Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Curious Case of the Yankees Outfield

The New York Yankees enter the 2017 season with a bit of a conundrum on their hands regarding their team, their focus and their overall goals for this upcoming season. Does the team want to compete in 2017 and if so will they be willing to trade off pieces that they have seemingly been unwilling to part with in the past before the trading deadline to make sure the team competes? Will the team, despite what the standings say, continue the youth movement and move pieces at the trading deadline? Do the Yankees even know what they are going to do or want to do? I’m leaning more towards the latter than the former and nothing gives me that feeling more than the current state of the New York Yankees outfield.

The Yankees outfield, on paper anyway as we are just beginning spring training this season, consists of Brett Gardner in left field, Jacoby Ellsbury in center field, Aaron Judge in right field and Aaron Hicks playing the fourth outfielder. Now excuse me if I’m confused but the team, as I said earlier, is in the middle of a rebuild and the team still currently employs overpaid and underperforming veterans like Ellsbury. I get holding onto Gardner, if it weren’t so soon after the retirement of Derek Jeter I would be beating the drum for Gardner to be the captain of the team right now if we’re being honest, but we didn’t even hear an inkling of news regarding Ellsbury this winter. Why? We see players with no-trade clauses who have underperformed and failed to live up to their outrageous contracts traded all the time, why don’t the Yankees ever do this?

Why don’t the Yankees ever eat half the salary and move their overpaid and underperforming players for mediocre and high upside prospects like the rest of the damn league does? Usually to us might I add, although not recently thank goodness. If the team is going to rebuild they need to rebuild, that includes trading Ellsbury to anyone who will take him and the bulk of his salary. If the team is going to compete in 2017 they need to trade Ellsbury to anyone who will take him and the bulk of his salary. Ellsbury does not make the team better, he doesn’t make the team younger and he doesn’t make the team more financially flexible going forward. He’s weighing the team down and he’s the next big contract that the Yankees will simply wait out rather than deal away, lick their wounds and move on.

Rebuild…. Compete…. Neither of them are being done right now with the current state and the curious case of the New York Yankees outfield. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, and in the case of Jacoby Ellsbury you wouldn’t even want to eat this cake if you could. It’s a bit… stale. 


  1. This couldn't have been said any better. I know Hans is going to do a little Gardner bashing here, and that's okay. But Gardner's contract and roster spot is not what's holding this team back. Gardner makes half of what Elsbury makes, is under contract for half as long as Elsbury, and outperforms Elsbury. If it were me, I would eat most of Elsbury's contract and trade him for a bullpen catcher. We can bring up any one of Gamel, Williams, Frazier, or Fowler and get more production at a league minimum salary. That makes eating Elsbury's salary a wash.

    1. For $87 million more plus 3 additional years, we could have kept Robinson Cano who is still performing at an elite level and avoided the revolving door at second. Boston's still laughing at the money we paid Ellsbury...

    2. Ok Levin you asked for some Gardner bashing and here goes. First let me state that both Gardner and Ellsbury SUCK. Second Burch needs to stop drinking or smoking or whatever he is doing to make an outlandish comment about Gardner being the next Captain.

      To be a Captain you need to be a special player and Gardner is far from a special player. Look back at past Yankee Captains and tell me where and why Gardner fits in?

      Now onto you Levin. I don't think a career 261 hitter that is not a good bunter, has fast wheels and can't steal a loaf of bread along with a weak arm is anything special and neither do the other 29 teams or he would've been sent packing, unless the elf got delusional and asked for a hell of a lot for what I mentioned above. Now that being said I think he is a very good OF, to me he is a 4th OF and I don't think he belongs in the lineup everyday. I even believe he would produce better numbers if he sat 2 or 3 days a week.

      Lets call a spade a spade here... the elf isn't the greatest judge of talent and our entire OF by committee is extremely weak. Judge will be in triple A before the all-star break if not sooner and the two fidgets in LF and CF won't hit their combined weight in BA.

      Tell me Levin that my assessment of Gardner is wrong and if so please point out why?
      1. Career .261 hitter
      2. Weak arm
      3. Terrible baserunner
      4. No power
      5. Can't bunt

    3. Brett...

      1st in runs, 3B hits
      2nd in Hits, SB, BB, TB
      3rd in 2B Hits, OBP

      1st in Runs Scored, Triples, BB, OBP
      2nd in SB
      4th in 2B hits, BA, Hits,
      Gold Glove

    4. Ya thats on the Yanks flawed roster. Now put that against the rest of MLB. You skewed the results to make yourself and Punch and Judy look good. He might have those stats on our roster but I career .261 hitter with all those flaws I mentioned above, which you failed to address in TYPICAL Reed fashion

    5. If he is as bad, as you say he is, why did Cashman have teams calling about him?
      Your Answer, "They offered a bag of used balls and a jock strap"!

    6. Hans- I really didn't say that to restart the "Great Gardner Debate" here. I think we've actually come to terms on that. You don't like him, I do. You pick your stats to prove your point, and I pick mine. But since you ask, I'll make one more attempt to try and prove my point.
      1) Career .261 hitter. Can't argue that, it's fact. But he does have a career OBP of .346, which puts him right around the middle of the pack. If he's getting on base 35% of the time, do you really care how he got there?
      2)Weak arm. In 2010 he finished 2nd in outfield assists, 2011 he finished 2nd, 2016 he finished 3rd. Among active players, he ranks 8th. Not bad among roughly 120 outfielders. (30 teams x 4 outfielders.)
      3) Terrible baserunner. 80.74% success rate good for 45th all time. Lou Brock himself said stealing bases is tough on your body. We all know how Gardner breaks down towards the end of the year. Maybe he's being more selective to conserve his body. Point is, the success rate is still pretty good.
      4) No power. You got me there too. He does in fact have limited power.
      5) Can't bunt. 2013 finished 10th in sacrifices, 2014 finished 1st, 2015 finished 5th. He's 15th among active players. There's roughly 390 position players in the league at any given time, 15th sounds pretty good to me.
      One more stat for you, WAR is very much a determining factor for the HOF. You say he's not very good, WAR says he's the 55th best leftfielder to play the game.
      All that being said, I'm not saying he's even close to HOF material. I'm saying he should be the next Yankee Captain. I'm not saying he's an all star. I'm saying he's an above average major league player. That's all.

    7. Left a word out towards the end. I'm not saying he should be the next Captain.

    8. Levin you make some valid points but remember the rule of thumb on LF, weakest arm in the OF. Second your point about base running. Anyone on here knows that he limits himself in steal attempts with someone that has his speed should be stealing upward of 40 bases a year and it doesn't happen. I'm not saying you said he should be Captain at all. That was brought up by Burch. As a former season ticket holder I watched him MANY times a game jog in from LF and then stop and walk the rest of the way in from the OF. You might say that trivial, however I am a purist and I want my players hustling out to their positions and hustling back in from the field into the dugout. I hate shit like that. I had that Pineda wears his hat to the side. Little shit like that is an imperfection on the game. I know you like Gardner and I don't so we will leave it at that.

    9. Reed just because someone calls about inferior players means nothing. Look at the king of dumpster diving. He picks up inferior players all the time. Look at his latest ...Neise

    10. Like I said last year, you and I see things differently. I along with many others don't think Brett is just a 4th OF. But, that is ok because we have different ideas of a good player and one not so good or better yet...overrated!
      Just have fun this year!

      That's ok, that is why we comment on this site, we can disagree!

    11. A career .261 hitter that is fast as hell that can't steal bases is not what I call a good player. I guess our opinions on a good player is quite different. Great D I will give you that and that is why for me he is a 4th OF, because he can't do anything else. He's a better version of Aaron Hicks

    12. Come on Ken H, you and I both know, one steals on the pitcher about 75/80% of the time. It is called Talent, talent to Read the Pitcher.

    13. One of the few players I have seen steal a base with a BAD LEAD and NO Read of the Pitcher was...Mickey Mantle! And Brett isn't in the same postal zone as Mickey, no player has been...3.0 seconds to first base from a full swing...no one has ever been timed faster.
      "The Commerce Comet" Did you know Mickey had a partially torn ACL for most of his career? And he still did what he did on the field whereas, nowadays a player would be in a cast after having an operation to fix it.
      Sorry, he is (was) so good to watch play and the things he could do...outstanding. A great Athlete, that played Baseball!

  2. Ken H...
    Brett... to me he has done everything he can do to help the team win. And as being Captain, why not? He is one of the True Yankees....who better. Your thing about being a special player to be Captain is BS. If that were true, why was Joe D never a captain...or Mickey? Captains are mostly LEADERS not just the best player or the face of the team. I'll take a leader over a personality any day.

    Brett never was a big Talent and his instincts are not that great on the bases so what? News flash 70% or more of position players don't have good baseball instincts, they play on talent and hard work. Remember a guy we had with the name of Bernie Williams, well he was an Athlete that happened to play Baseball...NO baseball instincts what so ever! Count Mickey in with Bernie except he did have some baseball instincts.
    By the way Cashman said back in November, he was not going to trade Brett...Yet!

    Yes I would like to see Brett and Ells traded NOW, but Brett is the better player of the two.

    1. Reed when was the last time you were at a Yankee game in person? Next time you go watch Gardner come off the field. He has no hustle to the dugout and walks most of the way. Little stuff that a leader does is set an example for everyone to see. You always saw Jeter hustle. No sorry this guy isn't Captain material period

    2. Nothing to argue about here Ken H, I never said he should be Captain at all! I gave reasons for your comments about his value to the team. I said he is just as much a Captain candidate as anyone else.
      Nice guys are not always the best as Captains, they take care of their Click, but when needed for having the back of other players they are not to be found. We had one like that!

    3. Not really interested in having the whole captain or not captain debate as the only captain I've ever watched personally is Jeter (with one or two years of Don Mattingly but I was by no means as hardcore of a fan as I am now). Obviously you would want to compare the two and no one is comparing to Jeter, at least during my lifetime.

      My line of thinking was that he was the longest tenured Yankees player, he's a gritty player that loves to get his jersey dirty (wish he would get it more dirty by stealing bases but hey... whatever), and a plethora of other reasons. Captain doesn't make you necessarily the best player but it more so means you're the one everyone looks to on the field and in the clubhouse.

      If he doesn't run off the field I'm not personally going to make that as big of a deal as some. Then again I'm not considered to be a purist either so take that for what you will. If he leads in the clubhouse and on the field I can take him jogging on and off the field in a game where it's so commercialized that if he didn't jog he'd be left sitting in the dugout by himself for 15 minutes.

      Again, not looking to have the debate. Just putting my opinion out there as well as my line of thinking when I wrote the article. Plus all that good stuff that Jeff Levin said :)

  3. I was one of four guys that owned a box down the 1st base line, until 2016. It was to expensive for me to pay for by myself...as my boss told me! I also lost my pilot and I am not going to drive that far!


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)