Yanks must bring in Matt Holliday, ship out Robinson Cano & Phil Hughes
Really, the title says it all. Madden’s idea: trade for a “commodity they seemingly don’t need” in an effort “to get younger in the outfield.” That’s right, the trade would be Robinson Cano and Phil Hughes for Matt Holliday. The Yankees would then give Holliday a monster extension and sign Orlando Hudson.
There are so many things wrong with that idea, I don’t know where to begin.
First, Madden already admits earlier in the article that the Yankees need starting pitching. So why would they trade Hughes, a premium talent who is still cost controlled with his prime years ahead of them?
Madden then says the Yankees need to get younger. So also why trade Cano, a young player who is just entering his prime?
The Yankees do NOT have a need in the outfield, but making this trade would create a need at second base and worsen their need at starting pitcher. Not to mention, despite his .405 OBP on the road, Holliday is partially a product of Coors Field. Don’t get me wrong: he’s a good player. He’s just not a great player and a trade would require the Yankees to pay him market value. Why not just wait a year and sign him as a free agent then, after Matsui and Damon come off the books?
As for Hudson, he is no longer the defensive player he once was and is on the downside of his career. He’s exactly the type of player the Yankees are trying to get away from.
It gets better though:
Otherwise, the Yankees go into the offseason with two significant holes to fill – first base and center field. If they want to be foolish, they could fill first base by throwing $100 million at Boras client Mark Teixeira.
But it wouldn’t be foolish to give that same money to Boras client Matt Holliday? Teixeira is a proven AL player. He’s a better hitter than Holliday. He’s a better defender. He’s the same age. If he’ll sign for $100 million, the Yankees will do it without blinking.
But with Jorge Posada’s throwing ability uncertain, and first base his likely destination by the end of his contract in 2011, they would probably be advised to expedite that process this spring. If it’s determined that Posada can catch, then first base will have to be addressed from the outside – free agent Kevin Millar or a trade for Texas’ Hank Blalock are two options – but it would be a lot easier for the Yankees to have Posada concentrate on first base and bring in a veteran free agent such as switch-hitter Gregg Zaun to help Jose Molina with the catching.
So Posada should immediately be made a first basemen because he might end up there anyways in 2011 and it would be “easier”? Posada’s value is tied into his ability to catch. As a DH or a first baseman, he’s a decent hitter. As a catcher, he’s a GREAT hitter. Bringing in defensively challenged and offensively inferior Greg Zaun does not make this any better. Kevin Millar? Wouldn’t the Yankees just be better off keeping Giambi? Oh, wait:
In any case, the Yankees should not be fooled into bringing Jason Giambi back at a discount because of his power numbers. Rather, it’s that .213 average with runners in scoring position that should dictate saying goodbye to Giambi.
Wait – it’s not the fact that he’s injury prone or that he plays defense like he’s wearing cement shoes and throwing with the wrong arm? Someone needs to explain sample sizes to you. Hitting with runners in scoring position is completely a product of luck and it fluctuates from year to year. Giambi is just as likely to hit over .300 with RISP than he is to repeat his performance this year. But guess what we can predict? That Giambi will hit a lot more homeruns and draw a ton more walks than Kevin Millar.
For center field, the Yankees should look to the Kansas City Royals, who are said to be amenable to dealing Brooklyn native David DeJesus for young pitching. Cashman has been loathe to give up any of his young pitchers, but after last year’s setbacks for almost all of his young arms, impatient Yankee ownership may be inclined to push them this winter. And while DeJesus is not a great center fielder, he’s more than adequate out there and led the majors in batting with runners in scoring position (.419) – something the Yankees sure could have used more of in ’08.
Wow. So the Yankees should trade away MORE of their young pitching – something that fills their two primary needs, pitching and youth – to acquire a mediocre center fielder because a disproportionate number of his hits happened to come when men were on base? I would rather just play Brett Gardner who is pretty much a younger version of David DeJesus. But that’s just me.
Madden goes on to suggest Derek Lowe and Oliver Perez, two more Boras clients who he admits they’d have to overpay for. But that’s okay, because the Yankees “seem to be willing to pay crazy money for middle-of-the-rotation starters this winter.” They do? Based on what? Your suggestions? I think the Yankees have learned their lesson signing mediocre starters from the NL. At least, I sure hope so.