We move from the topic of pitchers on to outfielders, which believe it or not, is still a team need. Mike Cameron, 36, is one of the best available outfielders not named Bay or Holliday.
You might be wondering why the Yanks need another outfielder even though they just got Curtis Granderson. Well, with Granderson, we now have four outfielders; Brett Gardner, Melky Cabrera, Nick Swisher and Granderson. Many people are anticipating the resigning of Johnny Damon. And with this, many people anticipate the trading of Nick Swisher. Which leaves us with a very good centerfielder, a decent corner outfielder in Cabrera, a fast outfielder who needs to improve his hitting, and an aging corner outfielder with no arm. Our minor league outfielders could be drafted away from us, as Shelley Duncan and John Rodriguez are expected to be drafted in the Rule 5. So we’re left with Colin Curtis, and newly signed Jon Weber and Eladio Moronta as our backups in case of injury/other needs.
Cameron has always hit for a low average and many strikeouts, but he is a perfect middle-bottom of the order hitter because of his power and speed. He hit just .250 last year but hit 25 home runs and 70 RBIs (and his home was Miller Park, typically a pitchers park). Though his speed has been decreasing over the years, he can still cover the outfield and still has a great arm, which would make his transition to a corner spot (most likely left because of said speed, and Melkys cannon for RF) much easier. He has 3 gold gloves under his belt, most recently in 2006.
Cameron would be a great fit in New York for several reasons. We know he can handle the New York media, as he spent 2004-05 with the Mets without any controversy (many remember him for his nasty collision with Carlos Beltran, breaking several bones in his face and causing him to miss the rest of the season). Second, he hits well against AL East teams for the most part in his career; 10 HR 26 RBI vs Boston, 3 HR 23 RBI vs Baltimore, 6 HR 27 RBI vs Toronto, and 5 HR 22 RBI vs Tampa Bay. Remember, his six full seasons in the AL were with Seattle and Chicago, who would face these teams a max of 10 times a year.
Scenarios with Cameron:
– Damon signed, Swisher traded for starter/reliever/minor leaguer. Cameron takes 6 or 7 spot in order and takes over RF/LF
– Damon not signed, Swisher stays- Cameron bats in front of Swisher because of speed and better clutch hitting; Swisher becomes everyday DH with ability to start in the OF when needed.
– Damon signed, Swisher kept- Cameron becomes everyday outfielder, Swisher and Damon must fight for DH job, one of the two rot on the bench, until Swisher/Cabrera traded before deadline
If the Yankees sign him, look for a 2-year, $17 MM deal.
Cameron has said that he wants to play for a team with a chance at the postseason, let’s see if the Yankees make a run at him.
Key Yankee Organizational Players That Filed
-RHP Humberto Sanchez (AAA) [acquired in Gary Sheffield trade] Good stuff, possible MLB future
-C Chris Stewart (AAA)- Backup catcher, hit .280 with 18 RBI
– 3B Eric Duncan (AAA)- 2003 1st-Round draft choice, a fan favorite who can field the ball and can also hit for power.
– IF Cody Ransom (AAA)- Backup for most of the 2009 season for the MLB Yanks, but also filled in for Alex Rodriguez at 3B for the first month of the season until he hurt his own quad. In 122 at-bats in the MLB in 08 and 09, he has a .230 avg, 4 HR and 18 RBI, and can also play the field.
-OF Freddy Guzman (AAA) [if you consider him a SWB Minor Leaguer, acquired from the Orioles at the ’09 deadline], extremely fast, can cover ground in the field. However,very little power. Solid player off the bench.
-OF John Rodriguez (AAA)- Signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in 1996. Spent time with the Cardinals, Mets and Rays. Good power.
I would re-sign Sanchez and Duncan, because they still have MLB futures ahead of them.
My Players to Watch that Filed from Other Teams
– RHP Clint Everts (*WAS)- Picked by the Expos (Nationals) 5th overall in 2002 draft. Good stuff, went 8-1 with a 1.65 ERA, 68 Ks, 26 BB in 60 IP in the minors in 2009. Just 23 years old.
– LHP Rich Hill (*BAL)- With the Cubs and Orioles, a career record of 21-20. Nasty curveball. Would make a good long relief man or spot starter.
– LHP Chris Capuano (*MIL)- Another lefty with a good curve. Has been hit by some injuries in recent years, but the Yankees could take their chances. I like him as another long reliever/spot starter.
– OF Chris Denorfia (*OAK)- Good all around player, can come off the bench if needed.
– LHP Gustavo Chacin (*PHI)- You may remember him as the guy with the glasses from the Blue Jays a few years back. 25-15 in his MLB career, went 9-4 with a 3.20 ERA for AAA Lehigh Valley.
– RHP Chad Cordero (*SEA)- Longtime Expos/Nationals closer, led the league in 2005 with 47 saves. Career 20-14 with a 2.78 and 128 saves. Could be a great pickup to pad the back end of the bullpen.
Other players to watch: 3B Travis Metcalf (*TB), LHP Javier Lopez (*BOS), RHP Phillip Humber (*MIN), C Eliezer Alfonzo (*SD), 3B Joe Thurston (*STL), 3B Dallas McPherson (*SF), OF Tim Raines Jr. (*KC), 2B Josh Barfield (*CLE).
Shelley Duncan has been called up to the Yankees. It is unknown when he will arrive. This will allow the Yankees to give more players rests AND not use Eric Hinske as much. Also, Brett Gardner has been activated and is in the game one starting lineup.
Here is the lineup:
1. Jeter SS
2. Swisher RF
3. Teixeira 1B
4. Rodriguez 3B
5. Cano 2B
6. Posada C
7. Hinske DH
8. Cabrera LF
9. Gardner CF
As of now I’m thinking Shelley will be brought back next year in a Hinske type role if he plays well enough. SWB is messed up right now, as they have no good hitters or pitchers at this point. Gotta feel bad for John Rodriguez as he has stated it is his dream to play in the Bronx. Similar #’s to Shelley, but no need for two of them. Likely won’t reach that dream.
The Yankees kept Jon Albaladejo on the MLB roster today instead of calling up another outfielder. The Yankees surprised me with this one, as Mark Melancon has been sitting on the bench, having not made an appearance since July 10th in Los Angeles, while the Yankees could use another OF. John Rodriguez is healthy, Shelley Duncan is killing the ball, but Austin Jackson is struggling of late. I am fairly positive the Yankees will have another OF up by Thursday, with my guess being Shelley Duncan still.
In a few minutes I will post my interviews with AA beat writer Mike Ashmore and AAA beat writer Chad Jennings.
If you did not see this video, check it out! Yankees fans could always use a laugh at the Mets expense.
Brett Gardner was placed on the 15-day DL today with a broken thumb. Jon Albaladejo was called up to take his place. Tomorrow the Yankees will call up an OF from Scranton to replace Gardner….but the question is….WHO?
The only CF option is highly-touted prospect Austin Jackson, who Joe Girardi said will NOT be called up.
That leaves Shelley Duncan and an injured John Rodriguez. Ramiro Pena is also an option having played a few games in CF at AAA.
Prediction: Shelley Duncan called up and Yankees move Xavier Nady to 60 day DL
What I want done: Shelley Duncan and Ramiro Pena called up, move Nady to 60 day and Designate for Assignment Cody Ransom. Pena can play CF when completely neccessary and so can Nick Swisher.
P.S.: Chad Jennings, who covers the Scranton Yankees, has agreed to answer 10 questions for me through email. He will be the first person to be a part of my 10 question segment. I should have the interview up by Tuesday.