Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Plan B, C, Etc.
2005-11-11 05:50
by Alex Belth

While Brian Cashman's dinner with Godzilla's agent apparently went well last night, the team is still looking for a center fielder. According to The Daily News, the Bombers approached the White Sox about the possibility of acquiring Aaron Rowand in a trade only to find that there currently isn't a match that fits. However, the Yanks still are interested in Brian Giles:

There is some skepticism within the organization about whether he'd be suited to handle playing center field every day, but the Yankees made contact with Giles' agent, Joe Bick, during the period when free agents could talk money only with their former clubs and are expected to check back with Bick now that the exclusivity window has passed.

Privately, the Yankees believe Giles would prefer to remain on the West Coast, but Bick said his client has no geographic restrictions. "I know that's been said, but I can tell you that Brian's preference is to be in a situation where the team has a real chance to win," Bick said in a telephone interview. "There's no doubt, he likes the convenience of being on the West Coast, but he is going into this with a totally open mind."

Giles may not exactly fit the Yankees need for a defensive upgrade, but man, if they could ink both Matsui and Giles, I will not riff. I maintain that he'd be a great Yankee.

2005-11-11 06:53:19
1.   Dimelo
I wouldn't riff about Giles unless they gave him a stupid contract that makes no sense.
2005-11-11 06:54:28
2.   YankeeInMichigan
At age 35, Giles will probably be looking for a 3-year deal. That means that the Yankees could be stuck with a declining, untradeable 37-year old Giles when the real center field studs (Jones, Wells, Rowand) hit the free agent market after the 2007 season.
2005-11-11 07:01:06
3.   Alvaro Espinoza
What keeps coming back to haunt the Yanks is their inexplicable decision to not pursue Beltran during last off-season. Consider the 'what if' lineup going into next year assuming 55 returns:


Oh well...

2005-11-11 07:01:39
4.   Alex Belth
I don't know that Andruw will be a stud any longer in two more years, but considering that Sheff will not likely be around then either, if the Yanks were to sign Giles, I would assume he'd be playing a corner spot by then.
2005-11-11 07:18:36
5.   unpopster
Giles in pinstripes? jeez. He'd be beloved the same way that Paulie was and the same way that Trot is in Boston. Giles is a passionate, grimy, ol' school type of baseball player.

With Giles in CF and Shef in RF, that would be the toughest one-two punch in the majors.

2005-11-11 07:19:46
6.   unpopster
Alex, I'm not so sure the arrival of Giles would mean the departure of Shef.

Why can't we just resign Matsui, move him to CF (where even Torre admitted he is most comfortable), move Giles to LF, and keep Shef in RF.

2005-11-11 07:20:15
7.   RI Yankee
I agree Alex, this was fluke year for Jones. If Giles is in the cards, why not Matsui in CF and Giles in Left?

Alvaro . . . I would add the decision to choose Sheffield over Vlad two years ago. In spite of Vlad's disappearance in the post season, I'd rather the prospect of him in RF for the next few years than Sheff's slow decline into DH.

2005-11-11 07:20:36
8.   Schteeve
Unpopster Said: With Giles in CF and Shef in RF, that would be the toughest one-two punch in the majors.

Like even tougher than A-Rod and Sheff?

2005-11-11 07:24:31
9.   Dimelo
ARod's busy playing cards.
2005-11-11 07:46:55
10.   JohnnyC
I don't think Giles is a realistic possibility...he's a West Coast guy, book it. And if the Yankees are really set on Rowand, despite the White Sox's protestations, there is a possible match with, yes, Tony Womack, since they are looking to replace Frank Thomas with more speed at DH. They have discussed trading for Juan Pierre as well. Rowand, arbitration-eligible, while a valuable part of their championship team, is blocking at least 2 blue-chip prospects, Brian Anderson and Jerry Owens. Cashman has some time on his side if he chooses to hang in on this.
2005-11-11 07:47:02
11.   murphy
as much as i love giles and would love to have an paulie-esque guy roaming the OF once again, i am sure that cliff could rattle off numbers (cliff?) that demonstrate that godzilla's fielding in CF in would be a marginal improvment (at best) over bernie's this past year.

also: while posada is my first choice behind the plate next year, if we are so eager to move him, why aren't we more actively courting jojima? (the nydailynews is the only place that's go it)

2005-11-11 07:51:45
12.   murphy
also... while i know i am a tool for mentioning this AFTER he was on the cover of the ESPN MLB page, though i was thinking about this in august: is it worth it to give corey patterson a shot in center? while the difference between him and rowand may be sizeable, would it be any worse than the chance we would be taking on bubba? it might even be a step up.
2005-11-11 07:54:25
13.   Alex Belth
I don't think getting Giles would mean moving Sheff. But it might mean that they wouldn't resign Sheff after his deal is up next year. But ultimately, I think Johnny C is right: Giles isn't coming to New York. It's a nice fantasy to keep us warm but I think it's improbable.
2005-11-11 07:54:54
14.   Cliff Corcoran
Niether Giles nor Matsui can provide the Yankees with adaquate centerfield defense. I would, however, like the Yankees to sign both and push Sheffield to DH as Sheff:DH::Giambi:1B. Concerns about age and length of contract abound, however.

As for Andruw Jones, he'll be younger than Matsui is now when he becomes a free agent after 2007, and his power spiked this year, but his other stats were consistant with his career numbers.

Meanwhile, Alvaro and RI are dead on about Beltran and Vlad. Sigh. Alex and I had dinner with Jay Jaffe and Christina Kahrl last night. Christina asked us what we thought about the Yankees' struggles this season. Jay said it proved we were all right about the moves the Yankees had (or hadn't) made. Frankly, I've never been less pleased about being right.

2005-11-11 08:04:15
15.   Cliff Corcoran
Murphy, Matsui was significantly worse than Bernie in center last year. Bernie actually pulled himself up to league average by year's end. Matsui has a career 95 Rate (100 being average) in 77 MLB games in CF. Giles, meanwhile, hasn't played center regularly since 2001 and hasn't played it well since 2000, when he was still in his 20s.

Patterson is an OBP nightmare, but he's got pop and is an effective basestealer. He'll give you league average defense. He certainly is worth a shot if it comes down to Bubba.

Rowand would be ideal, however. But I'm not as optimistic as Johnny C about the White Sox being willing to trade him, let alone so cheaply.

2005-11-11 08:22:56
16.   randym77
I absolutely love Matsui. I think the Yankees would be nuts to let him walk. I know he was a CF in Japan. It's possible he could still improve on defense; he's probably still adjusting to American baseball.

But no way can he play CF full-time for the Yanks. He just can't. Doesn't have the arm or the legs. Baseball in Japan is different. Don't be fooled by the numbers he put up there.

Frankly, I'd rather give Bubba a chance in CF. He'll never be a big hitter, but I think he can be the kind of guy who gets on base one way or another.

2005-11-11 08:29:46
17.   unpopster
Schteeve, whan I say "tough", I mean TOUGH!
2005-11-11 08:31:56
18.   Kevin
I read that post too quickly and thought "Joe Buck is Brian Giles's agent?"
2005-11-11 08:42:49
19.   rsmith51
How about Sheffield to the White Sox in a deal to get Rowand package and some of their minor leaguers? If they lose Konerko, they will certainly need the offense. If they sign Konerko, they will need to play the cheap guys. Of course, then Sheffield's contract wouldn't work very well unless the Yanks subsidize it. I guess it will only work if Konerko doesn't resign.
2005-11-11 09:24:50
20.   YankeeInMichigan
Okay, rsmith51, here's your scenario: Konerko bolts the ChiSox, the Yankees sign Giles, the Yankees trade Sheffield for Rowand plus. I kind of like it. Of course, the Sox would be risking sending Shef into one of his "if they trade for me, I'll make their lives miserable" funks.

As a high-risk-high-reward variation, what about trading for one of the Sox' blue-chippers instead? I have always maintained that, with up-the-middle-players, the younger you start with them the better.

As for JohnnyC's suggestion of the White Sox trading for Womack to be DH, can Ozzie be THAT dumb? Doesn't a DH, by definition, have to be a hitter?

2005-11-11 09:32:14
21.   strangeluck
Giles or Matsui in center field would be pretty bad defensively. Giles and Matsui in the corners with even an average center fielder would be pretty darn good, and certainly an upgrade. Playing Sheffield in the field at this point is just asking for shoulder or leg troubles anyway.
2005-11-11 10:59:45
22.   Shaun P
Steven Goldman (in today's Pinstriped Bible) mentions the possibility of Brad Wilkerson in CF next year. Color me interested! The guy can rake, he walks a ton, and he can play any OF position. I'd be very happy with such a move.

Though admittedly I have no idea how his numbers are in CF.

I also don't see the need to trade Sheffield for any old CF, Rowland or otherwise. I'd much rather have Sheff at DH and Giles in RF - if that's doable - for all the great reasons mentioned above. Cake - the Yanks should have it and eat it too.

2005-11-11 11:06:37
23.   Upperdeck
I suggested to Joel Sherman the Giles in RF, Sheff as DH plan and he said Sheff would "revolt, he just wouldn't go for it."

Any idea why Sheff wouldn't love this plan? The idea of the same paycheck for less work seems like a pretty sweet deal. He'd be the monster DH we haven't had since... since...

2005-11-11 11:47:28
24.   Cliff Corcoran
From what I've read, Sheffield came to New York expecting to DH and was kind of miffed that he had to play the field. He came to the AL to rest his body and hit like a monster, pick up homers # 400 and 500 and waltz into the Hall, perhaps pick up another ring on the way. Does Sherman actually know something or is he making this stuff up?
2005-11-11 11:54:29
25.   Ben
My sentiments exactly Cliff. I know nothing, other than what I read from the papers, where it seemed Sheff was disapointed over how much he was playing the field. I'm sure there were quotes stating such.

Anwyay a guy like Sheffield batting DH would be plenty good.

2005-11-11 12:16:09
26.   Upperdeck
Cliff, Ben, I feel the same way about Sheff. It was in Sherman's "Sheff to 1B article." He was nice enough to respond to my email, so I didn't want to tell him I thought he was dead wrong.

I just realized a reason Sheff may not want to DH is because he wants an MVP award? Maybe that's why he was so bitter about not winning it in 2004? Maybe he fears moving to DH will mean there's no way he'll win one? I don't know.

2005-11-11 12:58:21
27.   Shawn Clap
I was surfing the net, looking for articles on our Problem-Plagued, Roid-Raging rightfielder and found this photo that I just had to share.

2005-11-11 13:05:16
28.   Marc Normandin
If I remember correctly, I think Giles subtlely said he would prefer not to go to NY back when he was with Pittsburgh and the Yanks would ask for a trade. I'm not sure if his thoughts have changed nowadays, but its something to keep in mind.
2005-11-11 13:24:04
29.   Knuckles
Nice picture- I wonder why they cut Sonny Crockett out of it?
2005-11-11 13:45:44
30.   Dimelo
Holy shit, Shawn. Sheff looks like a dude who just stepped out of an old NWA video.
2005-11-11 19:36:32
31.   brockdc
Well, I guess that, "We're gonna give Bubba a look in center" plan has come and gone. But, yeah, let's stick yet another old, brand-name vet out there and see if he still has his legs goin' on.

Guys, as long as the Yanks can get the pitching situated, Bubba in CF for one year is an appreciable upgrade from the 2005 duo of Williams/Womack. Why can't we just leave it at that?

2005-11-11 19:54:51
32.   brockdc
Any guy who wears a jherri-curl mullet post-'89 earns bad-ass points.
2005-11-11 20:40:12
33.   jonm
I just don't understand why people are still lamenting the Yankees not signing Beltran last year. His season in Shea was well below offensive expectations and his fielding and speed dropped precariously.

For his season last year, as about the 10th best CF in baseball, he was paid approximately $17 million and will be paid that for the next six years. That contract looks like a terrible value now. The Yankees did indeed have a weakness coming into the 2005 season in CF, but I'm glad that they didn't just throw money at the problem and get tied down in that onerous contract.

2005-11-11 22:07:18
34.   BklynBomber
I was stunned we didn't go after Beltran, especially after reading that hours before he inked his $119M deal with the Mutts, his agent supposedly called Cashman to propose $99M for the same years. He must have really wanted to be a Pinstriper. I thought it made great sense at the time — a relatively young five tool player who would anchor CF for years to come, not to mention his showing up big in the post-season.

I was even more astounded at his drop-off this year... talk about being a non-factor. That bell-ringing he had didn't help, but just a terrible debut year. Yes, the non-signing looks good right now. Lucky maybe, but still good.

I'm with brockdc (#31) — given the age/contract/trade cost of the current crop of FAs or tradeable CFers, I would still lean toward giving Bubba the shot, then see who's on the mid-season trading block. He'd improve offensively if playing every day, and we could use his speed on the bases.

Also, very glad to hear the possibility of Tino staying with the club in some coaching capacity. A consummate Yankee and a class act. On that note, anyone hear of Roy White's status?

2005-11-11 22:58:42
35.   Voxter
Corey Patterson? Aaron Rowand? Need I remind you how Rowand performed this season? Or -- shudder -- Patterson. The Yanks would be better with Matsui & his subpar D in CF than with either of those guys next season. I'd be shocked if either man were still in the majors in three years, unless they sign huge deals they don't deserve.
2005-11-12 06:41:33
36.   sabernar
I'm with Voxster. I'd rather throw a subpar fielding Giles or Matsui in CF (with the other going in LF) and gain the huge boost in offense. Sure a couple balls will drop that should have been caught, but with Giles' road OPS of 1.000+ last season, I think that will more than make up for it. I've been hearing 3 years for $25M+ for Giles. That's a downright bargain. The Yanks should easily be able to top that offer for Giles.
2005-11-12 07:35:26
37.   pmarcig
I haven't seen anyone mention this possibility, which I just read about here:

How bout Furcal in center, batting leadoff? Is he worth 4 yr/$40 mil?

2005-11-12 09:11:09
38.   Zack
Voxter and Sabernar,
So if Matsui or GIles (not going to happen) are playing CF, who is playing left field? I go the opposite way and say I would much prefer a weaker hitting CF who can cover major ground and has an arm. This offense doesn't need another all-start bat, but this defense badly badly badly needs an all-star defensive outfielder. Its not just that a couple of ball will drop that should have been aught sabernar, its that many balls drop, and many of those balls turn into doubles with the way our defense plays them.

And besides, if we sign Matsui AND Giles, thats already another 75 million at least (3 years for 25M for Giles, prob. 5 years for at least 50M for Hitdeki) spent on two older outfielders who can't play defense. Not exactly addressing this team's biggest needs, which are getting younger, getting better D, and getting a bullpen...

2005-11-12 09:17:09
39.   kylepetterson
I like the idea of Fucal quite a bit, though, not as leadoff. I agree w/ Steve Goldman that Jeter is still a better leadoff guy. Maybe #5?
2005-11-12 09:44:51
40.   sabernar
Bat Furcal 5th!??! Here are his OPSs of his career from 2000 to 2005:


Not exactly a #5 hitter. With his career OBA hovering around .348, he's not the ideal #1 hitter either. He'd end up in the #1 or #2 slot, though, cause if the Yanks are paying him $10M/yr, he better not be betting in the bottom third of the order. He is fast, and he steals at a high percentages (career 189 for 242 - 78%), but he has never played CF before. What if he sucks? Then what do you do with him? Play him at 2B and trade Cano?

I don't like the idea of signing Furcal to play CF. I'd rather play Crosby there this year and then sign someone next year or trade for someone as the trade deadline approaches.

Oh yeah, in case anyone is curious, Brian Giles career CF Rate is 98. A bit below average, but nothing horrible. His career Rate in LF is 104.

A trade for Wilkerson wouldn't be horrible, as long as we don't give up the farm for him (career CF Rate is 100). But he had an off year last year and strikes out a lot (FYI: career OPS .817).

2005-11-12 10:09:19
41.   Nick from Washington Heights
I don't understand the push for Furcal. I'm not even that high on Cano, but I don't understand why the Yanks would spend upwards of $10 million for Furcal, only to ship Cano to make room for Furcal. Furcal's contract could only be justified if he was playing an infield position. If, in fact, he was converted to CF, he'd be a light-hitting outfielder.

The Giles talk makes sense to me as a stop-gap measure that ensures the post-Sheff transition is smooth. He's essentially going to be a very similar player to Sheffield the next three years. He's going to hit, and hit well, but become less and less effective in the field. Meanwhile, Vernon Wells will be available come next off-season, and the Yanks, who won't have to resign Sheff, will be able to use money to sign him.

For 2005-2006, an outfield of Giles, Matsui, and Bubba will be fine because Sheffield will take the majority of bats at DH (and god knows he needs to play less in the field). Bubba can track all the fly balls that promise to get away from Hideki and Giles while he hits .250 with 4 homeruns. It won't matter because our line-up will be ridiculous (or some word that hasn't been created yet) with Jeter, A-Rod, Giambi, Sheff, Giles, Matsui, Posada, and Cano. No weak DH to ruin the dominance in 205-2006. No Ruben Sierra.

2005-11-12 10:28:34
42.   brockdc

Exactly. Plus, who knows? If given 500 AB's, perhaps Bubba can do even better than that baseline (though I wouldn't expect it). I wouldn't be shocked to see him bat .270 with 10 homers. And, if he can do that, well, hell, he'd already be better than three quarters of the FA's available at that position this winter.

2005-11-12 10:45:57
43.   singledd
It seems to me that most of the OF free agents are nothing to get excited about, including (a converted) Furcal. We have an excellent, albeit immature, 2nd baseman (2nd in ROY). Why talk of trading him? Giles for one year, or two at the most, is passable.
We already have a no-hit, good-field CF'er already in Bubba. Maybe he would perform decently in played regularly. We have other kids (Melky, etc) who might be as good as anyone on the market for pennies on the dollar.

I say forget CF for THIS year, and use a kid. If it turns out really horrible, we can get someone mid-season.

Save our money for '07 or '08 when there is a really attractive OF'er on the market. Lets spend for the pen and the bench. If we had a good pen and good bench last year, we would have breezed into the PS. Almost ANYONE we play in CF will equal last year's production.... better it with luck (Melky, etc).

With taxes going up every year, we are in for a BIG fall if we need to spend $200 mil for a winning team. We need to promote from within, and see what we have. Now is a good time to start.

We don't have to go after a stud for every position every year.

2005-11-12 22:02:12
44.   DrBox
The Yankees don't have anything to trade that the Sox want; we don't want tempermental Sheffield.
BUT, Rowand is expendable, and the Yanks want Rowand, and the Yanks have some fair starting pitching to trade (which the Sox don't need), so Cashman has to find a team that needs a starter and who has a surplus bat.

No need to hurry, as our needs will be dictated on signing Konerko and/or someone else. But the Sox will have a need.

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