Center Field

This has been a topic of much discussion on 6P8OBJ. We've talked about trade possiblities, free agents, and letting the Melkman and Gardner battle it out for the spot. We all know that I'm a big fan of trading for Ryan Spilborghs. The free agent market is terrible. The trade market will revolve around if the Royals decide to trade one of their outfielders(Teahen, DeJesus, Crisp, and Guillen). Conor likes DeJesus, but he will probably cost a king's ransom. Dayton Moore has said that Teahen will be an integral part of the team this year. They just got Crisp, so I'm guessing they won't want to send him away right away. They've tried to trade Guillen, but his contract has been a deterrent for many teams (not to mention his horrendous .300 OBP, YIKES!). Delmon Young has been on the trade market. I've said he could be a great addition before, and I still think he has that potential. However, his lack of power and patience are discouraging (.336 OBP, .405 SLG, and only 10 home runs over 575 AB's.). He is still young though(turned 23 in September) and was a top prospect. The Yankees have been discussing a Melky-Mike Cameron swap, but there haven't been any new reports on the talks. Cameron can't hit for average or get on base often, but his power would be a welcome addition to the lineup. The Cardinals could look to trade Rick Ankiel, as he is a free agent after 09 and St.Louis probably doesn't want to deal with Scott Boras next year.

This next idea is completely made-up, it's just me being curious, but could the Yanks get Josh Hamilton? The man who was absolutely filthy at the home run derby and was an MVP candidate has become a fan favorite in Texas. However, the Rangers have a phenomenal offense as Hamilton is surrounded by Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, Hank Blalock, Chris Davis, Nelson Cruz, Dave Murphy, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden. Their pitching, however, leaves something to be desired. A rotation of some combination of Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla, Scott Feldman, Matt Harrison, Brandon McCarthy, Kason Gabbard, Dustin Nippert, and Eric Hurley leaves something to be desired. Not one of them had an ERA under 4 in '08, and most were above 5. Even if the Rangers add Ben Sheets they will want to improve their rotation. With the signings of CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett, the Yankees might be willing to trade away some young pitching. I would like them to hold on to Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, but if they could land Hamilton who had a .371 OBP, a .530 SLG, 32 home runs, and 130 RBI’s, I would be willing to give up one of the two(preferably Kennedy). Via RAB we can see that the Yanks have some depth with young pitching. Beyond Sabathia, Burnett, Wang, Chamberlain, Hughes, and Kennedy they also have Alfredo Aceves, Chase Wright, Kei Igawa, Sergio Mitre, Eric Hacker, Chris Garcia, and Andrew Brackman. They could also use Phil Coke as a starter. Humberto Sanchez and Dan Giese can also start games. With all these guys, not to mention George Kontos, Brett Smith, Zach McAllister, Alan Horne, and Dellin Betances, the Yankees can afford to trade away a couple of young arms. The Rangers could plug in Marlon Byrd in center and have a much improved pitching staff. If the Rangers sign Sheets and get 4 pitchers from the Yanks (Kennedy or Aceves, Wright or Sanchez, and 2 of Kontos, Smith, McAllister, Horne, and Betances) they not only upgrade pitching at the big league level, but create minor league depth as well. You might be saying “Hey, we wouldn’t give up Kennedy for Johan Santana, why give him up for Josh Hamilton?” Well here’s why…The Yankees have 4 good starters (all ace caliber) under their control for a while. Joba hasn’t even reached arbitration yet, and Wang has only been through one year of arbitration. Burnett is signed for 5 years whether I like it or not, and Sabathia is going to be here for at least 3 years, and most likely 7. With this much of the rotation set for the future, the Yankees don’t need Kennedy. They have Hughes and all of the above minor league players capable of filling in at some point within the next few years. Hamilton’s story of overcoming drugs is an inspiration to fans, and his stats are pretty phenomenal. This isn’t very likely, but who wouldn’t want to see Hamilton hitting behind A-Rod. And then in 2010 they would have Austin Jackson alongside Hamilton in the outfield (not sure who would play right and who would play center) and most likely Matt Holliday will be patrolling left. That would be a ridiculously talented outfield. Thoughts? Let’s hear them in the comments.

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