• Cashman: Yanks Have All The Pieces In Place

    Posted by on June 30th, 2009 · Comments (12)

    Via Sam Borden

    With the Yankees, it’s different. They have struggled as well this season (and are actually further from first place than the Mets right now), yet their needs are minimal. About an hour after Manuel delivered his (not-so-veiled) plea, Yankees GM Brian Cashman sat in the visitors’ dugout at Citi Field [Sunday] and turned questions about potential trades into a discussion of the players already on his roster.

    “We’ve got the pieces in place,” he said.

    Does that mean he isn’t interested in a trade?

    “I wouldn’t say.”

    Is he actively monitoring the trade market?

    “Of course. This is the busy season.”

    These were typical Cashman riposts but there are no glaring gaps for him to fill as the July 31 trade deadline draws closer. The Yankees could afford to add a bullpen arm, if one were available, to firm up their eighth inning situation, and names like Colorado closer Huston Street have been floating around for weeks.

    Call me crazy – and I know that some will! – but, in addition to a reliable and proven arm in the pen, I would love to see the Yankees acquire someone to play right field and provide some consistent offensive contribution along with some above-average defense. This would allow Joe Girardi to use Nick Swisher as a back-up to Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui (and, when needed, Mark Teixeira). And, then, General Joe could use Melky Cabrera to spell Brett Gardner against tough lefties and use him as a defensive caddy for whomever plays left field.

    Don’t get me wrong. I know that Swisher works counts and gets walks. And, when he’s hot, Swisher can hit the ball out of the park. But, when he’s cold, he’s beyond ice cold. And, at times, Swisher takes some curious routes on fly balls. Basically, when he’s bad, the Swish Hawk is “T-Long Like.”

    At the worst, maybe it would make sense for the Yankees to pick up a player like the Rockies Seth Smith – assuming they could get him for a couple of Grade B- or C+ pitching prospects – only to have another option in right field, instead of just Swisher or Cabrera – if needed?

    Comments on Cashman: Yanks Have All The Pieces In Place

    1. yagottagotomo1
      June 30th, 2009 | 12:34 am

      I think Swisher is fine. Swisher has had an OPS+ of 125 or greater in 3 of the last 4 years (including this one). He is an everyday player. That being said, I agree that they are one bench bat short- I dont think it is a must have type of thing, but it would be nice to have. However, Smith is a lefty bat that does not hit lefties at all. I would love to see them bring in a righty bat who can hit lefties. Worst case, Shelley Duncan could get another shot at that role.

    2. June 30th, 2009 | 1:08 am

      […] Matsui against tough lefties and buy some days or half-days off for the other outfielders? Perhaps. Steve Lombardi wants a more consistent alternative to Nick Swisher. Says him: Don’t get me wrong. I know that […]

    3. thenewguy
      June 30th, 2009 | 1:37 am

      I’m with yagottagotomo on this. Swisher has proven that he is an everyday player, even if you don’t seem to recognize it. When you say that “when he’s cold, he’s beyond ice cold,” you mean that “when he’s cold, he still gets on base regularly because he walks so much.” A few miscues in RF and your loathing of Swisher do not constitute enough to get a new RF. I think they could use a professional back-up bat off the bench, but that’s it offensively.

    4. Pat F
      June 30th, 2009 | 8:19 am

      at 26 years of age and the league minimum, seth smith is not going to come cheap in terms of prospects.

      important about swisher is the home/road splits this year. in 162 road plate apperances, he’s .279/.373/.625 with 11 jams and 32 rbi. he’s not been good at home, and you’d like that to change, and it probably will because the sample size is so small (as it may very well with the insane road numbers as well). but whatever the reason, considering most of the team is trending so much better at home, the fact that swisher has been such a monster on the road has been big for us.

    5. bfriley76
      June 30th, 2009 | 8:48 am

      Anyone think it may be time to give Shelly another look? Even as a bat off the bench or someone to spell Matsui/Damon against Lefties? I know he wasn’t terribly impressive in his last stint up here, but it’s hard to ignore 21 HRs and a .976 OPS. He’s, at least, earned another look, don’t you think?

      And yes…Swisher is fine as an everyday OF.

    6. Raf
      June 30th, 2009 | 8:52 am

      bfriley76 wrote:

      He’s, at least, earned another look, don’t you think?

      Yes, especially in the context of his shoulder issues when he was in NY the last time around

    7. YankCrank
      June 30th, 2009 | 9:16 am

      Hey Steve, i’ll agree with you that another outfield bat would be nice but disagree with his usage. I understand you don’t like Swish, and you’re very much entitled to your opinion, but the 127 OPS+ is pretty damn good and proves that even though he goes through cold streaks with putting the bat on the ball, he’s still at all times a productive player. Even when he appears cold, he still gets on base. However, i’ll agree that another outfield option would be nice.

      If Damon or Melky went down with an injury, we’d be stuck with very little flexibility out there. I’d be all for giving Shelley a chance to come off the bench to pinch hit, but the only problem is who would he hit for? In other words, who in the lineup is he a better hitter than?

    8. Jake1
      June 30th, 2009 | 9:17 am

      Swisher should not be playing 7 days a week. That much is obvious. How about Dye in RF?

    9. YankCrank
      June 30th, 2009 | 9:37 am

      Swisher should not be playing 7 days a week. That much is obvious.

      Would you mind elaborating on that a bit, or why this “obvious” notion has escaped most of us…including the Yankees?

    10. Corey
      June 30th, 2009 | 9:40 am

      personally i’d rather give duncan or rodriguez a shot as the bat off the bench first, and if that doesnt work try then you can try to aquire a bench bat. You still have all of july to play with the roster before you have to make a move.

    11. YankCrank
      June 30th, 2009 | 9:49 am

      How about Dye in RF?

      Dye is a nice player, but why would we take on his $11.5 million salary and 2010 mutual option to replace Swisher when he’s not that much better than him? They strike out pretty much at the same rate, their OPS is only 47 points apart and OBP are striking similar, they both have power with Swish at 14 HR and Dye at 18 but Dye plays a far worst defensive RF with a UZR/150 of -11 where Swisher is at a +1.2.

      It would be nice to have Dye, but it seems like you’re campaigning for him (if I follow you correctly, correct me if i’m wrong) because he would be an upgrade on Swish where, if you consider the close-to equal offensive output to Swish’s far superior defense, Dye wouldn’t really be much of an upgrade. Put all that money Dye’s owed into it, and i’d rather save the money and give Shelley a chance.

    12. Corey
      June 30th, 2009 | 10:02 am

      YankCrank wrote:

      Put all that money Dye’s owed into it, and i’d rather save the money and give Shelley a chance.

      at the very least you have a month to try shelley out to see if you can save money and prospects. if that doesnt work out then make a move.

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