May
27

Stark: Yankees targeting ‘versatile outfield bats’

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The Yankee brain trust has yet to meet and discuss their mid-summer shopping list, but Jayson Stark says that the team’s scouts have begun to target what he calls “versatile outfield bats.” Randy Winn is basically a zero on offense (.278 wOBA) and isn’t even being used as a late innings defensive replacement anymore, while Marcus Thames can hit (.424 OBA) but nothing else. He’s the anti-versatile outfielder. Stark throws out the name of David DeJesus, but that’s just him speculating.

Just looking at the list of players scheduled to become free agents after the season, I can see someone like Gabe Gross or the resurgent Austin Kearns making sense. Maybe add Ryan Church to the mix, get that Pirates-Yankees train rollin’ again.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

    Can I file this one under “obvious post is obvious”?

  • Carlosologist

    If the Bucs are opening the pipeline, Andrew McCutchen should be sent over.

    /half kidding

    Note: I’m a very big Andrew McCutchen fan. He and Garrett Jones are the only bright spots on that team.

    • bobtaco

      Doumit?

  • Poopy Pants

    I find aluminum bats to be quite versatile.

  • yoo-boo

    I dont see any good option. Yanks will be stupid if they try to replace Winn with 5M-6M maker.

    Colin Curtis says Hi.

    • pat

      from the DL?

    • whozat

      it’ll be partway through the season, so it’d be pro-rated. A guy making 5MM for the year would cost the yanks 2-3MM

      And why would that be “stupid”?

    • Drew

      Why on earth would it be stupid to add an asset?
      Also, Colin Curtis is not healthy, that may hinder his ability to play right now. And another thing, AFL and Spring Training Colin Curtis is not the real Colin Curtis.

    • yoo-boo

      Yanks are paying Winn up to about 2M.
      Yanks will pay 5-6 maker either 3M-4M in June or 2M-3M in July unless a sending team agrees to pay some portion.

      Yea. to Yanks it is affordable but it is not a cost effective.

      Colin Curtis is on DL now but he will be back by July easy. Colin Curtis’ big issue is health, not his talents. Reserving and off bench jobs make sense for Curtis.

      • whozat

        You’re wrong.

        1) Winn had incentives, so his salary is closer to 1mm.
        2) You are wildly overrating Colin Curtis based on a tiny sample size against middling competition.

        • yoo-boo

          Sorry… you are correct. 2M coming from Winn and Thames altogether.

          Colin Curtis was about promoted to big club to replace Winn but he suffered high sprain ankle. If I am obsessed at small sample then I would want Thames to be traded already before he plummets to hell.

      • zs190

        Yankees are paying Randy Winn 1.1 million and he’s already been paid about 300-400k of it by now. Cutting him loose is not a huge amount of money. That said, there isn’t anybody that makes a ton of sense so we’ll probably stand pat.

      • Pete

        Colin Curtis’ big issue is not health, it’s the fact that he’s not good at baseball

  • vin

    This just smacks of “slow news day, so let’s find a flaw with the most talked-about team and speculate on how they can solve it.”

    • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

      Except this flaw is real. I mean it’s not huge but it’s probably the biggest one the Yanks have.

      • J.R.

        Yeah, but once Granderson comes back that flaw is greatly diminished.

        • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

          True but having a bench outfielder that can hit at replacement level while having good fielding would be ideal. Better than Winn who so far is a liability with the bat with decent fielding and Thames who can hit decently but can’t field well at all.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

          There’s still the issue of OF depth and the DH spot to deal with. DeJesus would be a nice addition, but I’d prefer a right handed OF bat and someone with a big enough bat to be a serviceable DH.

  • Nick

    So… Winn doesn’t get the same “Small Sample Size” treatment EVERYONE else gets from this site? Strange…

    • Rose

      LOL

      Touche’

    • whozat

      In fairness, he was also terrible last year.

    • Pete

      the issues with winn:

      1. He is no longer a significant asset in the field, showing decline over the past two seasons to where he now appears to be roughly league avg. at the corners and probably below in center.

      2. He was atrocious offensively last season, and has been just as bad this year. His bat is very slow, and with Brett Gardner hitting, Granderson coming back soon, and Swish filling out the OF, and Thames as a bat off the bench (who is hitting), he doesn’t figure to get consistent enough playing time to adjust (and in the recent weeks wherein he has been getting a fair amount, hasn’t adjusted)

      3. He is Randy Winn, age 34 (?). Even if he plays up to his pre-2009 levels from here on out, which doesn’t seem all that likely, what does that give us? A slightly-below-average offensive player who’s best offensive tool is being a smart baserunner, who is a solid to slightly-above-average defensive corner outfielder. This would, of course, be fine as a 5th outfielder, if it were the production we were getting. But it ain’t, and after 1.3 seasons of this dismal production at his age and with his skill set, nothing screams rebound. Even if he does bounce back somewhat, it will be to a very replaceable level, and his cost is not overly punitive if the team decides to cut him. And if he doesn’t bounce back, we’ll be stuck with a well-below-replacement level offensive player whose defense is only ok.

      You can tolerate a net-zero bench player. You can’t tolerate a net-negative for much longer than the yankees have tolerated winn.

  • Kyle Litke

    Seems odd though. If someone gets hurt again for a significant amount of time, then fine, but otherwise, you have Granderson coming back tomorrow which gives you a set outfield of Gardner/Granderson/Swisher. And while Thames is really more suited for a DH role, he can kill lefties, so we’re talking about, what? Trying to trade for a guy who can play only against righties at the DH spot (or have Swisher DH while they play the field)? I’m not against improving the team, but this seems like it was more of a concern without Granderson. With him coming back, improving the outfield wouldn’t be a huge priority for me. Replace Winn cheaply if you can but no need to sign a starting guy, and with Thames, maybe not even a fourth outfielder.

    • whozat

      You don’t think that having a contingency plan in case Gardner continues to hit poorly and Granderson turns out to be a platoon player makes sense?

      • Kyle Litke

        I think it makes sense to look for someone who can play decently in case of an injury, to upgrade a bit over Winn. I don’t think it makes any sense to trade for a starter, shove them onto the bench which will probably make for an unhappy player, just on the off chance someone gets injured. As for Granderson, he’s been an everyday player for years and if they decide to platoon him, Marcus Thames is right there anyway. As for Gardner, when did he “hit poorly” for longer than a small stretch of a few games? He had a great April and probably played over his head, but aside from a couple game stretch here he’s been fine. He’s hitting .274/.355/.379 in April, not amazing but with his speed that’s almost certainly better than you’re going to get out of whatever you’re trying to replace him with.

        Upgrade Winn, fine, but the people talking about trying to get starting players making 4-6 million or whatever, that doesn’t make sense, especially with Thames on the team.

  • dkidd

    i swear austin kearns and ryan church are the same person

    • Pete

      i was thinking the exact same thing. They’re the same exact entity. Two of the most all-around-ok baseball players like, ever.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        I can remember Church because he missed third base. That was hilarious.

        • Pete

          I just feel like both of them are totally ok outfielders who have something to do with the Nationals and/or Mets and/or Pirates, may or may not have had long-ish hair at some point, are white and don’t look particularly athletic, can hit like a little but nothing to write home about, etc.

  • Grandy

    Hawpe?