Pettitte and the outfield

Some rumors from NY Baseball Digest:

Our source down in Tampa have[sic] informed us that the Yankees are actively shopping Xavier Nady. Brian Cashman has apparently contacted the Cincinnati Reds about the availability of both Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang. […] Of this group, Yankees management feel[sic] that Damon, due to his leadoff capabilities, and Swisher, due to his versatility, are the most valuable to the team as currently constituted.

It makes sense that if the Yankees were to trade an outfielder, they would deal Nady. Nady is coming off of the best year of his career, and most projections say that he was a bit lucky. I am a bit skeptical of the Yankees’ interest in Arroyo and Harang however. Both are signed through 2011 with an AAV over $10 million. Plus, trading for a National League pitcher is always dicey, despite Arroyo’s modest success with the Red Sox.

Another rumor:

One interesting rumor being floated at the moment has Matsui heading to Seattle in a package for Jared Washburn. Ryan Rowland-Smith is also a pitcher that the Yankees have had interest in as well. With the chances of Andy Pettite[sic] returning becoming less and less likely by the day, Yankees management apparently is turning their attention to the trade market to obtain another starting pitcher.

This rumor makes even less sense. Washburn is mediocre and expensive; he’ll make $10.35 million in ’09. Sure, the Yankees would take Matsui’s contract off the books, but this trade is essentially saying that Matsui has no value as a hitter, which is absolutely not true. Matsui has always hit, and you could make the argument that if not for his wrist injury, he was on his way to becoming the Yankees’ 2nd best hitter.

Why trade away an asset for Washburn when you could just bring Pettitte back? Don’t the Yankees need depth in their lineup? I think they should just up Pettitte’s offer slightly so he and his agents can feel like they’ve “won” and bring him back.

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