Last night, our very own Moshe Mandel dropped an intriguing tweet about the future of the Yankee outfield and DH situation.
At first glance, I don’t necessarily agree with Moshe here. I like Carl Crawford, but I do have doubts about him going forward. His power has been just around average for his career (.176 this year, .145 for his career) and his carer 5.4% BB rate is uninspiring (though he has been above 7% the last two years). Still, though, he’s a good hitter and plays very good defense. With an OF of Crawford/Granderson/Gardner across, the Yankees would be Death to Flying Things East.
Of course, though, this muddies up the DH situation. I’m of the mindset–Moshe disagrees, and I see his point–that Jesus Montero will break camp with the 2011 Yankees. If this happens, he and Jorge Posada should split the catching and DHing duties. In Moshe’s above scenario (if we assume JM is w/the team in 4/2011), this would leave Nick Swisher out in the cold. Moshe, though, disagrees with me and thinks Swisher could DH and play the field against LHP while Granderson or Gardner sits.
There is another angle that could placate both of us. Brett Gardner has played very well and improved his stock. If there is one player the Yankees could sell high on in a trade, it’s Brett Gardner. If the Yankees sign Crawford, I wouldn’t be surprised if this route was taken. That would make the OF Crawford/Granderson/Swisher, which is good offensively and also great defensively. I’m not saying I WANT this to happen, but it COULD happen.
I still think the Yankees should avoid Crawford and use that money to go after Cliff Lee. Gardner has proved himself to be at least an average regular with the bat and a superb defender. As long as he remains cheap, he’ll be very valuable for the Yankees. I would have no problem with the Yankees starting him in LF next year with Granderson and Swisher (both under contract) alongside him.
What do you guys think?