Desperate for outfield help, the Yankees have been talking with free agent Richard Hidalgo and plan to work him out shortly at their Tampa complex. “Richard is definitely intrigued,” Chris Leibel, one of Hidalgo’s representatives, said Friday.
Hidalgo, 30, signed a minor-league deal with the Orioles on Feb. 26 but spent just four days in camp before leaving to tend to his ill wife. He never returned, realizing that his chances of playing every day were not good, and was released March 7.
Many might not realize this, but, Hidalgo is a very good defender in RF. He’s just as good as Jose Guillen. And, much better than guys like Jermaine Dye and Bobby Abreu.
How would this transfer to LF, especially in Yankee Stadium? It’s anyone’s guess. But, he would probably be better in LF (defensively) than Bernie Williams, Melky Cabrera – and Miguel Cairo. (Although I doubt he would be better than Bubba Crosby in LF with the glove.)
As a hitter, Hidalgo has been very bad the last two seasons. The four seasons before that were a mixed bag – two very good years, one average, and one terrible. If you look at the last four years, it’s three very bad and one pretty good.
In some seasons, although not always, he has hit well against LHP. Maybe he could platoon with Bubba Crosby in LF?
On the whole, while I am not very excited about picking up Hidalgo, he would be a better player to have on the big league roster than Kevin Reese. And, once (if?) Sheffield returns, the Yankees could play Crosby in LF and Hidalgo in RF as late-defensive-subs and that would really help the team in the field.