The MLB Hot Stove League is still in its “Spring Training” phase, so to speak, and it has not heated up yet. However, that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been speculation about players coming to the Yankees. Hell, there’s always speculation about players coming to the Yankees. Instead of looking at why certain players make sense for the Yankees, I’ll look at why they do not make sense for the Yankees.
Let’s get to the biggest commodity on the market: left-fielder Matt Holliday. On paper, Matt Holliday seems like a perfect fit for the Yankees. He’s on the right side of thirty, he wants to come to New York, and he’s a flat out good hitter. However, there are some mitigating circumstances. The first is that Holliday will most assuredly want a long term contract. To me, that means at least five years. If Holliday were a centerfielder, I would say bringing him in would be a no brainer. Matty H, however, plays left field, which is a non-premium position. The Yankees already have two of the other three corners–first and third–locked in for a long time. So if Holliday came to the Yankees, it would be 5-8 years of first, third, and left being locked up. I don’t like that at all.
Next, the big pitching prize of the off-season, John Lackey. The biggest reason I don’t want him on the Yankees is, again, because of the length and money he’d want. Lackey would also want a long term, big money deal, similar to that of current Yankee A.J. Burnett. While I wanted the Yankees to sign A.J., that big of a deal was a little iffy. Giving one to Lackey would not be a good idea. Lackey is also on the wrong side of thirty and he’s had arm issues each of the last two seasons. He would also block a rotation spot from either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, assuming Andy Pettitte is retained. The only way the Yankees should consider pursuing Lackey is if Pettitte is not brought back. Pass.
Switching back to left field, we take a look at the current pride of Canadian baseball, Jason Bay. Bay, like Lackey, is on the wrong side of thirty and is very unlikely to repeat what he did in 2009. If the Yankees were to sign Bay, they would be paying lot’s of money for his decline years. Bay’s defense also leaves a whole lot to be desired. No thank you.
Moving over, we come to Curtis Granderson,, who’s been made available for trade by the Detroit Tigers. Like every candidate, if the price is right, Granderson makes a little sense. That price, though, would likely be too high. Regardless of that, Granderson has essentially become a platoon player with his dismal numbers against left-handers in the last few years. The biggest reason that he doesn’t fit, though, is because he would have to be traded for. Unless the price is Swisher-trade low, the Yankees should go for it. However, the price is unlikely to be that low. Nope.
Though he’s been linked more closely to the Mets, there have been rumblings of Chone Figgins being linked to the Yankees. There is just so much wrong with this. First of all, Figgins is not “versatile” like the mainstream media likes to say he is. Figgins is a third baseman through and through at this point. He’s played just 18 games away from third since the beginning of 2008. There is talk of him moving back to left field, but can he even do that anymore? Wouldn’t he want to go somewhere where he could play third like he’s used to? Also, even if he did move to left, a sub .400 SLG–which is what is Figgins’ career mark–does not play well in left field. No, no, no, no. One thousand times…NO.