Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Change of Heart

Well, I got two of my three predictions right, but Moose did get his 20th win, and to be perfectly honest, that was one I'm glad I got wrong. He deserved it, and I'm hoping he returns for another year or two in pinstripes before hanging up his spikes and heading for the Hall of Fame.

I've also had a change of heart about the Cano for Swisher trade. With the kind of numbers Teixeira put up this year (WARP1 = 10.0), it's hard to make a convincing argument that the Yankees best course of action is anything but going all out to sign him. Even if it takes a 7 or 8 year deal at $18M/year, Teixeira is just too good offensively AND defensively to pass up. And with Arod signed for another 9 years, the Yankees would be pretty well set at the corner IF spots (and 3-4 hitters in the order) well into the next decade.

That said, with Hudson and Ellis available as free agents, I still think Cano is trade bait. The Yankees have a huge hole in CF, and with Austin Jackson a couple of years away, both Melky and Gardner as more of the 4th OF type, and no real FA options in CF, the Yankees don't have a lot of options but to try and fill the hole with a trade.

Much has been written about a Cano for Kemp deal, but I don't think the Dodgers are going to be sending Kemp anywhere in the near future. But there's another young CF in the NL West who might be available.

The Diamondbacks will have a hole at 2B with the departure of Orlando Hudson, and four OFs ready to play in '09 -- Eric Byrnes, Justin Upton, Conor Jackson, and Chris Young. Jackson is probably limited to LF, and Byrnes' contract means he will be playing somewhere, most likely in right. Upton is a naturally gifted athlete with a huge upside and should have no problems making the transition to CF. So, the trade the Yankees should be making is

Cano to Arizona for Chris Young

I know he strikes out a lot and his OBP is not where you would want it to be, but Young is only 25, he is already an excellent defensive CFer, and as he learns how to play the game, he's going to get better (and more patient) at the plate. This trade helps both teams for the next several years, so it's my first move as the fantasy Yankee GM.

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