Friday, December 26, 2008

Who To Move

Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors tells us (via Tracy Ringoslby),
The Yankees are looking to move two from a group of outfielders of Xavier Nady, Nick Swisher and Hideki Matsui. The Angels, Texas, Oakland and Atlanta are considered to have interest.

8< (Snip) ((Scissors, get it? No? Fine, but I'm sticking with it anyway.))

From the emails I receive, Yankees fans would most like to see Matsui dealt. Perhaps he will be, but I believe his current trade value is negative. 34 years old, full no-trade clause, $13MM salary in '09, September knee surgery and a questionable ability to play the outfield.
First, I like the fact that they are planning on keeping Damon. He gets a bad rap because of his weak arm, but out of the attributes necessary to be a solid a left fielder, a strong throwing arm is one of the least important. To my eye, he has above average range and speed for a LF and of course brings a great deal to the table offensively.

I know that from a fans perspective Matsui would be the easiest of this bunch to part with because of his recently sketchy injury history, poor defense and presumably declining bat. Of course, other teams know this and like Tim says, combined with his high salary and the belt tightening around the league, this gives him negative trade value. He also increases the interest in the Yankees in the Pacific Rim, a factor more important to the Yankees than any team they trade him to.

Why not trade Nady, who is one year away from free agency and is unlikely to ever have a higher trade value? He's coming off of a career year in which he batted over .300 for the first time, partially due to a .363 BA/BIP in his time with Pittsburgh. Nady is in his prime and has shown consistent improvement against righties throughout his career. I just don't think Nady will repeat (or out do) last year's performance. At roughly $5 million after arbitration, Nady is affordable to almost any team. Perhaps the Yanks could turn him in a competent veteran CF, something they probably couldn't do with Swisher (coming off a bad year) or Matsui (see above).


  1. Damon needs to stay in LF. He is defensively adequate in Death Valley and is a left-handed bat, 2 of which were lost with the departures of Giambi and Abreu. I typically don't like to place too much value on "presence in the clubhouse" but this is the guy who keeps the team loose. Plus when he is on his game he can carry the team offensively.

    Unfortunately Matsui and full NTC, recent injury history, and Japanese fan revenue (the Sawx would probably become the new Japan team) are not going anywhere.

    I would hate to see Nady gone--probably THE clutch hitter on the the team last year--but he is probably the only tradeable player of the group.

    The thought of Swisher in CF makes me sick.

  2. You're right about Nady coming up with big hits last year, but his numbers declined pretty significantly when he came over to the Yankees.

    I don't think they see Swisher as a CF. If the season starts today, I still think its Melky or Gardner solely for defensive reasons.

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