Holy Rice-A-Roni Batman!
Via Anthony McCarron -
The Yankees viewed free agent Mark DeRosa as potential help in left field and an unbeatable super-utility option. But DeRosa, a Bergen Catholic product, agreed to a preliminary two-year deal with the San Francisco Giants Monday night, The Associated Press reported. The agreement is to be announced today.
But missing out on DeRosa does not mean the Yankees will seek an expensive option such as Matt Holliday or Jason Bay for their left-field opening, one Yankee official said before the deal was made. “No chance on Matt Holliday, no chance on Jason Bay,” the official said. “Zero. None. Underline it.”
The Yankees are thinking of much cheaper free agent options – former Blue Jay and Cub Reed Johnson, Jerry Hairston Jr. from last season’s team or other players for left field, the official said. Brett Gardner could have a chance to compete for a role there. They will also troll the trade market.
Of course, Yankee GM Brian Cashman once said that he was comfortable with Bubba Crosby being the team’s starting center fielder – mere weeks before the Yankees gave Johnny Damon $52 million over four years to play there instead. The Yankees certainly could afford to stretch their self-imposed budget for a big name, but they also believe that next year’s free agent class – hello, Carl Crawford! – is much more attractive, so they are saving cash for that.
Cashman is probably thinking “We won in ’96 with Gerald Williams and Tim Raines in left. We won in ’98, big time, with Chad Curtis out there. And, we won in ’99 with Chad Curtis and Ricky Ledee playing left field. So, why do I have to sweat who plays left in 2010?” That said, expect an outfield of Gardner, Granderson and Swisher this coming season – along with a fourth guy TBD…like Reed Johnson or Jermaine Dye…working into the mix to spell Gardner against lefties.