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Yanks In On Wild Thing?

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Would Rick Ankiel be a good fit for the Yanks? In a word, yes.

Joel Sherman has a piece about Yankee interest in Rick Ankiel. The Yanks are apparently among 5 teams who have expressed interest. The Cardinals are supposedly high on Ian Patrick Kennedy and looking for a starter and/or a closer in return for Wild Thing.




On the field, this one makes a ton of sense. The Yanks need left-handed power and one of the positions they could us an upgrade at is center field. Pencil Ankiel in as your starting center fielder, make Gardner your fourth OF/late-inning pinch runner, send Melky down to SWB, or move him as part of a package. Ankiel's defensive numbers put him below Melky and Gardner in range, I think he's probably got a comparable arm to Melky's, much better than Gardner's. In his one+ season as a full-time hitter he's averaged a home run ever 16.25 at bats. In comparison, Gardner averaged a home run every infinity at bats and Melky's rate is one bomb per 62.51 at bats.

The potential downside is that Ankiel will be a free agent after the season and his agent is Scott Boras. He's going to file and he's going to be looking for many years lots of money. So basically, if you traded IPK for Ankiel, you'd be giving up on 1/3 of the Big Three for a one-year rental of a guy who only has one full year of ML experience in the outfield, and he was only on the field for 120 games in that season.

If I'm Cashman I pull the trigger. Ankiel is a decided upgrade to the offense, which they need. Yes, he'll be a free agent, but he's cheap this season and you're paying bottom dollar for a Boras client in his walk year. That seems like a solid formula to me.

10 Comments

Interestingly enough, the Cardinal fans would probably make this deal as well. Nothing against Ankiel, who I am a huge fan of, but they have to move an outfielder and getting some one of the apparently quality of Kennedy would be a huge boost.

What's the opinion on Yankee fans on Kennedy? I know he struggled last year.

Kennedy has dominated every level in the minors and he was lights out when he came up at the tail end of 2007. Last year was an abject disaster for him in the bigs though.

It's understandable that he struggled, and I don't really think fans are despondent over that. The problem a lot of fans have with him is his cest la vie attitude about it. He made some comments that really made it seem like he doesn't care if he gets it up, that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

If he can regain his confidence, I think he'll be a solid starter in the league. He doesn't throw hard, probably tops out at maybe 91-92, but he has good movement on his fastball, a little curve and a really good change. His main problem was that he got afraid of hitting the bat after he got knocked around and never seemed willing to throw strikes.

I would gladly trade Kennedy for Ankiel.

I do think Kennedy will win 10 games this year but Ankiel fits a need.

Kennedy will probably develop faster elsewhere. Sad thing to say, but the pressure doesn't get much worse than it is in NY. Other franchises and fans might give him a better chance to build up his confidence.

You're a machine with this Yankee news, Bri. What are the odds the Yanks give up on Kennedy and Hughes this off-season?

Kennedy, I'd say 40/60 against, Hughes I'd say 15/85 against.

If they're going to move Hughes it would have to be for a top-tier starter or hitter. They put a lot of faith in him last year by not trading him for Johan. It would have to take player of that caliber to pry him loose at this point.

Kennedy, I believe could be moved for a piece like Ankiel. I'd do it in a heartbeat. I think those comments he made still don't sit well with a lot of people.

If Ankiel is going to be our rightfielder, I am all for it, but he is not a centerfielder. We need a defensive CF--- Matt Kemp for Cano even up makes sense, pull the trigger on Ankiel for IPK and another B reliever.Sign Manny to DH, Put Damon in left, Trade the clutch man Matsui (with much regret) to Seattle for whatever or even the Cubs who need a lefty hitting. Use X as fourth of, dh etc. Sign Sheets/Burnett/or Lowe, Burnett would be my preference just because of his stuff, and in all of this trading, pick up a good prospect with speed and range to play shortstop soon. Nick Punto for defensive bench sounds good too, and then we can rest.

I'm pretty much resigned to our defense being sub-par across the board. A-Rod at third is the only guy that's above average, and he's only slightly so, statistically. I guess Gardner/Melky could be considered above average as well. Right now, I'm worried about scoring runs, so I'd probably take Ankiel over any of our other options in center.

As for the rest of your moves, I can't say I disagree with any of them. I'm hesitant to take on Manny, but we need offense in the worst way.

I guess I am resigned to the defense not being great as well, but I watched us lose alot of one and two run games last year that we rightfully blamed on lack of clutch hitting. In fact, there were times in most of those games where a better than average outfielder would have saved those one or two runs and a better ranging infield would have done the same. Clutch hitting would have been easier under those circumstances. I guess great hitting could cover up our lack of defensive ability, but if we learned anything last year,it was that you can't depend on clutch hitting over the course of 162 games. Even Burnett, Sheets, and Sabathia aren't going to strike out 9 guys everytime out. We need to get guys to make that pitching investment pay off. I hope that emphasis is put on finding guys who can track down those grounders and flys that look like outs when they leave the bat but invariable either drop in or dribble through. If not this year, certainly for the upcoming seasons.

I'm with ya. I'd love it if we had a great defensive team, but it's just not in the cards for this season. It would be interesting to take a statistical look at how many runs having a guy like Ankiel in center would cost vs. having a guy like Gardner. Also, a net of runs saved/runs created would be a cool study as well.

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