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.