Results tagged ‘ Brett Gardner ’
Yes, I went there. Now you’ll be hearing John Sterling in your head the rest of the day. You’re welcome.
Anyway, the newest Yankee got on the horn with the Associated Press‘ Janie McCauley out in the Bay Area, where Randy Winn still calls home. But soon enough it will be New York, and Winn said that he is looking forward to getting started with the Bombers in Spring Training.
“They’re the World Series champions from last year and I have a chance to
compete and get some playing time,” Winn said. “I
thought it was a great fit, being a versatile guy who can play all three
outfield positions and can hit anywhere in the lineup.”
The AP story brings up an interesting point – not only will Winn be challenging Brett Gardner for playing time, but he can also serve as a mentor for the speedster. For all the hand-wringing that Winn isn’t Johnny Damon, he has still compiled a serviceable big league career and should be able to help the Yankees as at least the fourth outfielder.
Hey, speaking of Winn and former Giants, Rich Aurilia isn’t ready to retire and wants to play with his buddy on the Yankees — or so he tells Andrew Baggarly. What say you, fans?
Back from a brief mid-winter respite wandering the streets of New York, and still there has been almost no movement on the Johnny Damon front.
Wednesday’s news brings us this article from Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record, who relays a note from a friend of Damon’s as saying that the outfielder has actually considered retirement with no offers trickling in. Here’s the exact blurb:
A friend of Damon’s recently said, “Johnny is completely in the family mode right now” and has considered that option. It’s still hard to believe that, in the wake of a 24-home run campaign in 2009, and hitting .364 against the Phillies in the Series, Damon actually would quit.
Give him credit for not panicking. In a text message to the New York Times on Tuesday, Damon wrote: “I’m sure things will work out somewhere.” Chances are, however, he never thought he’d be in this kind of predicament so late in the off-season.
The thought is that the Yankees only have about $2 million remaining to address their needs, so Damon – who made $13 million in ’09 and, via Scott Boras, was seeking the same for 2010 – may have overplayed his hand. Our Mark Bowman blogged that the Braves seem an unlikely fit, and Jason Beck notes the Tigers also haven’t expressed interest in Damon.
As this continues to drag on toward Spring Training, perhaps Damon will be forced to buckle at some point and accept far less than he’d ever thought would be waiting for him after a career year. The Yankees would love to have him back, so don’t rule them out, but only at their price.
If not, as I wrote yesterday in the Inbox, I really do believe the Yankees would be just fine with Brett Gardner in left field. Put it this way – they wouldn’t miss the playoffs because of it.
It’s worth noting that Damon also quietly considered retirement after the ’07 season, when his injuries made it miserable and painful to play, but those maladies had softened in the two years that followed. Hey, there is always the wrestling ring if Damon chooses that route.
Reposting this from the MLB.com Hot Stove Blog:
Despite heavy fan speculation to the contrary, the Yankees are
stressing the point that they will not get involved with a bid for a
big ticket left fielder.
“No chance on Matt Holliday, no chance
on Jason Bay,” a Yankees official told the New York Daily News on
Monday. “Zero. None. Underline it.”
To take the point further,
the Yankees’ budget for left field is so tight, the newspaper reports
that they would not have matched the offer the Giants made for Mark
DeRosa – $12 million over two years. Yankees general manager Brian
Cashman told MLB.com on Monday that even Xavier Nady, coming off Tommy
John surgery, is asking too much for New York’s budget.
same appears true for veteran Jermaine Dye, and Johnny Damon has
already acknowledged that he does not fit into the Yankees’ payroll
If the season started today, the Yankees would be
preparing to go with Brett Gardner and Jamie Hoffmann in left field.
The Daily News suggests that the Yankees are also considering cheaper
free agent options like Reed Johnson or Jerry Hairston, Jr. to add to
“There’s plenty of time,” the official told the
newspaper. “There’s no hurry. And there are a ton of outfielders out
there. We are just tweaking at this point. We’ll sign an outfielder
between now and spring training.”
I answered a question about Xavier Nady in today’s Inbox as follows:
Why wouldn’t the Yankees look at Xavier Nady for left field? They
would get a right-handed bat with good power who can handle New York.
Is his injury still a factor or is he looking for more than the Yankees
want to pay?
– Pete N., Syracuse N.Y.
Right now, it appears the hold-up would be more financial than
physical. General manager Brian Cashman said on Monday that Nady’s
price is above the Yankees’ current budget, which explains why they
have not been seriously linked to him while some other clubs have.
Remembering that Scott Boras is Nady’s agent and we all know where that’s taking them in the Johnny Damon situation, it makes sense that the Yankees are playing the ‘not interested’ card. After all, you’re looking at a position player who is coming off his second Tommy John surgery. That’s a big question mark and if the dollar signs are large as well, it might not be a match.
So where are the Yankees going to head from here? It’s looking more and more like Mark DeRosa is off the table, taking a physical with the Giants, and I just don’t know if all that Jermaine Dye talk was serious.
So… Brett Gardner and Jamie Hoffman, eh? As of Dec. 28, that’s where it is. Stay tuned.
Brian Cashman spent more than 20 minutes on a conference call with the Yankees’ beat reporters this evening, beginning by discussing Javier Vazquez – the first player traded for twice by the Bombers since Jeff Nelson, for whatever that’s worth. Here are the short hops on the state of the Yankees updates, as we summarize the new landscape:
No second half thoughts: Cashman said that Vazquez’s second half of ’04 was not a major concern as the Yankees pulled the trigger on this trade.
“He’s a tremendous pitcher that has a long career of success and durability,” Cashman said. “Really, the second half of ’04 – which was poor – cannot erase the long success that he’s had as a Major League pitcher, both in the American and National Leagues.
“When you sit down and listen to the scouts and have them describe his abilities, and look at his production and how he’s performed, he is one of the better pitchers in the game. We look forward to having him join our staff.”
Back end rotation ripple: Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes will now be in competition for the fifth spot in the rotation, “and whoever loses that competition either goes to the bullpen or goes to Triple-A.” Don’t forget, Alfredo Aceves, Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre have to be considered in that mix too. Toss Zach McAllister and Ivan Nova in as well.
“The main focus of what we’ve done today was to solidify, strengthen
and deepen our rotation,” Cashman said. “We went with a three-man staff
as we went for the jugular in the World Series. This staff, if it can
stay healthy, is a lot better equipped right now as we move forward to
not be in a position to have to give the ball on short rest to someone
Dollars and sense for left field: Last winter was “once in a lifetime” in terms of budget. The Yankees have Brett Gardner and Jamie Hoffmann right now to play left field, in what Cashman called “an evolving situation.” They could upgrade (of course … and I’d be very surprised if Gardner is actually the Opening Day left fielder at Fenway Park), but Cashman downplayed the idea of getting a big-dollar free agent like Jason Bay or Matt Holliday.
“I will continue to look at any remaining piece, but it won’t be a big
piece,” Cashman said. “Any speculation about some high-end player who has big ability
and dollars attached on a large scale would be inappropriate.”
It sounds a lot like even Johnny Damon’s offer (two years, $20 million) could be too much. What about the Yankees’ offer of two years and $14 million for Damon? Does Scott Boras dare let his client take a pay cut of $6 million per year to play where it seems like he wants to be?
If not, maybe Mark DeRosa fits? Jermaine Dye’s name was out there in reports too. By the way, the Yankees traded for Curtis Granderson to play center field, so don’t get too creative penciling Gardner into center.
“Pitching, pitching, pitching, and then left field”: Remember that quote from the Winter Meetings? You know, before the Yankees traded for Granderson (OK, and to be fair, before they re-signed Andy Pettitte too). Here’s a little more on the rationale for the Vazquez trade, and why it was OK to subtract Melky Cabrera.
“Trying to strengthen the rotation with quality pitching is harder to do than trying to find someone to play left field,” Cashman said. “Left field is an important portion of the team, but the pitching market is a lot thinner. There might be a lot of choices out there, but the amount of quality choices out there is certainly a smaller list on the pitching front.”
Turning the power down: I was among those who wondered what Granderson will do in Yankee Stadium, given that he hit 30 homers last year playing half his games in Comerica Park, not nearly the launching pad he’ll call home in the Bronx. Turns out, the GM isn’t looking for a whole lot more in terms of power production from the Grandyman.
“Curtis Granderson is not going to hit 40 home runs here,” Cashman said. “He’s going to be someone who’s going to track fly balls down in the outfield for us, he’s going to hit anywhere from 20 to 30 home runs. We know he’s got some power from the left side for us. He’s going to provide solid defense and great athleticism on the basepaths, and complement the rest of his teammates around him.”
Teams interested in a speedy, pure centerfielder with a good glove have
been calling the Yankees about Brett Gardner, who has essentially
become an expendable piece with the club’s acquisition of Curtis
Granderson in a three-team trade finalized on Wednesday.
won the Opening Day job in center field with the Yankees in 2009 but
was a bench piece for most of the year, missing a month due to injury.
The White Sox and the Royals have been among the clubs interested in
Gardner, according to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times.
If the season started today, Melky Cabrera would be in left field, Granderson in center field, Nick Swisher in right field, and Gardner would be an option off the bench. But it looks like the Yankees are going to keep plugging to add either Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui to that mix as well.
There are few things in sports today as automatic as seeing Mariano Rivera holding a baseball in the bottom of the ninth inning, with two outs and nobody on base. Thanks for coming, arrive home safely. Right?
Wrong. Mike Sweeney launched a double that one-hopped the wall in right-center field, eluding the racing grasp of Brett Gardner, and Ichiro Suzuki slugged a Rivera cutter into the right field seats to celebrate his second walk-off hit in as many games. Rivera threw two pitches, both were hit very hard, and the Yankees lost.
“I wish I could bring it back and make my pitches, but it’s done,” Rivera said. “I just have to move forward.”
That was typical Mo cool, looking at it in the matter-of-fact viewpoint that can only be obtained by having been there and done it in the biggest spots baseball can present. But Rivera was very forthcoming when asked if this had been the best run of his life, a career-high string of 36 consecutive save opportunities converted until the Mariners celebrated last night.
“I wouldn’t say that,” Rivera said. “I know the numbers maybe show that,
but it would be impossible for me to say that. I’m throwing whatever
I’m throwing right now. Before, I used to throw harder. It’s totally
different. Am I more mature? Yes. But not strong like back then,
Still, Rivera had allowed one run in his last 33 innings of work. That’s nothing to sniff at.
“That’s a pretty incredible feat,” Johnny Damon said. “Hopefully this means he’s not going to give up another run until March.”
Our buddy Steve Lombardi of WasWatching.com chips in with the following stat — Ichiro joins Marco Scutaro, Bill Mueller, and Bill Selby as the only batters to
hit a regular season, bottom of the 9th inning, walk-off homerun off
in the 11th inning of a tie game. Suzuki, Scutaro, Mueller and Selby
all did it in the ninth, with their team trailing. Suzuki, Scutaro, and Selby all did it after two-outs. Mueller did it after one out. Links to the games can be found here.
Pitching: A.J. Burnett (10-5, 3.71)
Pitching: Brett Tomko (1-2, 5.23)
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE: Isn’t it funny that Brett Tomko can resurface as a starting pitcher exactly as the Yankees open a three-game series against the A’s, having departed saying how he was happy to be leaving because it never seemed like he got a chance in New York? Well, now he gets his opportunity here to pull off an upset. Said Joe Girardi: “We know Brett and Brett knows us.” …
With Hideki Matsui out until at least tomorrow after having his left knee drained, Derek Jeter got to jump in the lineup as the designated hitter. Good timing, considering his nearly unpublicized pursuit of Luis Aparicio’s record for hits as a shortstop concluded Sunday. …
The Yankees are anxious to see how Matsui responds to treatment and Girardi said he will not use him at all on Monday. …
A couple of other small items — the name Russ Ortiz did come up briefly in discussions about helping the big league team, but never seriously. Ortiz elected free agency from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in hopes of latching on with a playoff contender that would call him up. Brett Gardner is set to see a doctor on Wednesday about his left thumb and wouldn’t rejoin the big league team until September.
Gardner injured the thumb while sliding into second base in the first inning of Saturday’s 6-4 loss to the A’s, catching it on the base (see accompanying photo). While it bothered him throwing, he felt little while hitting – he drove in New York’s first run with an RBI triple after the injury. X-rays taken after the game revealed the fracture.
Melky Cabrera will continue as the Yankees’ starting centerfielder, and now they have to consider if promoting Austin Jackson from Triple-A is the move to make (especially if they can’t offer him regular playing time).
“It’s not something that we’ve talked about at this point,” Joe Girardi said. “Obviously, the guy that probably comes up is not going to be an everyday player. To bring up a guy like Austin Jackson and sit him on the bench right now, I’m not sure how much sense that would make. We’re going to talk about it.”
Johnny Damon can play center field in a pinch and Nick Swisher has done it before, but the Yankees don’t want to see that on a regular basis. For the moment, Jonathan Albaladejo is here. The Yankees thought they might need some extra help in the bullpen behind Sergio Mitre.
The Yankees lost in the bottom of the ninth inning last night when, with Brett Gardner at third base representing the tying run, Robinson Cano hit into a 6-4-3 double play that erased Alex Rodriguez at second base.
Within seconds, my e-mail was flooded with fans complaining that Joe Girardi hadn’t put A-Rod in motion on that play, with one calling it “a Little League mistake.” WFAN was still crowing about it this morning when I crossed the George Washington Bridge (which, by the way, was a monsoon situation).
So here’s Girardi’s explanation of the play:
“We had talked about it. It’s kind of a double-edged sword. You figure he can hit into a line drive and you get doubled up. then you have Cano and Posada, two pretty good RBI guys, and you lose the chance for Posada to hit. Even though Robbie’s not a huge pull hitter, you close that hole up if he steals, and then they play the infield in. There’s a lot of different things that you have. Al is physically probably not running as well as he was last year, but he’s fairly close. If we got a 3-2 situation, am I saying that I’d hold him up? I’m not saying that. But we talk about it. (Mike) MacDougal is quicker than he used to be to home plate. There’s a lot of factors that went into it.”