Yankees’ Outfield Due For Changes In 2013

Gardner. Granderson. Swisher. How often have you heard those names said together? Too long, is my guess.

Those three guys have been the starting outfielders for New York since the beginning of the 2010 season. Nick Swisher in fact has been saluting bleacher creatures on a daily basis since the 2009 campaign.

All of them have done more than the Yankees could have ever asked when they first arrived in the Bronx. Gardner has become one of the top defensive players in the game, as well as a lightning rod on the bases. Curtis Granderson, as predicted found his power stroke in Yankee Stadium and has now put up back-to-back 40 home run seasons. And Nick Swisher continues to prove he was worth way more than Wilson Betemit – the player the Yankees had to give up to get him. He’s now put up four consecutive 20+ home run, 80+ RBI seasons, recording his 90th RBI today in Minnesota, the first time he’s done that since 2006.

Clearly, this Yankees outfield is one many teams would only dream of having. But to me, this should be the final year those three man the outfield together. Here’s why:

Granderson = Dunn – Maybe Chicago should ask for me to apologize for that Wilson Betemit joke. This season, Curtis Granderson has truly evolved into a strikeout or home run hitter, a la Mark Reynolds or Adam Dunn. He gets his share of doubles, but more often than not he’s heading back to the dugout, bat in hand and shaking his head. 40 home runs are nice, but not as nice as a high batting-average or on-base percentage, something Grandy has never really accomplished in his career, besides batting .302 for Detroit in 2007. Also, his defense is some of the worst among center-fielders, as he constantly is letting balls sail over his head or fall in front of him. As you know I’m no saber-metrics bust, but whatever stat there is for runs allowed, he was high up there in 2011 and once again is in 2012. The Yankees should look to trade Curtis for pitching, be it a #2 starter or a number of solid pitching prospects. Many teams will overlook the many flaws of Granderson to bring in a 40 homer hitting center-fielder. Because the saying does hold true – chicks still dig the long ball.

Melk, anyone? – Call me crazy, but I think the Yankees should strongly look into bringing back the original Melk man, Melky Cabrera. No doubt he has become one of the more idiotic players in recent memory, as he was suspended for 50 games for testosterone and tried to cover it up in the days prior to his suspension. But using PEDs or not, a return to New York could work wonders for him and the Yankees. Certainly, he must have learned his lesson, and if not he’ll be disciplined and put in his place by the Bombers. There’s no fooling around if you’re a Yankee, and a reunion with close friend Robbie Cano could inspire him to do his best and play hard, without cheating. Moving Gardner to center and Melky to left would greatly improve the defense and allow both of those guys to finally play in harmony on baseball’s biggest stage.

Stick it to the Red Sox – If that Melky Cabrera return frightens you too much, how about signing a guy like Cody Ross? That’s what I mean by sticking it to the Red Sox. Have the Yankees bring this guy in (they’re already reportedly very interested) and make him your starting left fielder. This year, in the AL East mind you, so no “can he produce in the division” talk, he’s hit .270 with 21 home runs and 77 RBIs. He also can play right field and a little bit of center, so he’s also a very flexible option in the outfielder. Most importantly to me, this guy has played in the postseason for the Giants, and came up big as the World Series MVP. Whether that’ll transition to New York is a question, but to me he’d be a solid option as the new left fielder as well, all considering Gardy moves back to center.

Swish needs to stay – As mentioned above, Nick Swisher has been arguably the most consistent outfielder in baseball the past four years. The energetic, always positive Swish has been a fan favorite and a very productive hitter, whether near the top or bottom of the Yankees’ lineup. He seems to just complete it- without him, there’s a hole in the order. The Yankees seem to have their sights on moving on from Swisher this offseason, and going younger or bringing in a cheaper option to fill his void. Which could happen and work, but to me, Swisher is essential to the Yankees’ chances next season. He’s still in his prime and simply is a Yankee if I’ve ever seen one. As long as he stays healthy, he should be a lock again for 20 home runs, 80 RBIs, and being a leader in the Yankees clubhouse for 2013. A three-year deal may be what Cashman will need to give him, but it’ll all be worth it if Swish just continues to do what he’s done for the Yanks since 2009.

So that’s my opinion. A Yankees outfield of Ross/Melky in left, Gardner in center, and Swisher in right is young enough and fresh enough to lead to even more production in 2013. Granted, Grandy probably won’t go anywhere and Melky may not be back in pinstripes, but Ross is a very likely option, and keeping Swisher should become a no-brainier for Cashman following this year. No matter what happens, one thing’s for certain – the Yankees outfield will still be one of the best in baseball in 2013.
What do you think the Yankees should do with their outfield? Should it change, or stay the same? Sound off in the comments below…

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About Brian D.

A passionate 15-year old Yankees fan who has hopes of becoming an MLB journalist or broadcaster. He brings an optimistic, yet realistic take on the Yanks to Yankees Fans Unite, and essentially lives and breathes baseball.

Posted on September 26, 2012, in Personal Opinion and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 47 Comments.

  1. Nice article Brian. My starting OF next year. Granderson/Gardner/ and a combo of Ichiro,….Mustelier…Dickerson.

    Swish will cost to much. it’s not worth the price.

    • Haha, but Matt honestly Swisher is worth the money he’ll get. 3-4 years, $50 million, why not? The Yanks could certainly afford it, because if they wanted to, they’d go out and get Hamilton or Grienke if they were stupid enough.

      The guy puts up constant numbers every year. I hope he has a big postseason to change your mind, for your sake Matt. Hahaha

      • A. Did you hear Swish is going to ask for a Werth type deal. No thanks!

        B. If swish has a big post season it will be his first. check the numbers they are brutal.

        • He’s not going to get that money, that’s my point. Yeah, he can ask for all the money he wants, but no team would be stupid enough to give him a deal like that. I see as I said a deal like Damon got or what Posadas last deal looked like – 4 years, around 50 million. That’s what he deserves and what he’s worth.

          And yeah, I know he sucks in October, haha. But you never know

          • Brian…why aren’t you the GM of the Yankees?

            The 4 years and 50 million dollars for Swisher is a steal! If I’m Swisher, I would sign it. As a matter of fact, Swisher would be stupid to not sign for that much since that’s all he’s going to get.

            By the way, great article. As long as Gardner returns, I don’t care who else returns or goes. :)

            • My point exactly Delia. I’m shocked people are seriously considering Swisher’s Werth-like demands when talking about him returning. He’s not going to that on the market! Not even close! In fact, my 4 year 50 million deal may be stretching it a bit!

              Swish can demand whatever he wants, but people need to realize what he wants, is not what he’ll get.

        • Matt – I like your #1, no big $ for swish

          But #2 …I agree with the sabermetricians who believe the more playoffs the player plays in the more the stats will regress to the players mean…….Arod as example 2009.

          • What I’m confused about twasp, is why do you think Swish is too much money, but want Hamilton. He would set the Yankees back financially even further than Swish, and tho he’d be nice, there’s no guaruntee of health or of producing the numbers he’d be getting paid to do.

            • Brian – I just like to have the best players available on the Yankees. I like swisher , he has been consistent , but I’d rather use the money on Hamilton and Choo.

              Similar to 2009 when we opened the vault for AJ, cc and Tex. Let’s do it again with Josh and Choo .

              • twasp, I agree, I like Hamilton, Gardner, and Choo, with Ludwick as a 4th. If we don’t get Hamilton then I like Gardner, Bourn, and Choo, or Gardner, Grandy and Choo. I also like Hunter and Ichiro on a one year deal.

  2. Brian …my outfield next year…..

    Gardner, Hamilton, Choo

    • Hamilton is a no-no for me man. HE is not worth the price, as Matt says about Swisher. Hamilton would put on a laser show in 2013, but what about 2014? 2015? The dude will definitely be demanding a 4-5 year deal worth 90-100 million.

      • He’ll put on a laser show for at least 4 more years. Yankees can afford him if they dump Grandy and swisher.

        • I don’t know, I just don’t see it. I’d love to have him, but I don’t see the Yanks paying that much for him or that he’ll stay healthy, sober, and drug free in New York. I hate to bring it up, but we can’t ignore his past issues. One things for sure, he’ll make Citi Field look like Yankee Stadium in next years HR Derby

  3. Brian – we d have Hamilton and Cano – Two of 4 best players in the AL.

    We deserve it. We support the team $$$$$$

    • Twasp: I thnk you want Cashman to sign Hamilton just so you can complain about him making the deal when Hammy falls off a cliff. Haha.
      That’s a trainwreck looking for a place to happen. Anyone who wants them to stop handing out stupid contracts should steer clear of that guy.
      Cody Ross: no way!!! Platoon player that just isn’t that good. Sure he had a nice post season with the Giants, but nothing in his career line suggests that’s who he was.

      • Haha …… TWASP would love that…..CashHog signs Josh at big press conference , gives Josh new Yankee jersey . Says this number will some day be retired along with the legends.

        Next day, Hamilton is arrested for DUI. Found unconscious in Porsche, bat in his hand, alongside a 7th ave transvestite that looks like Brett Gardner.

  4. I think it needs some change. A starting OF of Gardner/BJ Upton/Granderson would be nice. But I think a run for BJ or Hamilton would be unrealistic due to the font office wanting to lower the payroll. Unless Swisher catches fire and puts up rediculous numbers in the postseason, I really see him parting ways with the pinstripes. I think Ross/Gardner/Grandy is a real possibility.

    • Curious…why BJ Upton? He’s woefully inconsistent.

      Ross isn’t coming to NY but maybe a trade for Denorfia could bring the Yankees the platoon right handed bat you’re looking for.

  5. Bj uptown is

    One frank short of a picnic .

    one clown short of a circus.

    Not the sharpest knife in the drawer

  6. I’m not saying BJ is a bad player but

    The lights on , but no one’s home

    His elevator doesn’t go to the top

    He’s a fry short of a happy meal

    • I cant disagree with you there. I would like to see us try to get younger and faster additions to the lineup, so we dont have to rely on going yard every night to win.

      • I think you had the right idea with Hamilton and Melky…no to Ham and yes to Mikey, Choo, Itchy with Brett in CF. If I could have a lock tight guaranty Ham would be a good boy in New York, I would go for a 4 year deal with him. Swisher and Granderson would have to go and Itchy also, if he demands a 10,000,000 deal for one year.
        Also, if all else fails, bring up Dickerson and maybe Milky Mason or Ronnier Mustelier for the other OF spot. In fact bring them up anyhow.
        Another OF could be; Brett–CF, Milky Mason–RF/LF and Milky in RF. Dickerson and Mustelier as back-up and R/L DH.
        If one thinks about it, it is all opinion! Money wise, one has to make choices with that in mind. There will be NO OPEN CHECK BOOK this coming year. You will have to wait until 2015. If they give out a big long contract it will be offset by cuts.
        My opinion, yours may be different, which is your right.

        • I’d be for bringing Melky back for a year as he might just be looking to prove he can play off the juice and would sign a one year deal, but there are likely several other clubs thinking the same thing. There’s also the possibility that some GM out there is willing to go multi-year and push out other suitors. Worth a try but I would t get my hopes up.

          • Bring back Melky and Cano’s average will drop 50 points. That’s a Train wreck waiting to happen.

            Wait no ..let’s do it… So I can dump on …every stalkers dream date ….CashMan.

          • Jimmy T…
            Melky should be given the same break as any other person. I’ll be damned if I can understand the need for drugs but, that’s the way some players/people feel, inadequate…one way or another!
            I think Melky would do a very good job for the Yankees. As you say, the price may be to much!

            • oh i’d give him a chance for a year @ 7-8M, i just wouldn’t gamble a multi-year deal on him. i think his maturity issues are a thing of the past, it’s the whole performing without the juice that i would wonder about.
              you can be sure the Yankees wouldn’t be the only ones in on the one-year-flyer deal… will be interesting to see exactly what he ends up getting this winter.

  7. will gardner be traded?

    • why wouldn’t you trade a two time FB award winner who is under team control, steals ~50 bags a year and gets on base about 36% of the time?

      of that’s right… you wouldn’t.

    • Jim, for the 10 millionth time, Brett Gardner is not going to get traded. Last season (before the play-offs) it seemed the Yankees were getting more runs in because Brett Gardner was in the lineup and they didn’t have to swing for the fences all the time. Without Gardner this year, the Yankees are constantly relying on the home run ball to get them ahead and win games. Gardner changes the way Yankees score runs all by himself and he’s the ONLY player that Joe Girardi thinks can manufacture his own run. Gardner’s important to the team. Besides, we’re debating about the wrong player. If the Yankees were to trade anyone…would it be Curtis Granderson? Would the Yankees re-sign Nick Swisher? Gardner has nothing to do with the off-season outfield drama, so it’s best to leave him out of it.

  8. Gardner should not be traded to bring in players who are more attractive. Yes he doesn’t have many women fans because he has no hair, is short , and his eyes are beady…….and too close together…but he can run.

  9. With the resurgence of Ichiro would the Yankees bring him back? He does put extra fanny’s in the seats so how much is he worth on a 1 year deal? He’s made 130 million in the states alone so would 5 million be fair?

    Swisher on a 1 year deal would be fine as well but he’ll be looking for more years then the Yankees will want to give him.

    So if Swisher leaves an Ichiro stays along with Granderson and Gardner the Yankees will need 2 right handed bats to complement them. I think Mustelier has earned an opportunity to be one of the bench outfielders. So this leave one open spot an I think Chris Denorfia of the Padres could fill that role. He is under contract for the next 2 years at a little over 2 million per.

    Also I think the Yankees should target Ryan Doumit as a trade acquisition. Doumint is versatile enough to play some outfield/first base along with catching. Doumit is on a contract for under 7 million total over the next 2 years.

    If trades could be made along with Ichiro signing a reasonable contract the Yankees could have a deep an interesting outfield of Ichiro, Gardner, Granderson, Mustelier, Denorfia, an occasionally Doumit. This plan keep open all spots long term for the young talent coming soon as no one is under contract for more then 2 years.

    An aside to both Doumit and Denorfia is that both are good pinch hitters over their careers with around 100 pa each.

    • I like Musteilier as well but aren’t you curious why they didnt give him a shot this year?

      • I am not curious at all. First to give him a shot this year would mean another roster move and the potential of losing an additional player to the rule V draft. Secondly when he slid into the outfield wall I thought he hurt his foot but it turns out he hurt his hand. It took him a good amount of time to fully come back but at the end of the season he started to hit like his old self.

        Mustelier should receive an invite to spring training with a good chance to make the team. I think he was always in the plans for next year if he hit well this year.

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