Nov
04

Yankees talking sense, unlikely to pursue Crawford, Werth

By

Crawford could round the bases plenty of times in New York, but it doesn't seem likely (Tony Gutierrez/AP)

The Yankees would be a better team with Carl Crawford. Given his pull tendencies, Carl Crawford might be a better player with the Yankees. But that doesn’t mean that the two sides will match up for a free agent contract. Crawford might have concerns other than how many home runs he hits. The Yankees have to look at the overall picture and determine what positions most need an upgrade. This week the team has met to determine a course of action, and according to a report by Mark Feinsand of the Daily News those plans will not include Crawford or the other big name outfielder on the market, Jayson Werth.

One of Feinsand’s sources nails the issue with two crisp sentences:

“We are better with Crawford, but at that price?” a Yankees source said. “I’m not sure it’s that good of an upgrade.”

The biggest difference between Crawford and Brett Gardner is power, and even then the difference might be overstated with this year’s results. Crawford produced a career high .188 ISO, while Gardner barely cracked the .100 mark. There’s a chance that Crawford, 29, could improve on that mark, especially with the move to Yankee Stadium. But considering his .148 career ISO, I’m not sure that the Yankees can bank on that. Gardner has been the better on-base guy, at least in the past two years, while Crawford again produced a career high this year, .356. Even during his first full season Gardner was at .345, and last year produced a .389 OBP.

There are other issues with Crawford, too. While he ranked just below Gardner in UZR, Gardner can take that excellent range into center field. Crawford has expressed a desire to stay in left. He also prefers not to hit leadoff, which is perhaps the best spot for him. There’s a good chance that Gardner will take over the leadoff spot at some time in the next year or two.

The biggest advantage Crawford has is his track record. Gardner fell off in the second half, which has led many to believe that he cannot handle a full-time starting gig. Whether he can or not remains to be seen, though it’s hard to argue with the numbers he has produced in the past two seasons. Crawford, on the other hand, has been in the league since 2002, at age 20, and has had only a few truly poor seasons. He’s more of a sure thing than Gardner, but he’ll also be roughly nine times more expensive.

There is also the matter of need. All three of the Yankees outfielders produced 4 or more WAR this season, the only MLB outfield unit to do so. They can, in other words, stick with the same guys and look elsewhere for ways to improve the team. Upgrading the pitching staff, in other words, will have more of a net effect on the team’s wins and losses, since there is more room for improvement on the pitching staff. Adding an outfielder would provide improvement on the margins.

Feinsand also mentions Jayson Werth, who recently retained Scott Boras to seek out the best possible deal. He’s said to be seeking a Matt Holliday type deal, but that seems out of reach for the soon-to-be 32-year-old. Werth has thrived during his time in Philadelphia both on offense and on defense, but he faces the same issues as Crawford. Adding him provides only a marginal improvement over the current outfield corps, and he will cost more than any of them — even if he settles for a Jason Bay type deal rather than a Matt Holliday one.

There are many ways the Yankees can improve this off-season, but they should be looking to improve areas where they can realize significant improvement. That falls to the pitching staff. There might be concerns about Gardner’s ability to maintain his high OBP, but those are theoretical concerns. The Yankees have actual pitching issues, and adding an arm can provide instant, tangible improvement. We pretty much knew this heading into the off-season, but it’s nice to hear the Yankees come out and say it.

Categories : Hot Stove League
  • ecks

    They should’ve just kept quiet and leaked fake rumors to drive up the price for the team that eventually signs them.

    Half-kidding, but when the opposites happen, no one seems to care.

    • ecks

      opposite*

    • dave

      Brett ” I can’t hit the ball out of the infield” Gardner a better option than Crawford?
      Sure if you are satisfied with him hitting .230 for the year and killing you with RISP. He is your man.
      He was pulled in 09 as a starter for the same reason he hit the second half of this year. .232
      He is a good bench player as a defensive player and a pinch runner.
      An everyday player you will get what you got in 09 and the second half of last year.
      Anyone that thinks different is crazy.

      • MikeD

        Crazy here.

        His MLB numbers this year are in line with his minor league numbers. (He actually has some upside based on his AAA numbers.) In other words, he is capable of .280/.380 line with excellent defense and speed. It’s not that he’s better than Crawford, it’s just that the updgrade to Crawford, with the increase in salary going from 450K for Gardner to $18 million for Crawford is not defensible when the Yankees have needs elsewhere. Read that as pitching.

  • http://www.blogs.thetenthinningstretch.com the tenth inning stretch

    Buster Olney thinks Crawford is the Yanks’ plan B if we miss out on Cliff Lee. I guess he’s assuming that in that scenario, we’d trade an outfielder for starting pitching and sign Crawford to fill the void.

    • Scout

      Or Crawford might be plan B because the Yankees strike out with Lee and cannot find another pitcher at a reasonable value, and decide instead to concentrate on offense instead. Not the way I would go, but not out of the realm of possibility.

    • OldYanksFan

      Or maybe it’s just that writers, who really have nothing substancial to write about this time of year, draging out the reliable ‘the-big-bad-Yankees-are-ALWAYS-interested-in-(the-top-3-FAs)-no-matter-the-cost-need-or-fit-because-they-are-the-big-bad-Yankees-and-can-buy-anyone-because-they-have-more-money-then-God-and-always-buy-championships’ line.

      Gritner was not only about the best bang for the buck in MLB, but also one of the Yankees offensive leaders, as well as being their fastest guy and best defender. All at a cost of under $1m. Why would a team already laden with a number of huge contracts replace this guy?

      And while more expensive, Swisher fits into the great ‘bang for the buck’ category also. We are paying a forture for the runs ARod, Jeter, Teix and (to some extent) Posada produce. The only reason we won the WC this year was because of the production of the guys who made ‘under a dozen million per year’.

      It amazes me that this last decade and a half was built and the backs of 5 core Yankee products… and yet many people keep on insisting we trade our current kids for the latest overpriced, shiny toy.

      Thank God Cashman, and not George (RIP) is runnning the show. I was a fan in ’65, when age and bad luck turned a great ’64 team into a crappy ’65 team, and then into a lost decade of Hoss Clarkes and Gene Michaels.

      I’d much rather watch a Yankee Gardner play then an imported Crawford or Werth, and much rather apply to $10+m we save to pitching. It may be Nunez (prolly not), but I think our biggest position need is a guy who can play 3rd and SS (and a little 2nd base) and not be a giant black hole. Imagine if we could rest/DH Jeter and ARod and have their replacement actual be quasi-productive.

      Please Cashman… give Jeter the high end of his real value… 3/$36m, and then give him a TEN MILLION DOLLAR signing bonus ‘BECAUSE YOU ARE DEREK JETER!’. That’s more then enough for a guy who has made over $200m and will barely be able to play his position in 2013.

      • http://www.blogs.thetenthinningstretch.com the tenth inning stretch

        I’m with you, except maybe the Jeter signing bonus. The Yanks’ outfield was solid last season and they’re all relatively young and affordable. If the Yanks do miss out on Lee and have to deal for starting pitching, we have the minor-league chips to do so.

  • RobC

    I was wondering when those two names would come up
    How much better is Carwford’s offense than Granderson?

    Still a pitcher is a better option

  • larryf

    I am curious to know about Gardy’s thumb injury and how that slowed him down this year. I would also like to thank Carl Crawford for giving us a chance to see Greg Golson’s arm. Trying to take 3rd with 2 outs in the 9th inning and losing=not smart.

    • Clay Bellinger

      Trying to take third on that play was insane when he’s fast enough to score on almost any single anyway. Even worse may have been Joe Maddon supporting the play afterward.

      You just love Golson don’t you?

      • larryf

        I like speed/defense/a great arm and youth. Especially when you don’t have it at lots of other positions.

        • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

          Somehow I don’t think the New York Flyin’ Golsons would win many contests as they average .5 runs per game.

          • larryf

            He doesn’t have to win the game himself. The San Fran flying Torres’s did pretty well. A career minor leaguer! YCPB..

      • ecks

        Indeed. I remember watching that play in slow motion over and over again, because as Crawford’s sliding into third, the ball just zooms in ahead of him, and A-Rod makes a great catch on the one-hopper to get him. Just an amazing play which made me forget (at that time) Granderson’s incredible catch earlier in the game.

  • Mike Mirabella

    Though I totally agree that the Yankees don’t NEED Crawford of Werth, they do need a back-up outfielder.

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

      Neither Crawford nor Werth are backup outfielders, though.

      • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

        Crawford will be our LIDR next year.

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

          ZOMG GREG GOLSON

  • pat

    Last year, Gardner provided 83% of Crawford’s production at 4.5% of the cost. Next year that number is likely going to be around 3%. That’s value, yo.

    • Pasqua

      That’s a very cool bit of info.

  • http://jukeofurl.wordpress.com Juke Early

    I want Cliff Lee w/Brett Gardner & Curtis Granderson behind him. No knock on Swish – I wanted him to a Yankee when he was an A (I liked his personality), but another OF & a catcher is what the 2011 needs, if Swisher can be in a package to get somebody -amen.

    • Clay Bellinger

      Soooo…why exactly don’t you like Swish?

      • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

        Clearly because there are so many 4+ WAR outfielders out there who hit .288/.359/.511 and make under 10 million dollars per year!

        • Clay Bellinger

          haha…yeah exactly. The dude has an OPS of .870 in his 2 years in NY and has outproduced his contract. It just seems like too many people started watching during the ALCS and have irrationally decided “this guy’s no good!”

          • gc

            I think you’re reading way too much into Juke Early’s comments. You bring up great points about Swish’s current value to the team, and maybe that’s the point Juke was trying to make…his value is pretty much at its peak right now, so perhaps it isn’t (or shouldn’t be) out of the question to trade that value and get some quality talent in return to fit areas of need. I think most fans like Swish and would love to see him back, but he’s not untouchable. If we can get a talented somebody (or somebodies) for him, now’s the time, as he may not be as valuable ever again. Just thinking out loud.

            • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

              Our farm system is there for making trades though, guys like Swisher don’t grow on trees. If we traded him, yeah, we might get back something good for him. But then you have to turn around and pay another player to play RF. In the end, to me, that ends up being a net loss in terms of return for dollars spent. Plus despite Swisher’s production, he’s going to be on the wrong side of 30 soon and he’s a free agent in 2012. You’re not going to get anything elite for him.

              • Clay Bellinger

                Well said. Just about no one is untouchable, but you have to be able to get something back significant enough to help the ballclub to make a trade. Contending clubs typically don’t trade away key pieces of their squad and get proper value back for them. Swish is comign off his best two years and is right in the middle of his prime, his trade value is prob at it’s peak, but the Yanks would have to be blown away to deal him and create a hole in RF that then needs to be filled either by signing a FA or trading a prospect.

  • Pasqua

    This makes total sense. I’ve thought, for a while, that the only way Crawford (or Werth) comes here is if the Yankees clear out one of their outfielders via trade. At this point – unless they’re bringing back a really good pitcher – why try to fix what ain’t broke?

  • Kurt

    Pat’s post says it all. The outfield was very productive for the Yanks last season. The starting pitching fell apart in the second half and in the playoffs. The other glaring weakness is behind the plate.

  • NextYankeeDynasty

    9 times the cost of Gardner??….Crawford will cost at least 30 times more than Gardner next year!!

  • Yank the Frank

    Gardner is still a work in progress who improved greatly in 2010. He just needs to learn to bunt and steal earlier in the count. Brett’s a great bang for the buck, we do not need an overpriced Crawford or Werth. Overpay for pitching, pitching, pitching and maybe a good back-up catcher.

  • BigLou

    I love Swish…he’s a real Yankee…great personality…clutch hitter greatly improved fielder and a huge plus in the club house…we need another backup who can at least play the field..Thames is fine a DH but in the field…Oh My..read a rumor about the X-man..if he can play he would be great on the bench

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

      • http://twitter.com/firstheart42 seimiya

        Not even tjsc had a witty response.

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

          Didn’t I?

          Look closer.

  • ledavidisrael

    The yankees have gone into each of the past two seasons with four plus starting OF’ers. Relying on 3 guys to shoulder the whole work load is a little far fetched. Especially when swisher is coming off a year where he was banged up almost all year.

    Plus signing crawford would allow Swisher to play DH on most days.

    I can’t believe how you didn’t mention how NASTY the defense out there would be if we lined up Granderson, Crawford, Gardner.

    65 million
    -5 for arbitration players
    15 for rivera
    15 for jeter
    20 for lee
    If we back load some pay/ Pay jeter less we can easily squeeze Crawford in.

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      The yankees have gone into each of the past two seasons with four plus starting OF’ers. Relying on 3 guys to shoulder the whole work load is a little far fetched. Especially when swisher is coming off a year where he was banged up almost all year.

      Swisher played in 150 games in 2010 and was a starter in the field in 135 of them. They’re a perfectly reliable, young bunch why do we need to pay 100 million so we can have 4 starting caliber outfielders? That’s just silly.

      Plus signing crawford would allow Swisher to play DH on most days.

      Which will be occupied 95% of the time by Posada/A-rod and either Thames or a DH type that isn’t on the team yet.

      I can’t believe how you didn’t mention how NASTY the defense out there would be if we lined up Granderson, Crawford, Gardner.

      Not much better than it is now, which is a waste of money considering how much money Crawford will demand.

      65 million
      -5 for arbitration players
      15 for rivera
      15 for jeter
      20 for lee
      If we back load some pay/ Pay jeter less we can easily squeeze Crawford in.

      So… who closes and what happened to Andy Pettitte?

      • ledavidisrael

        Rivera closes… forget andy pettite

        and the point is to have 3 STAR outfielders a STAR DH (who can also play 1B, giving Tex needed rest for next year)

        These are human beings there bodies are simply mortal. I m sure there reliable hard working young guys but that doesn’t mean shit.

        also who cares how many games dude played every part of his body was hurt at some point. which means he was playing under stress and should be given time off this year.

        • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

          Forget Andy Pettitte? Okay…

          I just told you that there’s no room on the team for a fulltime DH. Are you going to bench Posada then on days he can’t catch? Not give A-rod any time off? Not use Montero at all later in the season?

          Any way you look at it, signing Crawford means that someone’s talents aren’t being utilized to their full potential, which means wasted dollars. If you want to trade someone to get Crawford a spot, fine, but adding him just to have a 4th outfield option as insurance for injuries is a complete waste of resources.

          If every part of Swisher’s body was hurt how did he play so many games? I told you played in 150 games, meaning he missed only 12 with these “year long” injuries. But hey, don’t let facts get in the way of your narrative.

        • Clay Bellinger

          dude you’re being completely irrational. There’s no chance that the stategy you’ve suggested is even considered by the Yanks.

          …and forget Pettitte? The issue in 2010 was pitching…why would they tell their 2nd best SP that he’s not welcome back. So that they could have a “good defensive oufield”?

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

      If we back load some pay/ Pay jeter less we can easily squeeze Crawford in.

      No, we can’t.

  • ledavidisrael

    Also pointing at last years production and saying oh they were fine last year they will be fine less is an EPIC FAIL.

    Granderson missed time. Gardner is shouldering a workload that he has never came close to. And Swisher pressed his body all year by playing hurt. Expecting 4 WAR again from each is completely foolish. Not saying it won’t happen. But EXPECTING it or counting on it. Is childs play.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

      I will not take seriously any comment that includes the words epic or fail, especially if they’re in all caps.

      You can include a bit about Crawford in that last paragraph, too.

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

        Your mother is a whore EPIC FAIL.

        (Take this post seriously, Joe Pow, I dare you.)

  • Regis

    Obviously, the team should sign Crawford, Werth, Lee and trade for Pujols to be a bench bat.

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      Prince Fielder can DH, but only against righties.

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

        Trade for Pujols, Fielder, and Adrian Gonzalez, and platoon Pujols and Tex at 1B and Fielder/Gonzalez at DH.

        You’re welcome, America.

    • Clay Bellinger

      …and we could trade Ramiro Pena for Zack Greinke…to be the 8th inning guy

      • Andrew

        Soria can be the 8th inning guy and greinke can take the spot of mitre.

  • http://twitter.com/Mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    As long as they get Cliff Lee and don’t get any of the other awful FA starters, I’m fine.

  • kosmo

    I´m in the minority but I´d rather NY pursue Crawford than Lee.
    Crawford is a great clutch player.Check his splits.In 2010 he grounded into 2 DP .2 !!
    It would allow NY to unload either Granderson or Gardner my preference being Granderson.Gardner moves to CF.
    Crawford in the 2 hole would put Swisher in the 6 hole where he belongs protecting Cano.

    • http://twitter.com/Mattpat11 Matt DiBari

      I don’t think this team has anything close to championship level pitching without Lee. It would be even worse without Pettitte.

      • kosmo

        Lee has been in the last 2 WS .Did he help deliver a WS championship ? No
        Believe me I think he´s a excellent pitcher .
        Yanks could easily trade a couple of solid pitching prospects and Granderson for a good number 2 or 3 type SP.
        Also where are all these pitching prospects NY is stockpiling going to pitch,Warren,Phelps,Nova,banuelos,Brackman,Noesi,Stoneburner, etc? CC,AJ,Hughes and maybe Pettitte will be the top 4 next season.It seems to me NY will have to unload a couple of these guys because there ain´t no room at the inn.

        • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

          If there’s one universal truth in baseball it’s that you can never have enough pitching. Pettitte is going to retire one of these years, and you know AJ ain’t comin back once his contract is up in 3 years. Plus, some prospects will get traded or just flat not work out. There will always be room for someone if they’re good enough.

        • http://twitter.com/Mattpat11 Matt DiBari

          Do you have a name in mind for that solid two or three? Do you think Burnett is going to be a front end type starter next year?

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

            I can answer for him:

            No, he doesn’t.

          • kosmo

            Who knows what type of trade packages the FO might come up with? I can name pitchers but that´s just wishful thinking on my part.
            I like Josh Johnson alot .Say the Yanks go after this Nippon pitcher?
            Let´s see how the hot stove league is played out.

            Ultimately NY is probably going to sign Lee at 5 yrs 115 million.

        • Clay Bellinger

          Well the problem with Lee’s teams were that he was their only great pitcher. Were the Yanks gonna lose to Blanton or a 57 year old Pedro? (I know Hamels is great but at the time he was pitching terrible) Now if we can put Lee in a rotation with CC and Pettitte we’d have something special.

          • kosmo

            Philly lost to SF with the front 3 of Halladay,Oswalt and Hamels.Granted Halladay pitched with a groin injury .

            The SP for NY is solid.Don´t forget about Hughes.

            • Clay Bellinger

              The Phils didn’t lose because they didn’t have enough pitching…they lost because SF just had more of it.

              I agree, the NYY pitching is solid now, as represented by getting two games from the WS…but it could be amazing with Lee in the mix.

        • theyankeewarrior

          kosmo = can’t be serious

          right?

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

          Lee has been in the last 2 WS .Did he help deliver a WS championship ? No

          http://knowyourmeme.com/i/124/.....-wrong.jpg

  • http://www.blogspot.manor203.com Mike M

    “There are other issues with Crawford, too. While he ranked just below Gardner in UZR, Gardner can take that excellent range into center field.”

    This may be a true stat by the numbers, but if you watched the yankee games you can clearly see that gardiner does not have the fielding ability that crawford has. His speed is what allows him to cover all that distance. His route to the ball is pretty bad sometimes. Of the games that i have seen of crawford, that man can track a ball down.
    Now, do the yankees need crawford? No Brett gardiner is sufficient. I just wanted to state his fielding is not as great as the numbers depict.

    • http://twitter.com/cephster Ross in Jersey

      The “Gardner takes bad routes to balls” narrative is a bit overplayed. People said the same thing about Granderson earlier in the year, funny how that disappeared after awhile.

      I just fail to see the difference between “Taking bad routes to the ball and catching it anyway” and “tracking a ball down”. Does Gardner miss any fly balls because of the routes he takes? No, because he has incredible speed and closes distances quickly. If you can find me evidence of fly balls that Gardner doesn’t make a play on because of his routes, I’d be happy to listen.

      • JerseyDutch

        Gardner could head out to Monument Park and back and still catch most of the balls hit to left field.

      • MikeD

        If Gardner is taking bad routes to balls, then we should let him. Whatever routes he’s taking is allowing him to catch more balls than any other OFer, including Crawford.

    • Klemy

      I watch the games, but I don’t see this.

    • murakami

      Agree on Gardner’s over rated defense, although he is a much better fielder in LF than in CF, where his triple-step poor jumps are far more frequent and his mis-tracking is greater exposed. He’s an excellent fielder going east and west, so LF suits his “style” and allows his range to be a more reliable factor.

      That said, he and Crawford are just worlds apart. Crawford made a play in LF last year, in that start Andy lost, that had to be seen live to be believed. I have to look, but I also think CC’s YS stats are very, very good. I would like to see them sign him, but not holding my breath.

  • ledavidisrael

    your evaluating two players at different parts in there careers. plus im going to assume you see gardner more the crawford, which could greatly skew how you see things. also its safe to say your eyes and mind are not a better metric then UZR

    • nsalem

      Having all star players at every outfield position is so NOT the point. This is especially true when you consider that Gardner, Granderson and Gardner together will cost less money next year than what Crawford is seeking. The 1998 Yankees won 114 games with Chad Curtis, Rick Ledee and a 38 year old Tim Raines (plus Shane in September) in left field. 2001
      Seattle Mariners had Al Martin all season and won 118 games. Cleveland
      won 111 in 1954 (154 game season mind you) with Waly Westlake and Al Smith. There were no unbelievable season in the group, save for Spencer’s torrid September and these were the three teams with the highest WP in baseball history.
      .

      • nsalem

        Meant Gardner, Granderson and Swisher together will make about the same as Crawford.

  • JerseyDutch

    That’s good news. Werth is too old, Crawford is too expensive. Keep the current OF and shore up the pitching and bench. Sounds like a plan. Let’s go…

  • burbankbogey

    Lee needs to be the focus. We need to improve the starting rotation and bring Mo and Jeter back. We weren’t in on Tex or Damon when they were out there until the last minute. Cash knows that Crawford and Werth (Boras) will circle back to him regardless of interest in order to keep their price up.

  • joe(sit)ragman

    Not that I am up with all the “stats” you guys use and I do appreciate your thoughts, I do thonk the Yankees need more help than we talk about. Alodst of success was early on when starting pitching carried the team with some timely hitting from unexpected sources. This didn,t last! Changes are needed somewher, unless many of the big guns bounce back dramatically. Of course pitching, pitching and more pitching.

  • Opus

    Does Scott Boras represent every free agent ever except Carl Crawford?

  • theyankeewarrior

    It’s quite simple, people.

    Crawford = Luxury

    Lee = Necessity

  • Ajay

    I do think the Yankees should sign Crawford and make Gardner the 4th outfielder. You have to think future and once Swisher’s contract is up after next year then you can make Gardner the everyday right fielder.As far as Montero is concerned…he either catches or we need to trade him for pitching while his value is still through the roof. It is simply retarded to bring up your top prospect to have him DH. You can blame that on the lower levels of the organization for not identifying and teaching him a new position if his catching was such an issue.

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

      That’s a great idea that I’d be interested in pursuing if we didn’t already badly need to sign Cliff Lee and thus will have a 220M payroll before we consider adding Crawford.

      There’s just simply no room in the payroll.

    • MikeD

      They could put him at 1B, but that doesn’t really serve the Yankees all that well since they have Tex. The most value he has to the Yankees is at catcher. If he can’t catch, then they can look at moving him elsewhere, or some other team can look at moving him elsewhere.

      Me? Well, even if he’s not a great catcher, I wouldn’t mind having a DH who hits .300+ with 35 HR power who can also catch thirty or forty games when not DH’ing, and only cost 450K. Call me crazy…again.

      • JAG

        Agreed. I don’t know why people are so hard on having your top prospect be a DH. If he is a superb hitter but is poor in the field, it’s very possible his optimum value is as a DH. Why not get the most out of him? Sure, it would be great if Montero could achieve even Piazza-like levels of catching. But, if he’s poor enough that he can’t fake it, I’d rather keep his excellent bat around to hit in the lineup as a DH/1B than trade him just to trade him. If your best prospect is most valuable at DH, then that’s where you should play him. To say it’s wasteful to play your best prospect at DH if that’s where he’s most suited is like saying it’s wasteful to make your star pitching prospect a closer instead of a starter when he can’t swing it as a starter. Sure, you should try, but playing him at his optimum place to get the best value is better than making him play poorly at a position he can’t play.

  • http://att richard shaffer

    We need to address the catching situation immediatly. Posada has done a great job over the years but can no longer throw out ANYBODY. He probably should be made the full time DH and we should put our efforts into finding a replacement. Montero? Maybe. He couldn’t be any worse on defense than Posada and his bat would be a great help.

  • Preston

    I think if Petite doesn’t come back and we can’t sign Cliff Lee then maybe we would consider making a deal for a frontline starter. Usually teams don’t want to sacrifice frontline starters unless they are getting young, cheap, talented major league players back. Gardner is the only Yankee that fit’s that mold. So if Gardner and prospects (hopefully not Montero) get us a front of the rotation guy, then I’d be willing to sign Crawford.

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

      P-E-T-T-I-T-T-E

      He’s only been here 13 motherf#$%ing years now. This shouldn’t be that hard. Two “T”s, twice.

  • MikeD

    The Yankee OF trio of Gardner, Granderson and Swisher cost all of $12 million in 2010, represented the youngest part of the team (26-29 years old) and were the strongest defensive unit on the team. Their combined salaries in 2011 will rise to about $18, an incredible bargain considering they delivered over $50 million in value in 2010 (based on Fangraphs).

    The Yankees do have a budget, which has been locked right around the $200 million mark for six years. No way they’re going to pay Crawford more in one season than what they’ll pay the Yanks current trio. If they do, then they have to cut somewhere else, such as signing a pitcher, which they need.

    If they can trade one of the OFers to get a top-flight starter back in return, then it’s worth considering. Yet top starters aren’t available for a single OFer. It’ll take a package of players. So it makes more sense to focus on bringing in Lee and keeping the current Yankee OF together. It’s one of the best in the Majors and one of the most cost effective. That’s a rarity in Yankee-land.

    • Preston

      Obviously I’m fine with the outfield we have. But beyond Lee there is nobody on the market that I’d pay 10 million plus a year. I’m fine with Nova getting a shot at five with Noesi in AAA as a backup plan, but if Pettitte (my sincerest apologies I type faster then I think) retires and Lee opts to stay in Texas (a real possibility) then we need at least one top end starter.
      In order to acquire that starter a team will probably want a package of 4-7 players 2 or 3 of which would be major league ready. Montero is ready but maybe not at catcher, Nunez is ready but might not hit, and Nova is ready but then we would need to find another option for our fifth starter. Gardner is more valuable than either Nunez or Nova, he has a proven major league track record and four years left of team control. So if he’s the difference in acquiring a Jubaldo Jiminez or Zach Grienke (I know he said he wouldn’t come but things change) I pull the trigger. Only at that point would I be willing to sign Carl Crawford.

  • YankeeEVO

    Totally agree that Lee is a necessity, Crawford an unneeded luxury. I’m pretty sure I remember reading somewhere that the Yankees had the highest fielding percentage in the AL, maybe even the majors. The OF is young, affordable and productive no need to tamper

  • cano is the bro

    the only concern i have about gardner is that he will be exposed throughout the season kind of like what happened last year. It seemed like all pitchers needed to do was throw strikes to him and risk him getting a hit instead of giving him the free pass

    • Dalelama

      This exactly….it is also why he sucks in the post season.

  • Mike P

    Are we seriously discussing the possibility of moderately upgrading a no 9 hitter for the price of a no 2 starting pitcher? If the Yanks have that much money to burn I’ll have two no 2s thank you very much. Oh, and add in 200,000 free beers for the bleachers every home game while you’re at it.

  • roadrider

    More wishful thinking about Brett Gardner. Let’s get real – this guy had two good months and then fell off a cliff as his extremely limited skill set as a hitter was exposed. The infield hits dried up as teams learned how to defense him and the walks will vanish too next year. No one is going to keep walking a guy who can’t hurt you with the bat but can hurt you once he gets on base. There’s no way Gardner will put up a .380 OBP or anything close to that next year. I’m not in love with either Crawford or Werth and I can see passing on them and keeping Gardner until the right deal can be worked out to bring in a legitimate corner outfielder. Ideally, Cashman will figure out a way to sell high on Gardner in the off-season but going with him until the trade deadline is not unreasonable if the right deal can’t be found.

  • Jonathan

    I’m not sure if anyone else said this, but one of my biggest concerns with Crawford would be the turf. I remember another very athletic OFer who played the whole start of his career on turf…Vlad. And look at him now. I’ve had 4 surgeries at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail (Where Arod/Beltran etc went) and that’s where Vlad had his knees done and apparently they are just a mess. At least Vlad had his power to fall back on. If Crawford loses his speed and defense…there isn’t a lot left. He’ll require a contract that will take him deep enough into his career that those years on turf will most likely become an issue.

  • joe

    Yankees lineup worries me and does not look very good for 2011. Jeter I think is really on the downfall hitting wise. Texiera while he does hit 30+ homeruns every year, he can be pitched to if you make your pitches. A Rod’s opposite field hitting is virtually gone. Very rarely due you see him hit the ball to the opposite field as often as we have seen in the past. Posada hit 16 homers last year, but you wouldn’t know it because most of them came in situations where they were insignificant homeruns. I could see Posada hitting 220 next year and have a season like Jason Varitek for the Red Sox did back in 2009. Swisher had a good season, but it’s highly unlikely that he will be as good next year. Granderson is an easy out. He is too much of an all or nothing hitter. He either hits a homerun or strikes out. Gardner looked good at the beginning of the 2010 season, but it seemed like he was virtually nonexistent on offense since. I think average is more important than what people make it out to be. You can’t only have Cano in your lineup hitting 300 while most of the rest of the lineup hits 260-270. That’s just not going to get it done. Unless the Yankees pitching staff is going to be great, which it probably will not.

  • Joe J

    Bret Gardner fouled off more 2 strike pitches than anyone in baseball… problem i have is he take the first 2 and there right down the pip[e. swing the dam bat. He struck out at least 20 times this year without ever swinging. drove me nuts. and he seems to hit the ball just hard enough to an infielder to be out by a half a step. needs line drives or dribblers and bunts. He has the goods he just has to get his shit together

  • http://www.outtonight.com Tampa clubs

    Re: Yankees talking sense, unlikely to pursue Crawford, Werth | River Avenue Blues thanks, I enjoyed reading it, got an insight or two!