Look for this sort of idea to be floated quite a bit the next month or so.
Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi wrote yesterday about the Chicago Cubs need for a center fielder. They mentioned Marlon Byrd and Scott Podsednik as free agent candidates, then they threw Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner into the mix as players who “could become available this offseason, depending upon how (the Yankees) roster evolves.”
The logic is hard to argue. The Yankees have a new center fielder. They just took a player in the Rule 5 draft who can play center field. They also have two center fielders returning from last season. It’s reasonable to think someone might be available in a trade (and to be perfectly honest, one of my first reactions to the Curtis Granderson deal was that Gardner would probably traded). Also, Rosenthal and Morosi are national baseball writers. They’re writing for an audience that doesn’t know the Yankees roster from top to bottom. It’s their job to make people aware of a center field situation such as New York.
But the key line seems to be, “depending upon how their roster evolves.”
Right now, Granderson, Gardner, Cabrera, Jamie Hoffmann and Nick Swisher are pretty much the extent of the Yankees outfield depth. Colin Curtis is in that mix somewhere, but he has only a half season of Triple-A experience, and he hit just .235 in that time. He seems to have made some strides in the Arizona Fall League, and it’s perfectly reasonable to think he could get to New York before the end of the year, but heading into spring training, the big league outfield mix is pretty much limited to five guys. Trading one, without bringing in another, would leave the options very thin.
The Yankees might try to make a move at some point, but right now their center field depth isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.