Good morning Fackers. The Great Left Field Debate rages on. The weekend brought another round of Johnny Damon rumors, they made an offer, no they didn't, they set a deadline, no they didn't, Cashman's pissed, Damon will have a team within the week, the A's are interested, and on and on and on.
Yesterday brought the news, courtesy of AOL Fanhouse's Frankie Piliere, that the Yankees "inquired on" Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers. Normally I'd consider this to be nothing, and it probably is. Just about anything passes for news this time of year. Teams inquire about players all the time; as we learned with the Nick Swisher rumors early this off-season, there's a big difference between actively shopping someone and listening to offers without hanging up the phone. It doesn't mean there's anything to it.
Perhaps the Cruz inquiry is Brian Cashman's response to Scott Boras' incessant claims of a "mystery team" being interested in Damon. And even if the Yankees did check on him, the chances of him being moved are slim. The Rangers are in the process of being sold. Nelson Cruz is a relatively young, relatively productive, highly cost controlled asset. Businesses in the process of being sold do not divest themselves of such assets.
That said, I have every confidence that Piliere's tweet is true. Before joining Fanhouse last year, Piliere was a scout in the employ of the Rangers. He likely has contacts and friends that remain in the Rangers organization, and I'm sure that's where he received his information on this one.
In the end this is likely much ado about nothing. I highly doubt the Yankees will acquire Cruz and don't think they should. But given the source, I'm sure they did inquire about him. The question remains, are they just doing due diligence, are they legitimately interested in him, are they actively shopping for a left fielder, or is this a Damon-related smokescreen? Time will tell.
Speaking of Piliere, his list of the Top 100 Prospects went up yesterday. Jesus Montero checked in at number five, Manny Banuelos at 41, Austin Romine at 45, and Zach McAllister at 76. Recent Yankee farm hands Austin Jackson and Jose Tabata checked in at numbers 25 and 69. Head over and give it a read.