Dunn, on the other hand, does make a little bit of sense in theory. His 2011 season was awful, but it is just one bad year, so far, and it’s not unreasonable to assume he’ll bounce back from it. He’s only 32 years old, and there’s still something thrilling about the prospect of Dunn playing 81 games a year in Yankee Stadium. And yet, his 2011 season was really awful, (his wRC+ against right-handers was only a 79, and yet it was a whopping 81 points higher than his wRC+ against lefties. Yes, you read that right. How’s that for a platoon split?) and there’s no guarantee it isn’t the beginning of the end for Dunn. Additionally, like Bay and Soriano, his contract is even more problematic than A.J.’s since it runs through the magic year of 2014, guaranteeing Dunn $44 million along the way. I love the Big Donkey as much as anyone, but that’s too much money and too much risk for such a limited role, in my opinion.
All in all, I stick by my guess that Cashman’s statements are mostly about putting pressure on the free agent market. More specifically, I would say the odds are 50-50 that Cashman is after Johnny Damon, and is using the possibility of the Yankees filling the position through other means to put pressure on Damon to bring down his asking price and sign a deal on Cash’s terms. If that’s the case, it would be fine by me. But let’s stick with hypothetical trades, for a moment, if only because I require my readers to indulge my more whimsical fantasies from time to time.
In writing that post on Bay this morning, it occured to me that, in even discussing names like Bay and Soriano, the conversation is getting away from us a little bit. Put bluntly, neither of those names make any sense for the Yankees in the long term or in terms of their short term need, which is basically someone who can get 250-350 plate appearances as a DH against right-handed starters. So our parameters here are actually pretty narrow. The player needs to mash righties, he needs to be cheap (we’re only looking for 75% of a hitter, after all), and in all likelihood, he’s going to be an aging left-handed free agent. Frankly it’s a shame that Jim Thome signed a contract with the Phillies so soon, because he would have been a natural fit. That’s when it hit me. The obvious answer to this question was staring us in our collective faces all along, looking back at us with his big, beautiful, wonderfully mustached visage.
That’s right: bring back The Giambino. Big G is scheduled to make $1 million this year after both he and Colorado exercised their mutual option for 2012 at the end of last season, and he flat out crushed right handed pitching in 2011, getting to them to the tune of a .273/.354/.636 slashline (157 wRC+) with 10 home runs in 113 plate appearances. He was a part time player to be sure, even more so since the N.L. doesn’t have the DH, but that sort of production at that sort of price would be just what the doctor ordered for the Yankees’ roster as it currently stands. Make it happen Cash!
Okay, okay, this probably isn’t going to happen. Trading for Giambi would be difficult, and if the Rockies wanted anything of any real value in return, the Yankees would be much better off picking up a free agent for the monetary cost alone. But Giambi is one of my all time favorite players (don’t judge me), so if the Rockies were willing to give him up for the old PTBNL that later becomes “cash considerations,” it would make my winter.