I read a small piece here where a guy says the Yankees are after Chicago’s Marlon Byrd.
Where has it ever been reported that the Yankees are interested in Marlon Byrd? I love it when these guys listen to talk radio, and report what one of the hosts suggest as “rumors” and “needs.” Earlier yesterday, WFAN host Mike Francesca suggested the Yankees would be better with Marlon Byrd, as he is cheap (3 yrs/$15 thru 2012) and a “pretty good hitter, c’mon he is second in the National League in hitting.”
First, the do not need another outfielder. They have Brett Gardner in left field (.320/.402/.422/.824 OPS), Curtis Granderson in center field (.235/.313/.426/.739 OPS) and Nick Swisher in right field (.298/.378/.512/.890 OPS).
Where is the room for Byrd?
Where would he play? Oh, you mean he will play for Granderson against lefties? Sure Curtis is a dismal .207/.246/.328/.573 OPS versus southpaws, so now the suggestion is to platoon Byrd and Granderson in center.
We now have a $12 million platoon centerfield position. That is really good. This retards the growth of Granderson in getting to hit lefties. Changing a players approach to hitting takes time.
Kevin Long is a really good hitting coach. He has worked for two seasons with Gardner and Swisher, and they have responded tremendously. Long has had four months with Granderson. Four months. A few tweaks in hitting mechanics can be done quickly, but to transfer that “tweaking” to games takes much longer than four months.
And why would people think that the Chicago Cubs would trade their only productive, low-cost hitter in Marlon Byrd? His contract is great, and they have guys like Derrek Lee, Kosuke Fukodome and Aramis Ramirez getting big money to not hit.
Alfonso Soriano is having an MVP-type year compared to those three Cub hitters.
True, the Cubs have a good young outfielder named Tyler Colvin, but why not have Byrd and Colvin in the outfield more often? Xavier Nady is better trade bait for the Cubs, but the Yankees don’t need him here again mucking up things.
After talking about Byrd, the author discusses the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles utility guy Ty Wigginton.
Wigginton would make more sense, but he hasn’t hit that well since a scorching first six weeks of the 2010 season.
He only has three home runs since the first week of May and NONE in the last month. And if you saw him on defense against the Yankees a few weeks ago, he is brutal with the glove.
But I would trade Kevin Russo and any pitcher at Double A Trenton not named DJ Mitchell, Hector Noesi, Tim Norton or David Phelps for Wigginton.