In the offseason before the start of 2006, Brian Cashman and the Yankees wanted us to believe that they were prepared to start Bubba Crosby in center field. If the season started today, they would have Brett Gardner as one of their starting outfielders. Is that going to last? It’s hard to say, but here are a few of the Yankees options for left field.
- Curtis Granderson – But isn’t he their center fielder? True, but if the Yankees do choose to stick with Gardner, something I think they should seriously consider, then it makes more sense to start Granderson in left with the faster Gardner patrolling center.
- Johnny Damon – Damon is still out of a job and the Yankees are still considering their left field options. Last we heard the Damon had made the Yankees a 2-year $20 million offer, but the Bombers weren’t budging from their initial 2-year $14 million offer. The longer Damon stays out of a job the more likely it is that the two sides could restart negotiations, but with Jason Bay off the market and Matt Holliday near a deal with the Cardinals Damon might start seeing more offers soon.
- Reed Johnson – Johnson is another name that has been out there connected to the Yankees. Outside of his 2009 numbers, Johnson’s UZR numbers in left field are very impressive. Combine that with a career offensive line of .282/.344/.411/.755 and he becomes a pretty attractive low-cost piece.
- Jonny Gomes – Gomes isn’t quite the fielder Johnson is, alright he’s no where near the fielder he is, but his bat could make up the difference. Gomes hits for a slightly lower average and OBP, .241 and .330 respectively for his career, but his .471 slugging percentage is a lot more impressive. Mark this one down as a longshot though.
- Jack Cust – A lot of fans have not considered Cust as an option in this spot as most see him as a DH only candidate. He does have most of his outfield experience in left and the fact that Nick Johnson is so injury prone is something to consider. If Johnson goes down Cust could fill in at DH pretty well. This is also a pretty big longshot, but aside from Damon and Granderson, Cust’s numbers might be the best on this list. His career line is .239/.374/.455/.829.