The last two days have brought a trade for a new center fielder (Curtis Granderson) and a free-agent signing of an old starting pitcher (Andy Pettittte). What will today bring? Who knows? Let's look around the Inter-Google at stories about our New York Yankees while we wait to find out.
General Manager Brian Cashman finally spoke Wednesday about the Granderson trade, and admitted it was difficult for him to give up the young talent he surrendered.
"It was hard for me to do that, both for the depth that they provide, the insurance, the cost control, their ability, and what they object to be. But in this particular case, we are coming off a situation right now where we have two guys right now that are free agents, Matsui and our left fielder, Johnny Damon, that right off the bat is somewhere in the 50 home run range coming right out of our lineup.
So when you learn that there is a potential opportunity to bring in a premium position player, here is a centerfielder that's an above-average centerfielder with power: Hitting 30 home runs in that ballpark; left-handed bat; loves batting in Yankee Stadium; he's athletic.
It's one of those things where you really look hard at it. We had a lot of discussion. It did take a long time, a lot of creativity by the people here at this table to pull it off. So he's an exceptional character guy, too."
Speaking of Granderson, his former manager in Detroit, Jim Leyland, thinks Yankee fans will love him.
"In my opinion, Curtis Granderson is one of the things that’s all good about today’s baseball world," Leyland said. "He’s one heck of a player. He has a great face, he’s very bright, he’s very articulate; he’s everything that’s good about baseball. He’s the total package."
Pettitte told reporters he thought about retiring. Pettitte, though, sounds like a guy who will continue to pitch until the results tell him he just can't do it any more.
"There’s no doubt it did," he said. "For me, I couldn’t have wrote it up any better. I just could not have wrote a script any better than last year ended. I was like, what else is there to do? Why would you even continue to play? But, then you start talking to guys and it’s like, I want to make sure I’m done. I want to make sure I fully exhaust myself and I don’t want to regret not playing. I want to come back and help this organization win another one, basically. That’s what you play for."
It's pretty obvious that the Yankees are telling Johnny Damon they would like him back -- but only on their terms. At least one scout thinks Damon should take whatever the Yankees give him.
"He really has more value to the Yankees than anybody else," an AL scout said yesterday, "because his power is maximized in that stadium, and now he can probably split time between left field and DH. He'd be crazy to walk away from such a great situation over more money at this stage of his career. But plenty of Boras clients have done it."