Joel Sherman, in the Post, talks about the reconstruction of the Yankees for next season.
One of the big ticket items there is “Who’s on first?”
There’s no way that I would bring back Giambi next season – even if he gives the Yankees a discount on a one-year deal (after the Yankees buy-out his 2009 option).
Giambi will be 38-years old next season. He’s a defensive liability. And, other than having a hot bat in May and June this season, he’s been a bust with the bat this year. Here are his monthly splits, with August being through yesterday:
Month G PA R 2B HR RBI SO April 23 92 13 3 5 13 11 May 22 92 12 6 6 14 14 June 27 100 16 3 6 19 18 July 21 80 7 1 3 16 18 August 26 94 8 0 7 21 25 Month G PA BA OBP SLG April 23 92 .164 .315 .411 May 22 92 .315 .446 .644 June 27 100 .305 .430 .585 July 21 80 .234 .375 .391 August 26 94 .228 .319 .494
Now, I know that many, many, Yankees fans want to see New York make a run at free agent Mark Teixeira this off-season – to have him play first for the team in 2009 (and beyond). I don’t question the greatness of Teixeira. He gets on base, hits for power, is great with the glove, and is somewhat young. But, the thought of having another player on the Yankees with a long-term deal paying him in excess of $20 million a year just makes me sick. The Yankees need to get away from those types of contracts.
The last time the Yankees had a need at first – due to an aging former-star leaving the team – they went out and made a trade. You remember that one, right?
On December 7, 1995, New York sent Russ Davis and Sterling Hitchcock to the Seattle Mariners for Jim Mecir, Jeff Nelson, and some guy named Tino Martinez.
I would love to see the Yankees make a move like this again. In his feature, Joel Sherman suggests a Phil Hughes for Joey Votto type deal. I’m not sure, as much as they need pitching, that the Reds would deal Votto. But, there are other young guys that the Yankees could target to play first base for them, next season.
These players include: James Loney of the Dodgers, Adam LaRoche of the Pirates, and Chris Davis of the Rangers. Or, the Yankees could look at some other young players, from other teams, who could be converted to first base. These players include: Kevin Kouzmanoff of the Padres, Corey Hart of the Brewers, and Mark Teahen of the Royals.
From these players mentioned, Chris Davis of the Rangers excites me the most. He’ll only be 23-years old next season. He bats left-handed. He’s good around the bag at first – as he’s a converted third baseman. And, he’s got a great track record of hitting. I know that he’s a local boy for the Rangers – as he was born in Texas. And, when you have a local kid with star potential, those are hard to trade. But, the Rangers need pitching – and pitching prospects.
If I’m the Yankees, I would offer the Rangers Ian Kennedy, Zach McAllister, and Brian Bruney in exchange for Davis. And, if that didn’t work, I would then offer them Phil Hughes, George Kontos and Jose Veras.
If the Rangers reject those offers, then I would start talking to the Dodgers about a Hughes for Loney deal – straight up.
And, if L.A. was not interested, then I would start to target Adam LaRoche and Kevin Kouzmanoff – offering some package along the lines of Ian Kennedy, Alfredo Aceves, and a relief pitcher from the bin of Brian Bruney, Jose Veras and Edwar Ramirez.
And, if that failed, I would start talking to the Royals about Mark Teahen in exchange for Ian Kennedy, Phil Coke and Brian Bruney. Next, I would start talking to the Brewers about Corey Hart – just to see if he would be available.
I wonder if the Yankees would take this same approach?