Yankee GM Brian Cashman made an appearance on the YES Yankee Hot Stove show Thursday night, and had some interesting things to say about the Centerfield situation. Here’s a link to the video clip, and I transcribed his comments regarding the outfield below. They are as follows:
(5:20 mark answering a question about Granderson playing Left Field)
Cash-”Yeah, it’s possible. We feel like we have two center fielders. Two starting center fielders in our outfield situation in terms of Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson. Curtis Granderson is an all star Centerfielder, Brett Gardner, obviously his biggest tool is his field and run ability and we think he’s one of the best defensive center fielders in the game. So it’s terrific, to be in a position as we enter as season, to have two Center fielders out of the three guys, with Nick Swisher. What’s the best alignment for us? What’s our best team? Right now, it’s Granderson in Center and Gardner in Left, but if watching the games unravel, in Spring Training, we’ve talked to Curtis about it as well, if we feel that a better team exists with Curtis Granderson in Left and Gardner in Center, if that actually shows itself, you know, our job is to put the best team in the best alignment on the field, and that’s what we’ll do.” All Players are just happy to contribute. So when I talked to Curtis Granderson, and said just in theory I want to throw an idea your way ‘what if?’ His response was “I’ll do whatever is best for the team. If you think it’s best for me in Left, in Center, it doesn’t matter” to him. But right now our plan is to have him in Center, and we’ll see if the games dictate otherwise.”
I think you have your answer right there. Brett Gardner is your opening day CF. The rest of it was what he has to say right now. He can’t give the job to Gardner over all-star like Granderson, they’ll have to let Brett ‘win’ the job in Spring Training. They already know both player’s abilities, the rest of this is just for public consumption. If they weren’t already thinking along those lines, why even ask Curtis how he feels about it?
He also addresses the Johnny Damon situation, the pitching, and which off season acquisition he felt was most important. Good stuff, I’d encourage you to watch the whole 10 minute clip, if you didn’t already see it on YES.