As long as Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner are in the everyday lineup, there are going to be those who doubt and question the Yankees outfield. Neither hits for a particularly high average, Gardner doesn’t have typical corner outfield power, and Swisher has struggled in the postseason.
But there’s a good chance the Yankees are going to stick with them.
Gardner’s streaky at the plate, but he’s a Gold Glove-type in the field, and he gets on base enough to create havoc with his speed. He’s just now entering his arbitration years, so he’s still incredibly affordable. Swisher reaches base and hits for power, and he had another productive regular season even with an awful first half. He has a $10.25-million option for next season, and that’s not particularly out of line given what happened to the corner outfield market last winter.
Of course Curtis Granderson will be back to play center.
If the Yankees do stick with what they have, they’ll still be in the market for someone to fill the Andruw Jones role (could be Jones himself). Chris Dickerson and Greg Golson provide some speedy alternatives — and when he’s healthy, Colin Curtis will be in that same mix — but ultimately, moving forward could be as simple as renewing contracts.
It doesn’t seem out of the question that the Yankees could go into spring training with the same starting outfield for a third year in a row.
Associated Press photo