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Who will the Yankees get to play left field?

Dec 22, 2009, 12:40 PM EDT

On the surface trading Melky Cabrera for Javier Vazquez clears the way for Johnny Damon to re-sign with the Yankees, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that they still view him as “too expensive” after last week’s back-and-forth with agent Scott Boras. Sherman also notes that parting with Cabrera probably doesn’t make the Yankees any more likely to end up with Jason Bay or Matt Holliday.
So if Damon, Bay, and Holliday still aren’t likely options, who might the Yankees be targeting to play left field? Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News names Mark DeRosa as “the most likely candidate,” noting that he could start in left field while also providing some infield depth behind Alex Rodriguez at third base. According to Feinsand the Yankees “have roughly $5-6 million to spend on left field.”
DeRosa was initially said to be seeking a three-year deal for quite a bit more than that to begin the offseason, but recently there have been reports of his asking price coming down and the Yankees were actually linked to him several weeks ago despite having no obvious place for him to play at the time. DeRosa hit just .250/.319/.433 in 2009 while battling a wrist injury, but his .291/.368/.453 line from the previous three seasons would be solidly above average in left field.

  1. YankeesfanLen - Dec 22, 2009 at 1:00 PM

    Christmas Eve morning, Johnny Damon will be under the Yankees tree, or left field, or whatever.

  2. Tom - Dec 22, 2009 at 1:02 PM

    You mean Matt Holliday right?

  3. YankeesfanLen - Dec 22, 2009 at 1:08 PM

    I don’t see another big-ticket happening now, but if it does, I pray it’s Holliday, not Bay under any circumstances. Let him flame out across town.

  4. John_Michael - Dec 22, 2009 at 1:13 PM

    My guess is 1 year LF plug then a lot of Carl Crawford discussion next hot stove season.

  5. YankeesfanLen - Dec 22, 2009 at 1:25 PM

    That would make sense to me too- Crawford would be ideal and worth waiting the year. For ’10, still like Damon, ’11 he can hang out, DH like Hideki this year.

  6. Tom - Dec 22, 2009 at 1:27 PM

    It’s the Yankees so why not both? In the coming seasons they might have some huge holes (C, SS, 3B) so it makes sense to attempt to overcome those problems now rather than after the fact.

  7. Neon Noodle - Dec 22, 2009 at 1:40 PM

    I don’t see anything wrong with them staying pat right now. Use Gardner/Hoffmann platoon in center, Granderson in left. One league average hitter in the 9 hole, excellent OF defense. If Gardner/Hoffmann don’t get better, target Crawford for 2011, moving Granderson to CF.

  8. markfd - Dec 22, 2009 at 2:07 PM

    DeRosa if they sign anyone because he is a versitle guy that Joe can plug into the lineup as he sees fit and maybe put Hoffman out there occassionally along with some games where Granderson plays LF and Gardner CF, plenty of options no need to panic..#28 here we come!

  9. PBad - Dec 22, 2009 at 2:11 PM

    Has everyone forgotten how awesome Melky is in the outfield????? On top of that, he’s young…..he doesn’t “dog” it….he’s all heart all the time…..

  10. Jason - Dec 22, 2009 at 2:30 PM

    Melky is a 4th outfielder at best,He is no big loss. maybe now Cano will be more focused and not distracted by that clown.

  11. nyyankeefan - Dec 22, 2009 at 2:33 PM

    I can’t believe they traded melky for Vasquez!!You remember Vasquez, the gas can pitcher that damon lit up in the 2003 playoffs for 2 homeruns. Melky has so much up side to him.

  12. YANKEES1996 - Dec 22, 2009 at 2:35 PM

    The Yankees can’t do anything about Carl Crawford now and there is no use in chasing Holliday or Bay. I don’t think the Yanks need to worry about A-Rod or Jeter right now. It is pretty clear since they are in spending conservation mode that they are going to take care of the Captain next year and as well they should! The catching position is solid with the addition of Cervelli and next off-season Mr. Mauer is a free agent so stand by for that. I think the Yankees are really planning things out a year ahead right now and they are willing to compromise some this year to save money for next years FA market which is going to have some serious talent in it. It sounds strange to say the Yankees are saving money but ticket sales were off this season and they do have to do something for Jeter this coming year and next off season I would be willing to bet you will see the Yankees pack on the talent.

  13. Stultus Magnus - Dec 22, 2009 at 2:48 PM

    I wouldn’t say that. He’s got a good arm, otherwise, he’s average.

  14. Lula - Dec 22, 2009 at 2:56 PM

    I,for one, will definitely miss Leche. Boo.

  15. Stultus Magnus - Dec 22, 2009 at 3:08 PM

    Vasquez joined the yanks in ’04, he wasn’t around in ’03. Sorry for the nitpicking though.
    He DID go to the ’04 All-Star game with a 10-5 record.
    He had a bad second half. Hopefully things will work out for him this time around.

  16. Acid Drop - Dec 22, 2009 at 3:34 PM

    Leche…. I’ll miss him too!!!

  17. AJ Gallo - Dec 22, 2009 at 3:39 PM

    I definitely agree. I hope the Yanks sign DeRosa for now and even for multi-years if necessary. He will always be a valuable asset for any team to have and then they can go hard after Crawford next off season. With Crawford and Granderson out in the outfield, there won’t be many hits that’ll fall in and that’ll also be an awful lot of speed on the bases too.

  18. John Pileggi - Dec 22, 2009 at 3:46 PM

    Cashman is in the driver’s seat. He got a CF in Granderson when no one was expecting it. Now he has Vasquez and cleared a spot in left. Nick Johnson is a great On Base guy and can DH or spell at 1B once in a while. Now, Cashman can lay back, watch Bay and Holliday play out, and also wait out Damon. Not a bad place to be.

  19. Eat a Peach - Dec 22, 2009 at 4:08 PM

    At this point they could start Shemp in LF and it wouldn’t matter. Actually, I heard he was available.
    There’s no need to spend any money at all on that spot anymore, the team is all set.

  20. Bobby Bow - Dec 22, 2009 at 4:27 PM

    Hang on for Crawford. We may be able to get him before the July trading deadline. That kid, along with Gandy, Jeter and Gardner will make us a much more athletic team.

  21. Ron - Dec 22, 2009 at 4:33 PM

    Damon and Jeter are still a lethal 1-2 On Base Machine.
    But with Granderson and Swisher and Gardner they are in the drivers
    seat. offer Damon one year 13 mil (same salary as 2009) or 2 years 20 mil tops. If Johnny don’t like it let him go make his money for a losing team and see how much he likes that.
    He is primed playing for a winner so his only choice really is the Yankees so he should just settle on a 2 year 19-20 million contact and be done with it. if he lets his pride or a-hole Boras rule his thoughts then I think he will regret it.
    Think about it Johnny 9-10 mil a year and a great chance to repeat playing in front of packed stadiums all the time at home and on the road as the Yankees are also a great road team drawing attendance.
    Another chance at world series glory or playing on some lousy non contending team for a few more bucks.
    Johnny you be a fool to turn down Yanks and 2 years 19-20 mil.
    That should be deal for bot sides.
    We will see………….

  22. Ray's fan - Dec 22, 2009 at 4:42 PM

    quit dreaming about Crawford–you can’t have him, he’s staying in Tampa & yes, you will have at least 2 teams to deal with every year in the division!

  23. george - Dec 22, 2009 at 5:19 PM

    Johnny D will be back in left,take it to the bank> 2yrs 18 mill.

  24. Dan-o - Dec 22, 2009 at 8:48 PM

    Dye, one yr stop gap untill they go hard after Crawford next off season……or what I would realy like is Rick Ankiel, or Trade for Josh Hamilton….he would lite the stadium up…..presure? can anyone remember the HR derby at the pld house…?????

  25. Dan-o - Dec 22, 2009 at 8:55 PM

    besides, can anyone stand to watch Damon track any more balls like he is drunk, and then if he gets to it throw it in like a 6 yr old girl? noodle arm has seen his last day in pinstripes….younger, more athletic for a good price….you can win like this with the core the Yanks have

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