Yankees Set with Gardner in Left, Looking to Improve Bench

Despite the fact that 64 percent of Bronx Baseball Daily readers would like to see the Yankees add another left fielder it doesn’t appear the Yankees are interested in adding one.

“Our team is, for the most part, set,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told Pete Caldera of the Bergin Record. “We have a left fielder. We do like Brett Gardner.”

Funny thing about this is that the last time the Yankees signed Johnny Damon, Cashman had previously came out with a statement that the Yankees were set with Bubba Crosby in center field. So this doesn’t permanently shut the door on a deal, but considering the fact that the Yankees are already slightly over their set budget means it is very unlikely a deal is going down.

Scott Boras also seems to think that Damon’s window of opportunity with the Yankees is closed.

“In the instance of Johnny Damon it was just a situation where, you know, for whatever reason he really wasn’t given an opportunity to return to the Yankees,” Boras told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, “and, you know, he’ll have to just move forward.”

Instead of adding another left fielder, the Yankees are focusing the rest of this offseason on finding pieces for their bench. Unfortunately they didn’t act in time to keep Eric Hinske, but there are still viable options available coming off the bench. Caldera lists Reed Johnson, Marcus Thames, Randy Winn, and Rocco Baldelli as other options for the Yankees. Those are good names, but it is unclear if each will fit into the Yankees budget or be willing to take a bench role.

Don’t expect bench moves to happen quickly though. Most players are going to wait to see if they can find a starting job somewhere before accepting a part-time role. In the past the Yankees have had a hard time luring bench players to the Bronx as most know that they are usually stuck behind an all-star, but this situation could be different. A smart player could realize that even though the Yankees like Gardner now if he gets off to a slow start and the bench player comes out hot in April the situation could change for them.

So what does everyone think about having Gardner is left field to start the season? I like it, good defense, speed, and a small ball player in the lineup.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.

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One Response to Yankees Set with Gardner in Left, Looking to Improve Bench

  1. Mac says:

    I’m sorry, but it doesn’t make any sense to spend as much as the Yankees have spent to put the BEST possible team on the field … and then leave themselves vulnerable in one spot.

    I like Brett Gardner … but he couldn’t keep Melky on the bench last season …

    The Yankees have taken this position as a negotiating ploy only (in my opinion) …

    They take the position that they don’t need another Outfielder … then negotiate from that position … (Maybe Damon on a one year with player option like the Beltre deal?)

    I’d bet the farm that the Yankees open next season with at least another option (other than Gardner) for the left field position …

    It makes no sense to drive your Ferrari with one flat tire … none at all …

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