Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Wishful Thinking
2005-11-12 11:53
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

As former Yankee Javey Vazquez officially requested to be traded on Friday, it appears as if the Yankees are seriously interested in Brian Giles. Again, according to The Daily News:

There was a pause of sorts in the Yankees' negotiations with left fielder Hideki Matsui yesterday as GM Brian Cashman spent most of the day flying back from the GM meetings in California. But before he left, Cashman made contact again with the agent for another outfielder, Brian Giles, who could be developing into a candidate to take over for Bernie Williams in center field.

Cashman and Joe Bick, Giles' agent, spoke for at least the third time and Bick said the two "moved things ahead, talked about some comparable players, things of that nature."

Bick would not be more specific, but he reiterated that Giles would like to play in New York, though Giles has a reputation as a West Coast kind of guy.

Over at the Replacement Level Yankees Weblog, SG thinks that a Giles-Matsui-Sheff outfield would be hard to resist:

Giles has not played center field regularly since 2000, although he has seen spot duty there as recently as last year. If the Yankees are considering signing both Giles and Matsui, they'll probably have the best hitting OF in baseball, although defense will continue to be a problem. While Giles is going to be 35, he is still a very good offensive player who should be reasonable risk on a 2 or 3 year deal. While I wish the Yankees would stop signing older players, if this is the alternative that does not involve trading away young prospects, it's probably the smart way to proceed. Let's hope Joe Kerrigan can teach every pitcher on the staff a 2 seam fastball.

Steve Lombardi has a slightly different take:

Giles can help the Yankees - but not as a full-time CF. After watching Bernie Williams out there for the last few seasons, and seeing catchable balls fall for hits and not seeing any hits turned into outs, I'm shocked that the Yankees would consider putting another non-centerfielder in the 8-slot for 2006.

But, maybe what the Yankees are thinking here is that they use Giles to play some CF in 2006 - maybe no more than 50 games, and the rest of the time he plays RF (with Sheffield being the DH). And, Bubba Crosby gets over 100+ games in CF as a starter (with Giles in RF and Sheffield as DH).

SG goes on to mention that the Yankees will likely overpay for Matsui but they don't have much of a cherce.

2005-11-12 14:59:05
1.   Rich
Since Giles would likely only play CF for a year at most, perhaps less if Melky develops quickly (or, as mentioned, if Bubba shows he can hande the job), I think it's the most cost effective option available.

In 2007, Sheff would either become the full time DH or re-sign elsewhere, and Giles would be the everyday RFer.

2005-11-12 15:23:49
2.   singledd
Since we need a DH, an OF'er who is offensive enough to DH would make Giles OK with me. Shef, Mats or Giles are basically the same on D, and 2 of them in the OF corners is OK... providing we have a good defensive CF'er. I would NOT want all 3 in the OF at once.

Any opinions on Bernie?
Will he be a Yankee next year?
Will he be playing elsewhere next year (as opposed to retiring if the Yanks don't take him back)?

2005-11-12 16:31:27
3.   brockdc
Was Einstein right, or was he right?

The Yanks continue to sign high-priced vets, to the same effect every year. If everyone agrees that offense is not the issue with this team, then why sign Giles to play any CF at all?

And it's unfortunate that we're so seduced by big names to the effect that, even if we're not giving away the farm for Giles, his presence will ensure that a guy like Cabrerra doesn't get a whiff of Yankee Stadium this year.

2005-11-12 16:35:11
4.   brockdc
There are a lot of people out there who have little faith in Crosby. But I gotta wonder how much room a guy like Aaron Rowland would have been given to grow had he been a prospect in the Yankees system.
2005-11-12 17:05:06
5.   brockdc
By the way, anyone get the Yankees 90's box set yet? Last night I watched Game 4 of the '96 W.S. Pure heaven, though I still caught myself yelling profanities at a svelte and spry Joe Torre for not anticipating the Braves' squeeze play that spurred the first rally of the game. Some things never change.
2005-11-12 19:12:59
6.   Popcult
Anyone else comfortable taking a flier on Corey Patterson in CF? I'm sure we could work out a very reasonable trade w/ the Cubbies-I really do think all Corey needs is a change of scenery. At least we know he'll be able to patrol center but maybe after spending time with Mattingly, he can find his hitting stroke too.
2005-11-12 20:32:35
7.   bigjonempire
While signing Giles is not in my top five plans, if the Yankees plan to use him in right and push Sheff to DH or even rotate OFs I'd be supportive. I still don't want Crosby as our everyday center fielder. I think he is better suited to be forth outfielder. I also have a personal problem with a weak player in center for the Yankees. Come on now, its center for the Yankees! The spot is legendary.
2005-11-12 23:21:13
8.   brockdc
The problem with Crosby being our fourth outfielder is that such a position does not exist inside the mind of Joe Torre.

And part of the problem is that no great players are available to play center right now. That's why we're even having this Bubba Crosby dialogue.

2005-11-13 00:44:54
9.   tom yf
brockdc, barring a miracle, Melky Cabrera will never be a major league caliber player. Popcult, I think Corey Patterson in center field is the same thing as Bubba Crosby in center, without the charm. Lombardi's idea about BC getting 100 starts in center with Giles/Matsui getting the rest is awesome.
2005-11-13 06:06:59
10.   murphy
bigjon says: "I also have a personal problem with a weak player in center for the Yankees. Come on now, its center for the Yankees! The spot is legendary."

and this is EXACTLY what our problem is. so wrapped up in legacy and keeping up appearances we forget about what it takes to win.

why don't we have mantle's ghost play center? or why don't we trade the columbus clippers (stadium and all) for carlos beltran? or better yet: we bring macgwire back from retirement (how's that for "legendary") and play him in center. yeah, that oughta do 'er right.

2005-11-13 08:20:26
11.   strangeluck
I'm curious what you guys think about picking up Darin Erstad to play center. I'm obviously not qualified to judge whether he can play center field every day, but if he can I think he'd be a good fit. He is fantastic defensively, and his bat is good enough for an 8th or 9th hitter. He's overpaid, so the Angels might be willing to move him without getting much in return, and his contract is up at the end of the season, so he won't be a long term burden. Personally, I'd much rather overpay Erstad for one year than overpay Giles or Damon or any other free agent for three or four years. Also, as an additional bonus, trading for Erstad means we don't lose draft picks, and could actually pick up one when he leaves at the end of the season.
2005-11-13 19:23:33
12.   illinination
Please, lets stop the Corey Patterson talk. I live in the Chicago area and have watched the guy play the past couple of years. He's got terrible plate discipline. A change of scenery will not do him any good. Dusty Baker gave him every chance to succeed. No way he'd improve in New York. If I had to choose between Corey Patterson and Bernie right now, it'd be Bernie.

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