BREAKING NEWS: Yankees Sign Randy Winn

Via Chad Jennings at LoHud and RAB, the Yankees have signed outfielder Randy Winn to a one year deal worth about $2 million.

Winn had a career down year last year, sporting a career low 75 OPS+ and a career low .318 on base percentage. However, this year and his down year in 2006 seems like the outlier. Winn doesn’t bring much power to the plate but his career OBP is .344. He is also a seemingly good defender, posting a 3.0 UZR/150 in LF for his career (437 games), a -1.3 UZR/150 in CF (687 games) and a 16.4 UZR/150 in RF (516 games).

I’ll have more on Winn later tonight or tomorrow morning.

35 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS: Yankees Sign Randy Winn

  1. Ted

    Absolutely terrible signing.

    • bornwithpinstripes

      boy are you right, what now, did we give bruney away for zip…..did girardi really hate this guy that much to not even get a goat or a bag of batting practice balls we can use???don’t get it ..any opinions???

  2. Moshe Mandel

    Really? At 2M? He had a bad year last year and was worth 7. I’m pretty ambivalent on the move- he is excellent defensively and is a high percentage basestealer. If he hits like 2002-2008, he is a plus. if he hits like 2009, which is quite possible, he’s probably worth about 2M to the Yankees. Look at it this way- he is replacing Melky Cabrera as the 9 hitter. Even if he is terrible, it is not a huge deal. I just cant get too worked up one way or another on this one.

    • bornwithpinstripes

      Hello Moshe, My point is the hoffman for bruney trade… Why ??? he must stay on the roster the whole year No? correct me if i am mistaken.. i liked bruney , he had heart..as your point on melky i totally agree , i was happy to see him go..wish him well.. it is another roster spot, do we use him or gardy as a pinch runner , late inn. defense for swisher? if thats the case we could have found a ML minimum guy for that, like i saidbruney for nobody..thanks moshe

      • Jay

        What the heck does this have to do with Winn though?

        • bornwithpinstripes

          Hello Jay , point being we went and traded for a LFer, hoffman and gave up a good pen guy, now we have a two HR guy , Winn. Why on two fronts, is my question ..

      • Moshe Mandel

        No matter who they brought in, Hoffman would be the 5th outfielder. I’m not sure how this becomes more relevant now.

  3. MJ

    Not sure how you can call 2009 the outlier. A career .327 BABIP, his ’09 number was .314. 2009 batted ball data does show some divergence from career norms across the LD%-GB%-FB% spectrum but nothing that tells me he’s a candidate for a huge bounceback, especially given his age.

    He can play some defense but, offensively, I just don’t see much reason to hope for anyting even resembling league average.

    • Moshe Mandel

      Yeah, I think he might be due for a slight improvement, but he’s unlikely to get back to the 100 OPS+ player he was for 6 of the last 8 seasons. At his age, you need to assume last year was natural decline. His defense and baserunning make him worth 2M, but anyone expecting above league average offense is probably going to be disappointed.

      • bornwithpinstripes

        thanks Moshe thats my point, why.. no big deal spending two mil, but what do we gain.. gardy is our speed and D..hoffman also.. another guy who does the same?? LF experiment..thanks Moshe

  4. idiocy, sheer idiocy….a few mil more and we could have had one of the greatest lineups ever assembled. even if were talking 4 mil more than their budget (6 mil total). we’re talking about a 2% over budget season for the Yankees….that would be unprecedented, and with a lineup of..
    Jeter
    Johnson
    Tex
    A-Rod
    Posada
    Granderson
    Damon
    Swisher
    Cano

    you’d have a lineup that probably scores 1,000 runs, and a rotation that’s gotta be one of the top 5 in baseball.

    for a 2% increase in payroll the Yankees opted for Winn, a guy trending downward, and most importantly a right handed bat which simply does not play to the strengths of our ballpark.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    • Moshe Mandel

      Just calling it 2% over budget obscures the fact that it is over budget. If you set a budget and then go over it for a 36 year old LF, then you effectively have no budget. You break budget for the Teixeira types. If they had gone out and signed someone else for 4M, then I would have been upset. But they told us they had a budget, told us when they had 2M left, and then actually only spent 2M. The Yankees are now being run like a business, which is something most of the forward thinking organizations are doing.

  5. As a business owner, I have no problem going over budget when you’re talking about a player who is a SIGNIFICANT upgrade in power, a SIGNIFICANT upgrade in RBI’s and a SIGNIFICANT upgrade in runs scored. Damon is a helluva player, and he knows how to win and produce in big games. he’s the kind of player you go 2% over budget for. Maybe not 10% over budget…but 2% you bet your ass you do.

    • Moshe Mandel

      Then you have no budget. When a team that already projects as a playoff team goes over budget by 4-5 million for a player who is 36 years old and who is a luxury, not a necessity, it means they have no budget.

      • Ted

        All due respect, I think it’s a bit unfair to call Johnny Damon a “luxury”.

        The Yankees don’t win the World Series without Damon last year. Luxuries are players who you have, but don’t really need to win. Johnny Damon was needed.

        • Moshe Mandel

          Last year he was certainly needed, I dont want to minimize that. They have already replaced him with Granderson. Bringing back Damon on top of that would have been a luxury in my eyes.

          • Ted

            What about situational hitting? I can’t speak definitively for Curtis, since I obviously haven’t watched all that many Tigers games over the years, but I do know (as we all do) that he is literally worthless against left handed pitchers, whilst Damon can handle a lefty well enough to get by (.339 OBP in ’09 isn’t terrible).

            Matsui and Damon are great situational hitters. Letting Matsui go really didn’t irk me that much. But letting two great situational hitters leave? Not too ideal, imo.

          • Moshe Mandel

            I think that’s fair, but we really wont know how the new guys do in the big spots until they get the chance. I seem to remember some playoff struggles from Matsui in years past, and in fact, there were points in this very postseason where people thought Matsui or Damon were done. They turned it around, but Cashman shouldnt make decisions because they did well in those last 6-10 games.

      • bornwithpinstripes

        Moshe do you think they would have signed damon at 6 7 mil if no Johnson? if so with johnson would you sign damon for 4 mil.. i think that is what inferno is saying

        • Moshe Mandel

          Yes, but I dont know the budget. If Hal drew a strict line, and Damon rejected a 7M offer, they had to move on, so they signed NJ. At that point, Damon wasnt an option.

  6. the other Steve S.

    I don’t like this either. Bruney gone for nothing and now Gardy is going to get the Andy Phillips treatment. Never used enough regularly to develop and be productive. I don’t get it. Why do we want this guy?

    • Moshe Mandel

      Andy Phillips didnt fail because of lack of playing time. And lets be honest, if Gardy shows any improvement offensively, he will get the bulk of the playing time.

    • bornwithpinstripes

      thats correct, gardy starts slow.. he needs another shot playing more , not less, he will not be an all star but i think if he had 400 at bats hit .280 ,we get 50 steals..now as a player how do you get into form?? too many cooks spoils the soup

  7. Jay

    I think everyone needs to put down the gun, take a step back off the ledge, and then put down the other gun. Now, I hate Winn. HATE him. I think he is DFA’ed by end of May at the latest. That said, we (as fans, since I never refer to myself as “we” like I’m on the team. Hate that more then Winn, lol) need to have some faith in Cashman. I believed Johnny was coming back. Even this morning I said that here. However, Damon IS a luxury. Damon is a much better hitter then Gardner, but Gardner is going to get back some of that value due to the defense he plays. Winn is a depth guy, and a crappy one at that, but when Nady got 3.3 million, there was nothing the Yankees could do. It’s easy to say to go over the budget, but when your budget is over 200 million freakin dollars, you better be damn sure you are getting a noticeable bump for that money. People need to trust Cashman though; he earned that right last year when he added Hinske and Hairston, two players that the majority of Yankee fans were against (especially Hairston, since Boston had just dealt for Victor Martinez).

    My gripe about this is that Winn is great at defense, but so his Gardner, so why sign Winn. Winn is old, and really isn’t much of a hitter. He is basically an older, slower, Brett Gardner. I think the role he has is if an injury/massive Swisher Slump comes on, he will get some run. The only concern I really have, because I do feel Damon is a luxury (I have said that for the last week) is that Cashman better be right on Nick Johnson. If Johnson breaks down, the Yankees offense is going to be missing a lot. Damon was a great fit because he could slot into the DH role. Who knows though, if Damon signs with Cincy or Oakland, and they don’t contend, there is nothing that says Cashman can’t try and trade for him if they need him. Damon played hardball with the team, and sometimes when you play hardball you lose. It’s much easier to take 2 million to go to Cincy (if that’s all he were to get) then to come back to the Yankees and look like a fool. Ego is huge to these guys. At this point, it also wouldn’t shock me if he sits out the first half, and the Yankees give him 2 million in July to come back provided he’s in shape.

    • Moshe Mandel

      If he hits like 2002-2008, he is better than Gardner. As I said above, that isnt particularly likely, but it is possible. I think Gardner will get the bulk of the playing time regardless, most of the AB’s against righties.

    • Ted

      My gripe about this is that Winn is great at defense, but so his Gardner, so why sign Winn. Winn is old, and really isn’t much of a hitter. He is basically an older, slower, Brett Gardner.

      This. I’d also like to add that if the Yankees were so hellbent on letting Damon go, then Reed Johnson made a lot of sense. He hits righties well, Randy Winn really doesn’t. Johnson is also a better defensive player.

    • bornwithpinstripes

      Jay, I can speak for me , i always say we ,after i watch a game i’m tired like i played in it….passion is part of fanatic or fan.. i have been a passionate fanatic for 50 years, i think it is ok for those who say WE.. with all respect for your opinion of course..

  8. jw12

    Randy a tough year for him b.c. the Giants have NO hitters on that team. I think he’s great defensive pick up.

  9. Winn…what the he…!
    As said above, he’ll see some time against tough leftys and maybe spell the others, but he will end up being the 4th outfielder…if he stays all year.

  10. Jay

    In regards to Curtis Granderson, I really, really believe that Kevin Long will make a major impact on him. I believe that by the end of the season, people will be pleasantly surprised.

  11. Peter

    Lets not forget that Johnny Damon originally wanted a multi-year deal from the Yanks. Boras tries to abuse Cashman and the Yanks to swell his players markets. Damon was never going to get a multi year deal in the 10mil range from any other team and Boras knew it. I feel bad for Johnny because he;s too stupid to realize Boras is screwing then end of his career up.

    Barring the consequences, Winn is not a terrible signing. We know Cashman didn’t want to splurge on any OF this year because of the 2011 offseason. Jay makes a great point that Swisher was a pleasant surprise last year all around, and I think well be lucky to see him put up the same offensive numbers again. Hoffman-Swish-Gardner-Winn will all platoon LF/RF. Winn will bring veteran plate presence, the ability to steal bags and run the bases, and has a solid arm.

    • Matt Imbrogno

      I’d be careful with the Swisher comps. While Winn is very likely to have a bounce back year (he can only go up from last year, right?) but his offensive upside is not nearly what Swisher’s was coming into ’09. It’s also worth noting that Winn is a lot older/less likely to improve than Swisher, who is in his age-wise prime. Pretty much everyone but Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen saw Swisher’s rebound a mile away; with Winn, it’s not so obvious. Still, it’s not a bad move since the cost is low, as is the risk.

  12. EJ Fagan

    Not crazy about the signing, but its not the end of the world. I agree that I’d rather have Gardner, but at least now the Yankees have a deeper bench.

  13. George

    I definetly wanted Damon but in the back of my head I knew it wasn’t gonna happen. We are seeing first hand that the yankee culture is changing from what its been under Boss George. Could the yankees have paid a couple extra million to get Damon, of course they could but i think now its more like Hal and Cashman are putting their foot down and using Damon as an example. Every agent uses the yankees to drive peoples price up and the yankees are expected to pay more for free agents this has been the thought around baseball, cash and hal dont want to thought of as the cash cows and its sad but Damon was the first one to get $#@%@ and it was mostly Boras’ fault cuz he couldve been back with his 2yrs/14M deal. I personally like this direction, Im not extremely happy with losing damon i was ok with losing matsui but we’ll see who else we might lose in the process :/, but i see this offseason as for the most part a success.

  14. oldpep

    Winn career numbers vs LHers are just a shade below vs RHers. I think he makes a reasonable platoon partner with Gardner (who would be getting the bulk of the PT) in LF and 4th OF if he can keep his OPS+ over 95. I think, given the budget, signing him makes sense.

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