Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Yankees - Diamondbacks

Back to my favorite topic -- proposed Yankee trades. Much has been made about the Red Sox interest in acquiring a young catcher, with speculation centered on the Texas duo and Arizona's Miguel Montero. Peter Gammons wondered earlier this offseason if Arizona would be more willing to give up Montero if the Red Sox were willing to take on Byrnes. Hmmm ...

He plays excellent defense in CF, with a lifetime UZR/150 of 9.5 (and that's with 2200+ innings of data -- IE, no small sample size). I acknowledge he hasn't played there in a couple years, but that's because AZ had Chris Young, not because of any deficiency with Byrnes' glove.

He had 25 steals in 2006 and 50 steals in 2007 -- it would be awfully nice having that kind of speed in the lower third of the Yankee lineup.

For his career, he has a .289 / .351 / .513 line against LHP. Something else the Yankees could use.

On top of the injuries he suffered in 2008, if anything, he was even unluckier than Swisher. His BABIP for 2008 was .226 with a LD% of 18.8 -- Swisher's BABIP was .251 with a LD% of 20.9.

So what you have is a guy who plays good defense in CF, pretty good pop at the plate, speed on the bases, and is due for a bounceback. He has $22M/2 left on his contract, which is a drawback but it's not Zito-esque bad. And if you can get Montero in the process, add a second OF under contract for 2010 (not insignificant), and screw the Red Sox at the same time, it looks like a high upside deal all the way around.

What would it take for Arizona to make the deal? How about Kennedy/Aceves, Veras/Ramirez, Molina, and Cabrera/Gardner? A four for two deal would also help the Yankees clear two spots on the 40 man roster, one for Andy Pettitte and the other for Juan Cruz, both of whom should be signed immediately ...

LF Damon
SS Jeter
1B Teixeira
3B Rodriguez
DH Matsui
C Posada
RF Swisher
2B Cano
CF Byrnes

C Montero
IF Ransom
OF Gardner / Cabrera
OF Nady (to be dealt prior to opening day)

SP Sabathia
SP Wang
SP Burnett
SP Pettitte
SP Chamberlain

RP Robertson
RP Albaladejo
RP Bruney
RP Ramirez / Veras
RP Marte
RP Cruz
CL Rivera

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