Look at the contracts the San Francisco Giants have on the books. Insane right? Is there a single good player who was actually signed as a veteran? If they didn’t have some good young pitchers, like Lincecum and Cain, they’d be completely hopeless. How does GM Brian Sabean still have his job? I’ll go on record right now: not only could I do a better job, I’d even be willing to do it for less than what Sabean makes.
Anyways, River Ave Blues looked at the pros and cons of making a run at acquiring Aaron Rowand to play centerfield. Initially this seems like a good idea; I really wanted the Yankees to get Rowand a couple years back when he was with the White Sox. I still remember a series where we lost every game by a run or two thanks to Rowand’s defense.
However, if you look at Rowand’s recent production, his contract is killer (perhaps not the albatross that is the Zito contract, but still pretty bad). He had an OPS+ below 100 last year and is still signed for another 4 years and $52 million.
RAB suggests maybe the Yankees could get him for a B prospect and cash. The Giants would be crazy not to jump on that. I think it would have to be a B prospect for Rowand and cash if the Yankees are going to do it. I know the Yankees never seem to get cash back in deals, but Rowand just isn’t worth that much.
So yeah, a Gardner/Rowand platoon would be pretty decent, but it hardly seems worth it.
A better trade could be for outfielder Randy Winn. Maybe he’s not the same level of defender that Rowand is, but over his career he has been a better hitter, consistently posting OPS+s over 100. He is on the book for 1 more year at $8.25 million. That is probably a little high, but the Yanks could stomach it for a one year commitment and since the Giants just need to get rid of expensive veterans they probably wouldn’t ask for much in return.
I’m still in favor of Gardner in centerfield for 2009, but it never hurts to explore the options.