Rounding out the Bench: Reserve Outfielders, or the Dangers of Boredom

I know, its not as sexy as which pitchers we can trade for, but it will be an important part of the team in its own way. Now lets say that the Yankees don't resign Andruw Jones and also have no internal options available like Chris Dickerson, Justin Maxwell and whoever else is lying around. To replace Andruw Jones, the new player would need to either 1) outperform or provide the numbers that Andruw Jones had, 2) be a cheaper option while also not being a complete downgrade. Fielding is not as important because our starting outfield is already pretty good there and we're not signing a free agent just to use as a defensive replacement. Here is what Andruw Jones accomplished last year: 131 wRC+ as a Righty who crushed lefties. He also made $1.5M from the Yankees. I looked on MLBTR's remaining free agent list and I came up with some possibilities.

Rick Ankiel, Kosuke Fukudome, Luke Scott, Corey Patterson, Conor Jackson, Juan Pierre and Cody Ross.

Now, I looked at their stats from last season for two reasons. 1) to see their most up to date stats, since their career average may not be relevant for older players (like Jones) and this might be who they are now and 2) a player with a good track record with a poor season should be cheaper and some might not have a choice other than to take a bench role.

Useful against Righties:

Rick Ankiel had an 83 wRC+ last season. He is a lefty who hits righties better, he can play all over the outfield and has a canon for an arm. He made just $1.5M last year so he should be cheap and could take a bench role.

Kosuke Fukudome is hitting free agency for the first time after a disappointing stint with the Cubs. Last year he had a 93 wRC+ as a lefty who hits righties better. He can play Right Field and with the way his contract ended he might have trouble finding a starting job.

Luke Scott is also hitting free agency for the first time as a lefty who hits righties. He had an injury shortened season, but managed an 88 wRC+ after a 2010 where he reached 140 across a full season. He can play the outfield, first base and DH so he offers a lot of power that can be moved across the field. He would likely see a raise over the $6.4M he made last season since he could get a multi year deal to start somewhere else.

Corey Patterson is a lefty who hits righties, but only managed a 67 wRC+ last season while basically nothing last year. He isn't so much of a prize as he is cheap and his ability to move around the outfield would prove useful. If we were to sign him, we would need a power hitter to compliment him. We could probably sign him on a minor league deal as well.

Useful against lefties:

Conor Jackson is also hitting Free Agency for the first time and brings corner outfield and 1b help. He had an 83 wRC+ last season and has successfully fallen of a cliff to the point that i don't think he would get a starting job anywhere. He is a righty that can hit lefties and only made $3.2M so he shouldn't be any more expensive than that.

Juan Pierre brings a ton of speed to the base paths and the entire outfield, however his hitting has taken a fall with a 78 wRC+ last year. He is a lefty that can hit lefties and he could still get multi year offers to start somewhere or could be a little too expensive.

Cody Ross managed a 102 wRC+ last year and could still be in line to find a starting job. He is a righty that can hit lefties and he can play across the outfield. He hits free agency for the first time so he could get a year and an option somewhere else. He is still young and shouldn't be too expensive.


I would go with Luke Scott because he should give us the most power off the bench to replace what Jones gave us and is likely to improve over last year. If we wanted another outfielder to compliment Scott and his strength against righties, we could go with someone who hits lefties well. I would want Juan Pierre because of his speed, however he is likely to go elsewhere. Conor Jackson would be a decent pickup because he would be cheap, however I think Cody Ross could potentially provide the most value. I would also sign Patterson to a minor league deal just in case.

Obviously this is all hypothetical/boredom induced conjecture. I assume the Yankees will resign Jones to another cheap deal and if not, their cheap alternatives will be who they turn to, not potentially expensive free agents, but it is something fun to talk about. Who would you want on the team? I'm also playing making a list of players the Yankees should offer minor league contracts to/invite to spring training.

FanPosts are user-created content and do not necessarily reflect the views of the writing staff of Pinstripe Alley or SB Nation.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Pinstripe Alley

You must be a member of Pinstripe Alley to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pinstripe Alley. You should read them.

Join Pinstripe Alley

You must be a member of Pinstripe Alley to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pinstripe Alley. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.