The Yankees acquired OF Curtis Granderson yesterday in the 3-team deal. Granderson’s addition that as of now they have four outfielders: Granderson, Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner, and Melky Cabrera. In the perfect world, this is what the Yankees should do.
First of all, they should tell Curtis Granderson that he is playing left field. Brett Gardner is the superior fielder here. Brett Gardner‘s UZR/150 in centerfield last year was over 15, while Granderson’s last year was only 1.9. Leave Nick Swisher in right field for now.
This fielding alignment means two things: 1) Melky Cabrera is left without a position and 2) a DH will be needed.
First of all, I believe that the best move for them to make right now is to trade Melky Cabrera. Cabrera will likely be making upwards of $2 million dollars. Not only would that be being paid to a back-up outfield, it would be to an outfielder with a good amount of trade value. I think it would be best for them to send him packing for a collection of prospects.
They also have room for a DH. I think that they should go with the Billy Beane DH method. Go with an older, yet productive guy that can no longer field a position well. This does not mean Hideki Matsui though; with his knee issues, stay away.
I have two or three options for this position. One would be Nick Johnson. He still has his very high OBP, and could possibly be in line for a power increase after hitting only 8 home runs last year, after missing most of the previous two seasons. His career high was 23 in 2006. A few teams after after him, so I would take the risk and offer him a 2-year deal.
Another could be Adam Dunn. I have no idea if the Nationals are shopping him, but he would be a good pickup. The Nationals and Yankees have a good relationship, and they might be tempted to drop his salary.
One more option…maybe. The Yankees should look into Carlos Delgado. After returning from his injury last year he had a .914 OPS, after a .871 with 38 home runs the year before. He had no real history of injuries, unlike Matsui, so he could be worth a 1-year deal.
I think the Yankees should pass on Johnny Damon. It seems that at this point he will need at least a 2-year deal. If he signs with someone, expect at least $10 million dollars per year. I love Damon, I just feel like this hefty deal is a big risk. He is just an unnecessary expense when there are so many cheaper options out there.