Feb
03

Cashman: Yankees continue to seek a right-handed hitting outfielder

By

During a recent radio interview, Brian Cashman told Jim Bowden he is still looking to add a right-handed bat before the end of the offseason. Both Juan Rivera and Matt Diaz joined the team on minor league deals earlier this winter, while Melky Mesa and Ronnie Mustelier represent internal options.

There are literally zero right-handed hitting outfielders who played exclusively in the big leagues last year left in free agency. The crop of minor league free agents includes guys like Brett Carroll, Jason Michaels, Jason Repko, and former Yankee Chad Huffman. There’s a chance Russ Canzler will clear waivers and we should never rule out a trade, but overall it is not a pretty sight out there. I’ll be surprised  if Cashman’s able to add someone better than Diaz or Rivera between now and the start of camp.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League

61 Comments»

  1. I feel the same about the catching position at this point. I honestly expected to see Cashman make a trade, but now, it’s Cervelli’s job to lose…I guess?

    • trr says:

      apparently, the dream is that Austin Romine will be the starting catcher by say, oh, August 1…

      • Yogiism says:

        Not happy about that. But what do I know. They need some depth at AAA, so Romine is the odd man out in this case. I was a proponent earlier on about carrying all three on the team come opening day, but baseball wise, they can’t. They need that depth at AAA. I do think he’ll be with the team by June 1, however. Once the season starts to take shape (winning/losing) we’ll see who have a more important role looking forward. Plus it would be shocking to see Cervelli, in his overly aggressive style, to get decimated and tackled at that plate, therefore, requiring us to call up Austin.

        • jjyank says:

          Yeah, it’s not ideal. I would like to see Romine get the job, though. By no means should he be handed the job, but I feel like if they’re gonna suck at that position, might as well go with the guy that has some upside and a chance to be a long term piece. It might make sense to leave him in AAA for a couple months, though.

          • Barry says:

            So you’d rather hamper his development by putting him right into the mix on the MLB level? He has 30 games above the AA level and 13 of them were in 2011. He’s not ready for the MLB, team is better off letting him play with no pressure in AAA and bump him up when he shows he’s ready.

            • jjyank says:

              If he spends a couple of months in AAA before being called up, I don’t think it’s necessarily hampering anything. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. Not every burrito requires the same amount of time in the microwave.

              • Barry says:

                I agree, nothing worse than an over nuked burrito. But I also think that he needs close to a full season at AAA. AAA will also be a lot better for development this year as they’ll have a real home field again and all the advantages that brings. In the long run though bringing him up prematurely would be a lot more damaging than bringing him up late.

                • jjyank says:

                  Sure, but that depends on how close he is. None of us really know. If he’s hitting well in AAA by June, and Cervelli/Stewart suck, I don’t see the problem. I wouldn’t keep Romine in AAA all year just because that’s what the prospect handbook says. Which brings me back the my original comment where I said “by no means should he be handed the job”. If he earns it, give it to him. I just would hate to see him earn it and still spend the whole year in AAA just because.

                  • Barry says:

                    I agree the show me factor outweighs all but he hasn’t shown much as of yet. He missed a lot of time last year. He may not even make it very far into camp before getting sent to the minor league camp.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      You’re just throwing shit at the wall at this point… I’d give up while you’re behind instead of getting into things you don’t seem to know much about.

                    • Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

                      There’s absolutely no evidence that Romine is ready for the bigs which is why by all indications he’s likely to start in AAA.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  Romine spent a second full season in AA because he had Montero in front of him. He also has 105 PAs above AA under his belt (20 in MLB). So, overall, I think it’s less likely he needs a full season at AAA than the average player. Not that some players need any time at all in AAA.

                  • Barry says:

                    71 last year that were not impressive.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      So… You agree with my point that he’s played above AA. Great. He was coming off a serious back injury, so there’s plenty of reason to think that was not indicative of his healthy skill level.

                      Your general premise that skipping levels hampers development is flat out wrong as a sweeping statement. I can give you dozens of examples of players who skipped levels and thrived. So, I was pointing to some basic evidence of why Romine might not need a full season in AAA. It ultimately comes down to his health, skill development, and mostly performance, but there’s reason to believe that he doesn’t need much time in AAA after spending two full seasons in AA.

                    • Barry says:

                      Yeah because Romine is a top level talent who’s performances has justified him skipping levels right to the MLB. OOOO-K

                • Robinson Tilapia says:

                  Without watching any of the three of them play in ST, the most logical argument for making Romine the least likely option is who has options and who doesn’t.

                  I’d honestly want to see how Romine holds up back-wise in AAA before I send one of the other catchers packing.

                  • Barry says:

                    My sentiment exactly. I just don’t think he’s ready and it wouldn’t be fair to put the rookie destroying NY pressure on him yet.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      You don’t think he’s ready based on what?

                    • Robinson Tilapia says:

                      You’re entitled to your opinion on this, and I’m sure you’re not the only one who feels that way, but that’s not exactly what I said.

                  • Barry says:

                    No but I agree with you that I’d like to see what he can do at AAA before I say he should be the backstop over Stewart/Cerveli. Going to get probably equivalent performance from that duo without starting Romine’s service clock.

                    And Nelson I don’t think he’s ready because he hasn’t had an impressive performance. His highest wOBA was .334 and that was his 2nd and not full season at AA. He’s not Jesus Montero who’s bat was just ridiculous enough to justify bringing him up, which they didn’t

    • Ted Nelson says:

      My guess is that it is Stewart’s job to lose. If they were confident in Cervelli as even a back-up C, I think that they could have gotten a C cheaper than Stewart (who cost them Kontos) with options/on a MiLB deal to play in AAA as insurance. I think they value Stewart more than Cervelli to trade an asset for him knowing it was going to send Cervelli to AAA for the year.

      • Barry says:

        I think you’re right. Girardi was never a very good hitter so he probably isn’t too deterred by having almost no production with the bat from the C position. They say Stewart is an asset on defense and that’s probably all they care about.

        • Cris Pengiucci says:

          While I agree with your assessment that “they” value defense more than offense, based on Cashman’s interview, it seems that he calls the shots on the players on the team and Girardi just puts them in the best position possible to succeed. So it’s Cashman that values D from a catcher more than offense.

          • Barry says:

            Girardi is the one that communicates on field results to the upper-management. That’s why they chose him for the job. To manage the players. If he said “Stewart can’t start, we can’t have him starting at C” then the team would react accordingly.

      • Midland TX says:

        Someone (maybe you?) linked this article which discusses one attempt to value Stewart’s defense:

        http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....se-molina/

        • RetroRob says:

          Of course, they just let Russell Martin leave, and Martin once again rated as one of the top pitch-framing catchers in MLB, second behind Molina in the AL. We also know Martin can catch a full season, can draw walks and hit about 20 HRs. Stewart???

          It may be that the Yankees through their own statistical analysis, as well as standard talent evaluation, think very highly of Stewart. We’re about to find out.

  2. Minor Leaguer says:

    Can’t we release Canzler and resign him, what about Carlos lee who isn’t really much o an OF. Also you can’t forget about Thomas Neal who can hit for some good power but mainly average and great defense.

    • Yogiism says:

      Carlos Lee no longer serves a real purpose. Youk essentially becomes Tex’s back up for days off, etc. Nix fills in. Hafner is the DH. I’m pretty sure the team as we see it right now will be the team for the next few months, pending spring tryouts.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      A player still has to go through waivers before you can release him. The system is set up so players can remain on the 40-man roster as long as possible.

  3. Yogiism says:

    All for the Diaz/Rivera/Mesa/Mustelier try out. Diaz seems the most likely as his upside is the greatest at this point. The two M and M kids in the minors could surprise us. That would be fun. Quite frankly, unless the Yanks are going after a name brand for a good price, I think the team (in terms of signings) is pretty much complete.

  4. Tim says:

    Alfonso Soriano anyone? I know he’s mainly a LF’er but is he an option via trade if Cubs eat most of the salary?

    • jjyank says:

      I’m not sure there’s room with Hafner on the team now. With him at DH, and an outfield of Gardner, Granderson, and Ichiro, I don’t think there’s room. I like the idea, but he’d have to be real cheap to justify using him as a platoon bat/4th OF/back up DH. In that case (the necessity for him to be cheap in both dollars and prospects) I don’t see the Cubs moving him.

    • Barry says:

      Soriano is still a pretty good LF’er so it would be less valuable for him to sit on the bench or DH. Would love to see him back in pinstripes but there’s no way to know how he would handle the DH role when he’s never been in that position. Half his value is in the field. If Gardner(or Ichiro) were to get hurt and they needed a new LF’er part way through the season he’d be worth acquiring for sure. The Cubs can demand more because he’s a contributor in the field and with a bat. If he could only hit and couldn’t field for shit then he would be a lot cheaper.

  5. Greg says:

    All of the choices suck. That’s what happens when you have no money.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Yeah, because 4th OFs are usually so costly…

      • Alkaline says:

        Well, we should sign/trade for a legitimate starter to sit on the bench as our 4th outfielder (because they obviously would be okay with that). They wouldn’t consider consistent playing time and opportunities priorities. They would just be grateful they’re playing on the Yanks!

    • Barry says:

      The issue isn’t them having no money. There aren’t any real upgrades available.

  6. Jacob The OG (formerly Jacob) says:

    No surprise here but glad to hear him reasure us that he is still looking and has not given up.

  7. Ted Nelson says:

    I think the best course of action might be to do nothing before ST. See how Diaz and Rivera look in ST–the other guys’ too, but those are the guys you probably either play in MLB or lose–determine how badly you think you need to acquire someone else and see who becomes available during/after ST.

    • Eli Whiteside says:

      My thought would be to try to sign Scott Rolen and to use Youk at DH agianst LHP when Haffner is on the bench. Rolen fits our average age and proves insurance when Youk gets hurt.

      • Barry says:

        Rolen has said that if he doesn’t retire he’ll pretty much only play for the Reds I believe.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        I think that they already have enough RH bats to rotate through at DH the 1/3 of the time a LH starts. Guys like Nix and Nunez hit LHP respectably, so they can give Jeter or Youk or Tex or Cano a day off in the field with a LHSP on the mound. If Hafner’s healthy and hitting well, he might be a pretty good option against LHP: career 117 wRC+ vs. LHP, though that’s fallen off with his overall performance recently.

        Rolen provides little versatility, and hasn’t hit particularly well the last couple of years either. They already have one full-time DH, so some guys who can play multiple positions would be nice. Someone like Nix might not be much worse offensively than Rolen these days, and plays 2B/SS.

  8. Favrest says:

    Yanks need some youth out there. Let Mesa and the Cuban fight it out. Rivera is done.

  9. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Looks like I had two comments made on the IPad in the Garcia thread that didn’t make it even though my IPad told me they’d be published. Oh well.

    You should always continue to look. There also seem to be enough options in the org already with the MiLB signings, internal pieces, and random, nameless Cubans in order to have a healthy competition. You can always improve on the position as well as the season wears on.

  10. Magilla Gorilla says:

    That righty outfielder may also be pinch running for Travis Hafner quite a bit. So maybe a young guy who can play the outfield and run the bases. Is that Melky Mesa?

  11. 189,189,189, says:

    just think if you want to see the minor league team…dont go to trenton…just go to the bronx……….189,189,189,….and 1500 a ticket,yeah right!

  12. Another Bronx Dynasty says:

    actually since the Yanks aren’t doing anything to improve team and spend money till 2014 I wpuldn’t mind them seeing loss as many games and also get a very low draft pick to help to rebuild the farm. Dont even think the’ll make the playoffs this yr so while were getting under $189M lets try to get a Top 10 pick in the draft

  13. Monterowasnotdinero says:

    When the Rockies cut me I am ready to forgive and forget.

    Sincerely,
    Greg Golson

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.