"Don't get a big head, Chris."
Lately I've been screaming for Dickerson to get a shot, at least in the outfield, over Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones. Which is due more to the poor play of Raul and Andruw, and less about the potential that Chris possesses. The idea of playing a guy with better defense, who's a pest on the basepaths, was attractive thanks to the rest of the lineup being so potent offensively. However, I'd be lying if I said I had Chris penciled into my plans for the team in 2013.
Brett Gardner should be ready to go, as he was activated today and was in the field for the final out of the today's win. Other than him, though, next year's outfield is up in the air. Nick Swisher will be a free agent, Ichiro Suzuki is a free agent, and Curtis Granderson's deal is technically up at the end of the year... although the Yankees do hold a club option on him for another season.
Since it's something I'll talk about more in-depth during the offseason, here's a quick synopsis of what I see happening...
Looking at Fangraph's dollar value, Granderson has been worth over $18 million a season since joining the team in 2010. Making that club option of $13 million seem like a bargain. Even if you see Fangraph's dollar value as inflated it doesn't matter, as $13 million for a guy coming off a season with 40 HR truly is a bargain. Regardless of how many times he strikes out. You can bet on him being in pinstripes next season.
Nick Swisher is looking at his final "big" contract, as he turns 32 in November. On top of being able to bat .265, get on base 36% of the time, and hit 25 or so home runs a season, he's also a switch-hitter that can play RF and 1B. There are going to be a number of teams, including the Red Sox, that would love to bring him to their team. All that without bringing up his great attitude. I love Nick, especially since he played college ball at Ohio State, but I can easily see another team offering him more, meaning he won't be back.
That leaves one more spot in the starting outfield. So what will happen? Will they bring back Ichiro, who has hit .326/.350/.474 in his 59 games since being dealt to New York? What about Cody Ross, regardless of the fact he's a right-handed pull hitter, which doesn't play well in Yankee Stadium? I don't know, but I'll tell you one thing that won't happen... they won't give the starting gig to Chris Dickerson.
Dickerson is 30 and has only started in 36 MLB games the last three years, and only played in 100 MLB games the last 3 seasons too. But the main reason I don't see him starting for the Yanks in 2013 is the fact he only had a little over 2 years of MLB service time coming into this season, meaning he won't be a free agent. The team has no reason to press him into playing time, since it's not like he can take a job elsewhere as a starter, like what Jerry Hairston and Jose Molina did after 2009.
And let's face it... injuries are going to happen. Chances are the 4th outfielder is going to see quite a bit of playing time, so Dickerson will play a role with the team next year regardless of whether it's as a starter or a bench player.
So who is the 3rd starting outfielder going to be for the Yankees? Who will join Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson out there? I'm going to save that post for the offseason.
My cliffhanger is better.