Rick Ankiel

Apparently the Yankees have interest in Cardinals' center fielder Rick Ankiel. Ankiel slugged .506, with 25 HRs, but his OBP was a measly .337. Joel Sherman says that the Cards have some interest in Ian Kennedy. Personally, I like the idea of adding Ankiel to play center. It then forces Melky and Gardner to earn a spot in the outfield, not just have one handed to them. Ankiel would bring back some needed power the Yankees lost with the departures of Bobby Abreu and Jason Giambi. However, I hate the idea of giving up Kennedy for one year of Ankiel. Kennedy will soon be an important part of the rotation, and giving up on him this early would be a poor decision. The Cards want pitching and a closer. Well, we're not giving up Mo or Melancon. And we aren't going to give up Hughes, Kennedy, Aceves, or any other really good pitchers. I can see us trading a bullpen guy capable of closing or starting, but not anyone with extreme promise.

Ankiel is a free agent after 09, just like Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, and Xavier Nady. I don't envision the Yankees making a huge push to retain any of these guys after the season as they are all getting older, Matsui's an injury risk, Nady's overrated, and Damon will seek a starting center field job. So, the one problem with getting Ankiel is that the Yankees would then have to establish a completely new outfield after the season. Of course, internally they have Justin Christian, Melky Cabrera, Brett Gardner, and Austin Jackson, but does anyone really think the Yankees would put out a starting outfield of all young homegrown guys? Obviously, there is a lot of time before then, and who knows maybe Melky bounces back, or Gardner hits .330 and steals 70 bases, or Jackson gets called up earlier than expected and proves to be the superstar we hope he will be. But, in all likelihood that won't all happen. So, by acquiring a stopgap guy to play center(which I'm not opposed to) we would have yet another busy offseason next year. And with a strong outfield class which could include Ankiel, Jason Bay, Carl Crawford, Jermaine Dye, Vlad Guerrerro, Matt Holliday, Magglio Ordonez, Randy Winn, and Jayson Werth, the Yankees could have some fun looking for their new outfielders.

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