnny Damon — perhaps Nady ends up taking a small money, one-year deal to try and increase his value. Again, with Gardner currently penciled into left field, he has to figure he’ll get every shot to earn playing time.

If the Yankees can get him for under $4 million, they should give Nady a shot. It’s a gamble, sure, but there’s enough upside to make it worth the risk. That is, unless there’s something we don’t know about his medical report that has teams a bit reluctant to add him, even as a contingency plan.

Categories : Offense


  1. Chris says:

    I would 100% support getting Nady on a cheap deal. If he’s healthy, then Nady/Hoffman would provide a good platoon for Granderson/Gardner.

    • Omar says:

      Two words: fuck, and no. He had a career year in 2008, which was mainly based around his high batting average, and outside of that he’s been pretty mediocre…maybe posted a couple of SLG heavy .800 OPSes, but outside of that nothing special. His walk rates usually hover around 6% whereas a good option for LF has had his walk rates over 10% recently. He has a career .342 wOBA, compared to a .351 wOBA for Damon. Not to mention he’s right handed, which means he’s not as suited for The Stadium as Damon is. Furthermore his elbow has been surgically repaired twice…so there’s no guarantee that his arm is even that much better than Damon’s, and we know his bat isn’t. He was notoriously piss poor in RF prior to his career year, and I know Damon didn’t have the best year defensively but in 2008 he was an elite defender in LF, and I find it hard a player’s defense can slip 20 runs in just a year.

      It’s simple, Damon is this offseason’s Abreu and will likely end up playing for much less than what he’s worth. He’s not at the level of the Jason Bay’s and Matt Holliday’s of the Market, and Mike Cameron got a good deal by signing early; and he’s hurt even more because there’s at most five teams that have a need for them (Cardinals, Mets, Giants, and maybe the Cubs and the the Braves) and likely two of them will sign Bay and the others may not want to pay Damon if they don’t feel that they’re strong enough to contend. The Yankees have been paying below market prices for wins in every one of their moves this offseason, it’s time to continue this and re-sign Johnny Damon.

      • steve (different one) says:

        Two words: fuck, and no.

        this response is ridiculous.

        the premise of the article is that Damon is not an option. of course if Damon becomes available for super cheap, he is a much better option than Nady. that’s a given.

        but the premise is if the Yankees are tapped out and have to take a low cost flier, should they go with Nady? i think the answer is yes, depending on how low is low cost.

        there is absolutely nothing wrong with “mediocre” in the current Yankee lineup. and the fact that he hits LHers very well helps protect Granderson in the lineup.

        • Omar says:

          Meaning I don’t want to I don’t want to bring in mediocre players. If Damon isn’t an option stick with Gardner an option that can easily be relegated to the bench if a better option pops up via trade. There’s a damn good chance that the Rays won’t compete and Carl Crawford will be available through trade, given what previous deadline deals have netted (CC was the only player that I can remember being dealt for serious talent) The Rays may dump him for not much since they’ll need a spot for Desmond Jennings, and they still seem to be high on BJ Upton. Furthermore, there’s a distinct non-zero chance that Nady fucking blows and doesn’t contribute anything, or that he can’t even throw period. If Damon isn’t the answer I’d rather just leave open the budget space to play the “wait and see” role if something better comes along at the deadline.

          Furthermore the “protection” line is bullshit, line up protection doesn’t really exist…there’s been some scuttlebutt that the Yankees are after Reed Johnson, I think that’s probably the best option. Sign him and Alrodis Chapman (the money will come from a different account so it won’t count against the budget), see if you can deal Sergio Mitre (WHY THE FUCK WAS HE OFFERED A CONTRACT!!?!?!??!?) to free up payroll and try to fuck over JD. Short of that the team’s fine.

  2. mike c says:

    Damon sounds better still

  3. Where’s the “I like” button?

    The Yankees need a veteran outfielder either to start in LF or for the bench. My only fear is that one of the outfielders go down with an injury and you have Jaime Hoffman AND Brett Gardner in the lineup. I hope for the best with Jaime Hoffman, but he is a Rule V pick for a reason, and the history of successful Rule V picks isn’t a long read.

    If Xavier is willing to play for $4-6 million, the Yankees have to seriously think about retaining him.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

      This isn’t Facebook, Andy. Just FWIW, Hoffman was behind a very talented, crowded LAD outfield. I don’t have high expectations or anything, but he may be more promising than the usual Rule V fodder.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

        Yes. Hoffman was so highly regarded by the Dodgers that they removed him from the 40 man roster for Jon Garland. Then, when the season ended, and they could have placed him back on the 40 man, they chose not to.
        Like I said, I hope for the best, but if he gets returned in early April or before, I won’t be shocked.

        • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

          I hear you, man. He’s no great shakes, given the circumstance of how we acquired him. Still, he’s reported to be a very good defender with decent speed and may have a bit of pop. He may be better than just some zero value Ransom-ian scrub.

    • Omar says:

      Yeah, I really don’t like importing mediocre players. Shitty walk rates, decent power, terrible defense. I’d rather just stick with Gardner (Damon is THE preference) and wait for a trade opportunity to come up around the deadline.

    • joe says:

      Yankees would have been better off trading Gardner and keeping Melky.

  4. JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

    Although Nady appears to be a vigorous wank away from amputation, he looks like a nice possible depth player if you’re comfortable with his chance of rebounding from the injury.

    How come no mention of Ryan Church, Joe? He may be able to check out some dinosaur exhibits with Carl Everett at the American Museum of Natural History on off days. He can’t be more than $5 million, right?

    What are your thoughts on him?

    • OF says:

      I agree completely. Instead of spending 4-5 Mil on Nady, why not sign Church for half of that? He’s healthy, has played in NY, is a solid firlder with some pop. I think he makes a lot of sense given the circumstances.

      • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

        He did have a back injury, I believe. Still, if healthy, he’s a better defender and a pretty decent hitter. He may take a one-year deal on the cheap but I haven’t heard anything about his demands.

      • Head Scratcher says:

        I like the idea of Church coming here, but 1) He might command a multi-year deal a la DeRosa and 2) He’s had a recent drop off against lefties. Having two players who can’t hit lefties very well can be detrimental to the 2010 team. Aside from that I’m all for Ryan Church coming to the Bronx.

        • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

          Hah! Blah, blah, blah never going to be a great hitter against lefties…yeah, you’re right—he’s been pretty bad against lefties. Really bad.

          Hmm…might still be worth the risk if the money’s right. You know what? Nady’s looking more and more like the best option under further review. No matter what, grabbing a 4th/5th outfielder type is almost always going to have some serious flaws. It’s sort of a pick your poison.

          Church’s splits

          2007 vs lefties: .229/.316/.339/.655 in 136 PAs
          2008 vs lefties: .264/.319/.406/.725 in 117 PAs
          2009 v lefties: .213/.297/.313/.609 in 93 PAs

          For what it’s worth, his 2009 home/road splits were pretty close to as bad as his lefty splits (.220/.311 /.302/.613 in 183 PAs). I wouldn’t expect that to continue but he appears to be a guy that can be an excellent fielder, hit righties pretty well but will be liability against lefties no matter what.

          Less sure than I was before. Thanks for the post.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          No way does Ryan Church get a multi-year deal.

        • Salty Buggah says:

          Considering the markets of other better OFers, I’d say Church wont get a multi-year deal and 5-6 mil per year max (more likely in the 3-4 range I think).

      • Ryan Church hates Jews says:

        Plus he got himself into an ugly situation with management with the Mets, who needs him?

    • steve (different one) says:

      if Church was right handed, he’d be signed already. the Yankees don’t need a left handed guy like Church. they need a decent righty bat.

  5. JFH says:

    i would love to have the x-man back. low cost, high upside. byrd would be a decent option too.

  6. Liam says:

    How is Rick Ankiel not in this discussion? Seriously. The guy has a rocket-launcher for an arm, his numbers suffered last year from being hurt and still trying to play in a contract year, and he’s the definition of low-risk, high reward.

    • Tom Zig says:

      76 OPS+ … Brett Gardner, is that you?

      • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

        Hah! Seriously though, I’m not saying Ankiel is going to be a 125 OPS+ guy, but there’s no way he’s really a 76 OPS+ hitter, right? Right?!

        Career stats: .251/.311/.452/.763 98 OPS+

        What the hell, if he doesn’t pan out we just got Mike Dunn back!

        • Tom Zig says:

          hah! good point. But for real I will miss that goofy looking dude, Mike Dunn.

          Ankiel did have a 119 OPS+ the year before. Who knows what he’ll do, but I don’t know if I want to take that risk.

        • Salty Buggah says:

          I think he just got exposed/figured out. He’s probably better than 76 OPS+ but not much better. I dont even know if he can be league average, probably will be slightly below

    • pat says:

      No he’s the definition of guy who put up a good half season and has statistically plummeted in subsequent years.

    • I really wouldn’t mind giving Ankiel a flier, always liked the guy. I think the biggest problem is the fact that he is left-handed, they really need a righty bat. But that’s just me.

  7. OF says:

    I think you see if Nady is healthy and price him. You also call Ryan Church/Reed Johnson and price them………

  8. yankswin27 says:

    He does have a rocket arm, that’s for sure.

    In all seriousness though, Ankiel’s not a good OF option. He doesn’t walk at all and struggles to reach base most of the time. I think their choices are narrowed down to DeRosa, Byrd and Nady. I want DeRosa most of all, but I guess they can get by with signing Nady if DeRosa signs elsewhere.

  9. ultimate913 says:

    How about this?

    We’ll just start Gardner in LF. People say that we don’t need all stars at every position, and they’re right. But I get excited to see what Gardner can do if given a chance to start. Heck. For all we know, he can turn into an all star.

    But people will argue that most of Gardner’s value comes from his defense in CF. Fine. They’ll let him play CF while Granderson plays LF. They’ll then see what their defense is like after a nice sample size and they will determine who does best in LF and CF. The one that is better in CF, is the starting CF. The other is the starting LF.

    • Hey ZZ says:

      I think most people are looking just for some insurance/competition for Gardner if he completely flames out or just ends up being better in limited playing time.

      At this point given the budget a sure fire starter over Gardner is probably unrealistic.

      • Oz says:

        Agreed. Which Gardner is going to show up? The one who killed it in extended spring training or the one who put up these #s from July 1st to the end of the season. .236/.305/.303
        I know there was an injury in there but 46% of the weights of the above stats are pre boo-boo.

  10. Hey ZZ says:

    Yeah I am going to throw this name out there…

    Fernando Tatis

    • yankswin27 says:

      I just yacked, literally. I’d even take Marlon Byrd over him. Even he has had a couple good years in Texas, but I honestly think the guy’s too big to play in the OF. He’s about 250 lb and 6 feet tall, that’s like an Andruw Jones build. I’d MUCH much rather the Yankees sign DeRosa.

      • Hey ZZ says:

        I see your not understanding the point of this thread or the general discussion of LF. The Giants reportedly offered DeRosa 2 years 12 million. The Yankees are not matching that so DeRosa is not an option.

        Therefore, we are discussing lower tier guys as cheap options like Nady, Church, Ankiel, and now I threw out Tatis.

      • Hey ZZ says:

        And to add to that, Marlon Byrd is likely not an option either as he will probably get a multi-year deal. Obviously Tatis is not my first choice by a long shot.

        But looking at the realistic options for guys that can spell Gardner and hit lefties well which is important given Grandy’s troubles I would consider Tatis.

        • Bill O says:

          I agree Tatis could be a solid option. He basically gives us solid insurance should Gardner struggle or should someone get injured. Also you have to like his ability to play 3B or even 2B in a pinch. And unlike many of the other options out there he doesn’t have glaring holes in his game or injury concers:

          Church- can’t really hit lefties
          Byrd- purely a product of Texas- check his home/away splits
          Nady- injury concerns, sub par defender
          Ankiel- terribly inconsistent, doesn’t walk, not great against lefties
          Reed Johnson- doesn’t hit righties, basically a proven version of Hoffman
          Randy Winn/Brian Giles- looks to be done
          Thames- can’t play defense

          Guys like Tatis or even Hinske may be our best options as they are solid all around and have experience starting and coming off the bench.

          Although personally I wouldn’t be opposed to making a trade with the Dodgers for Hoffmann and putting him in AAA and then go out and try to sign Reed Johnson and a lefty OF such as Church or Hinske. Although 2 OF’s is probably optimistic from a budget standpoint. I do really like Church if he comes cheap I just don’t know how comfortable we are with Hoffmann as our right handed OF. His minor league splits against lefties are fantastic .973 OPS last year, so I’d give it try for now.

    • V Squared says:

      Hitting the Egg Nog a little early I see. Good for you :)

    • aj says:

      No Mets. They’ll rub off their Metness on our players.

  11. dsss says:

    I don’t think people realize what the risk is after a second TJ surgery. It isn’t great. The odds are against Nady. Even Dr. Andrews has said that the odds of success is less than 30%. Is this really the risk you all want?

    • yankswin27 says:

      I don’t want him back, that is a big risk.

    • BklynJT says:

      People are enamored with high upside talent at low risk, rightfully so. The problem is that the high upside is rarely achieved (see penny and smoltz in 09) and its even worse when its no longer low risk (giving nady anything more than an incentive laden contract)

    • Bill O says:

      It depends on the cost. 4M or anything close is WAY too much. I’d go 1M or less with incentives that could bring it up to 5M. I’d also sign another OF this offseason for more reliable depth, maybe Hinske again.

  12. aj says:

    Why may I ask is Xavier Nady a better option than Marlon Byrd or Mark DeRosa? He was not very productive in NY. .268, .320, .474 in 2008. The power was good but low average (low RBI potential) and VERY low OBP. He just had his second MAJOR surgery done, who knows what kind of pop and arm he’ll have this year. I don’t think it’s worth the gamble unless it’s for very little money (under 4M like you said). If the Yanks look elsewhere for a FA, he has to be healthy. Hence Vazquez instead of Sheets and I’m sure the Yanks will get an outfielder, but Nady isn’t the answer for 2009.

    • Salty Buggah says:

      To be fair to Nady, that is a SSS and he was moved to a new league where he had to facepitchers he had never seen before.

    • mike c says:

      i agree, i have no idea why nady in 2010 should be considered better than gardner in any way

    • Bill O says:

      He’s not a better option than DeRosa, but DeRosa in all likelihood is out of our price range.

      Byrd won’t come really cheap either and would be a terrible signing as he is a product of playing in Texas. His home/road splits and the fact that he wasn’t good before going to Texas clearly paint that picture. I wouldn’t touch Byrd. Plus someone is going to pay him to play CF and it will be mistake (ala the Gary Matthews deal, but not nearly that much).

  13. Bucksky619 says:

    If Gardner is going to be an every day outfielder then Granderson should move to a corner and Gardner can play center. The Yankees are going to acquire another outfielder. I doubt they will really let a million or two either way upset their plans. I thought Jerry Hairston Jr. should get some consideration as well. He would at least match Melky’s production if not surpass it. At worst he and Gardner could platoon.

    • BklynJT says:

      Granderson isnt a slouch in CF. Leave granderson in CF and let Gardy play LF. LF is probably tougher to play in YS than CF is.

      • Bill O says:

        I agree with leaving Granderson in CF. The guy is our future at the position I don’t want him getting comfortable in a corner OF spot. Gardner can play LF and give us elite defense there and with his range make things easier for Granderson in CF who as you said is no slouch there.

  14. lebigyank says:

    i am all upside-worth-the-gambled out after this past week of moves

  15. hakeem is a novice says:

    i’m waiting for either Cashmann to say “i will not be signing Holliday” and secondly “i cant sign what’s best for the yankees because i have no more money”

    lets face it, trying to squeeze the life out of an obviously exhausted budgetary projection is admirable, but at what point do you feel that it will be counterproductive to a billion dollar team of a multi billion dollar business?

    Saw the list of players that lead certain categories for the decade and the caliber of players was tremendous. Is it not only fair for yankee fans to expect an all star player in left field?

    “there is a genuine perception of logic underlining the illogical” Cigo Lalli

    • mike c says:

      i refuse to believe the yankees won’t give damon abreu’s contract. it’s fair, and honesty no team is probably going to pay more than that or want to give damon more than 2 years.

      bring damon back! bubba crosby!!!

      • hakeem is a novice says:

        Cashman’s a shrewd business man. And now he’s won WS he will be twice as aggressive in negotiations and rightfully so. One thing is for sure, he deserves to be trusted and so far this offseason no one can really convince me they know what’s going on inside his head and who he is seriously considering.

        I have faith, but i still want a belated gift.

    • i’m waiting for either Cashmann to say “i will not be signing Holliday” and secondly “i cant sign what’s best for the yankees because i have no more money”

      Are you also waiting for OJ Simpson to say “I killed Nicole”?

      • hakeem is a novice says:

        i laughed for a good 97 secs (ok maybe 10 secs but thanks for the humor especially when i just got assaulted by some street thugs on my way to the deli) slightly off topic, i thought OJ did tell some inmate he did it. Anyway he is where he belongs.

        Does anyone know how the luxury tax is calculated,or where i can find out? do we get more bang for our buck the more we go over the payroll threshold? ( i guess what im trying to find out is the correlation between the two figures, is penalty for 10m the same or close to penalty of 10.5 m and will it be proportionally better to spend 10.5m)

  16. YankFanDave says:

    With DeRosa priced out of contention, I would go with Byrd. Byrd is the better defensive outfielder and was paid $3.06 million in 2009, so he could be within affordable range. Why take the risk with Nady?, who was the inferior defender prior to injury and the injury he had may further erode his defensive skills, as well as, sap his power. Also, since has was paid $6.55 million in 2009 he may be looking for a salary floor near where Byrd will be priced at. If you roll the dice often enough you will come up craps, this time they should take the surer thing if he is available on a one year deal (maybe with an option.)

    • Mac1 says:

      I agree, I think Nady was a pretty good RFer, but he’s not going to fare well in LF and Swish is a bit poorer as a defender than Nady.

      The rumors that Cash was making Swish available earlier in the off season was interesting, although I think Swish is a great fit for the Yanks in the bottom of the order and his RF D is acceptable at worst.

      If the best the Yanks can do is sign Byrd, I’d be more than satisfied going into the first half with him as the #9 hitter.

    • Marlon Byrd is hardly a sure thing. Go look at his H/A splits from his time in Texas; they’re not pretty in the least.

      • YankFanDave says:

        I agree he isn’t a sure thing but no one is. I do believe he the surer bet than Nady because, unlike Byrd, Nady brings the risk due to his recent injury (2nd major surgery on elbow.)

  17. BklynJT says:

    Not a bad idea if Nady is willing to accept an incentive laden contract. If Nady performs well, he may maintain his Type A/B status and can potentially net us draft picks at the end of the year.

  18. Mac1 says:

    I like Nady, but not for LF, and giving him guaranteed 4-6 mil isn’t worth it when there are other guys who will playu much better D. Byrd, even with his steep drop off in road stats, will give you what Melky gave last year on offense and probably better D. 2 years 6-7 mil for him should be plan B or C, I think Damon comes back for around 2 for 15.

    Cash’s budget is not that rigid that he won’t spend another 6-8 mil for the “right” guy in LF, IMO.

    I would like to know what Cash is thinking about LF longer term. Crawford? I’d guess no. Trade? I’d guess yes.

  19. Short Porch says:

    Let Gsrdner play. By June if he is not cutting it, I suspect there will be trade options.

  20. [...] Joseph Pawlikowski of Yankees Blog,, tells us if Xavier Nady is worth the gamble for the team to consider [...]

  21. So what, then, do the Yankees plan to do with left field? They currently have Brett Gardner penciled in there, and while some people are bullish on him, I think the Yankees would at least like to have a contingency plan. After all, not only is Gardner the top left fielder right now, but the fourth outfielder is Rule 5 pick Jamie Hoffman. That doesn’t seem like an ideal situation heading into the 2010 season.

    I agree that we could use a veteran bench player, preferably one who kills lefties. But for those who say “We can’t go with Brett in CF” I would remind them we won WS with guys like Gerald Williams, Ricky LeDee, Chad Curtis in LF and we just won a WS with Melky Cabrera as our starting CF.

    • YankFanDave says:

      Ledee and Curtis played on the same team, the 1999 WS Champs, and that was their one and only WS ring. They all were gone after that season as well. Williams played on the 1995 Yankees playoff team and that was his only playoff action with the Yankees. He was playing for ATL in 1999 actually.

      • Chris says:

        That’s not exactly true.

        In 1996, Gerald Williams and Tim Raines split time in LF (Williams was traded in August).

        In 1998, Chad Curtis had 545 PA and was the primary LF.

        In 1999, Ricky Ledee, Chad Curtis and Shane Spencer split the time in LF.

        In 2000, Ricky Ledee, Shane Spencer and David Justice split the time in LF.

    • Mac1 says:

      The most important thing is everyone of those guys you mentioned were better than Gardner

  22. I will give Nady a try, as long as he comes cheap. He’s not a pitcher, he won’t be using his arm as much.

  23. They could always bring Hinske back or maybe sign Rocco Baldelli. Baldelli wouldn’t be a horrible idea, he can’t play everyday anyways.

    • Hey ZZ says:

      If they are going to go that route (4th OF/bench player), I was completely serious about my above Tatis suggestion. I like him better then Hinske because he can hit lefties.

  24. Short Porch says:

    What about Jonny Gomes?

  25. Jeremy says:

    I think we are kidding ourselves when we say that the only options available to the Yankees are Gardner, Nady, Byrd, and DeRosa (but only if DeRosa’s price comes down). There are two other options I can see: Damon and Holliday. They are options because they are quality (in Holliday’s case, very high quality) LFs.

    Whatever Cashman says about the Yankees’ budget or pursuit of players is irrelevant. Cashman’s statements can be misleading or downright false. Most of what he says is designed purely to give the Yankees a negotiating advantage, not to educate fans.

    For a perfect example we need go back no farther than the Teixeira signing. The budget seemed maxed out. Cashman indicated that the Yankees were not in on Teixeira and that Swisher was the 1B. Intelligent people thought it unlikely that the Yankees would make another move, let alone sign a huge FA contract, even though there was a FA on the market that perfectly fit the Yankees’ only obvious need. (I’ll never forget Pete Abe practically saying that people who thought the Yankees would sign Teixeira didn’t understand anything about baseball.) Then, with no advance warning, Cashman signed Teixeira to a massive contract.

    History could certainly repeat itself here with Holliday. Yes, the Yankees take a huge luxury tax hit on additional signings, and yes, the Yankees, like any expertly run business, have a budget. But we have no idea what that budget truly is or what Holliday or Damon’s value would truly be to the Yankees.

    Gardner is an intriguing player but making him the starting LF with Hoffman as the backup is not an optimal situation. Damon is an improvement and Holliday is argually optimal. Cashman is a big fan of the optimal outcome. Do not read too much into anything he says about the Yankees being done with making moves.

  26. Jonny Gomes? I don’t think so, not after that crap he pulled against us during pre-season in 2008, when he tackled Shelly Duncan. He’s a nut case, I don’t think yankee players will forget that.

    • Short Porch says:

      And Shelley was a model of stability. Nut case? Maybe. Duncan with that slide nearly put the second baseman into left field. Very late, very high.

      I know there was history with Cervelli, but Shelley was spikes up in the guy’s groin.

  27. FrankFernandez says:

    Didn’t we reach of quota of injury-prone player signings with the Nick Johnson deal?

  28. Tom says:

    Honestly I still believe Damon will be in Left field opening day. His price tag will go down.

    • Bill O says:

      I don’t, but that’s a surprise move a I could potentially see happening. People dreaming of Holliday are completely fooling themselves. Unless the Red Sox trade for Gonzalez and re-sign Bay, we still have the best team in baseball right now with Brett Gardner in LF.

  29. Adam Lind says:

    How about if the Yankees found a way to trade for Adam Lind?

  30. Adam Lind says:

    what about chris coghlan?

  31. sleepykarl says:

    The A’s have a surplus of OF guys, what about Scott Hairston or Davis?

  32. Joseph M says:

    Cashman has done some major damage to the Yankee line up. Brett Gardner is a spare part, nothing more. The idea that Brett Gardner could could give the Yankees 130 or so games in left is nuts. The Yankees need Damon in the mix here. Sign the guy for two years at 20, unload Nick Johnson and sign Nady. Nady could offer protection for both right (Swisher is no Tex, Jeter or AROD, he could slip more than a little bit this year)and left. The Yankees are heavily damaged without Matsui they can’t afford a wishin and hopin solution in left.

    • sleepykarl says:

      So is 8/9 .370 wOBA guys not enough? Seems like the team could easily survive with Gardner hitting in the 9 hole and take the defensive boost the OF would have from last year.

  33. Colorado Yankee Fan says:

    Remember that in the 90′s we had LF’ers like Shane Spencer, Chad Curtis and Ricky Ledee and won it all. We don’t need all stars at each position. This is our 9th place hitter. We need good defense. Having Gardner playing left would give us a very good defensive LF’er. batting ninth, he would hit in front of Jeter. With his speed and Jeter’s ability to get on base and hitt to right field, Gardy fits very well in the plan. It would be nice to add another bat for the bench or a versatile player that can play many positions such as Hairston or Derosa.

  34. [...] Brian Cashman says that the Yankees won’t be going to get a superstar to play left field in 20…. [...]

  35. Stan Van Jeremy says:

    One little critique:

    You folks at RAB need to stop writing in the absolute of saying Johnny Damon isn’t coming back. No one knows of that as a certainty until he signs elsewhere.

  36. Nick Johnson is already a gamble, it is not wise for the Yankees to make another one. Xavier Nady is good but his 2 Tommy John surgery is alarming.

    Why don’t the Yankees look for a player that is healthy all year round.

  37. IrnM says:

    Fact is, Gardner is just more valuable off the bench. He’s the perfect defensive replacement in the outfield for either Swisher or whatever ‘offensive-first’ outfielder they get for LF (Damon included). He’s the perfect pinch runner for Nick Johnson in the late innings, or even Jorge or Teixiera if they need to scratch a run across in extra innings. His offensive skills are limited and will be heavily exposed if given regular playing time. He has tremendous value, and should be retained, but not as a starting every-day outfielder.

  38. Pflood says:

    I would rather keep gardner as the starter. His defense and speed are going to be a constant asset to the lineup. Instead of getting an injury prone risk let’s bring back a player like Eric Hinske or Jerry Hairiston who is comfortable coming off of the bench and can contribute in multiple ways at multiple positions giving us depth and ininsurance against injury.

  39. Monte Capuletti says:

    How about Jermaine Dye.

  40. Joseph M says:

    Gardner as a starter will not work. Pitchers in the majors will challenge a hitter like Gardner, who doesn’t hit the ball hard enough to scare anyone. His OBP will drop like a rock and as it starts to fall he will begin pressing. The Yankee line up is dramatically weaker with Damon and Matsui gone, Johnson is no Matsui not even close, and Granderson is no Damon not even close. Folks who think Gardner is better than Melky offensively are in for a rude awakening, and that’s not to suggest that Melky was anything more than a fair hitter at best. And then there is Swisher, don’t be so sure he will duplicate last year.

  41. Sal says:

    How many times is Gardner’s mom allowed to post on this site?
    The wheels were coming off a month before he got hurt. Pitchers began to challenge him and he wasn’t answering the bell.

  42. aardfl; says:

    Gardner is fine if nothiing else is workable. the yankees only need to sign a backup perhaps. With Gardners speed and defense the yankees are a good team.

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