There was a pause of sorts in the Yankees’ negotiations with left fielder Hideki Matsui yesterday as GM Brian Cashman spent most of the day flying back from the GM meetings in California. But before he left, Cashman made contact again with the agent for another outfielder, Brian Giles, who could be developing into a candidate to take over for Bernie Williams in center field.
Cashman and Joe Bick, Giles’ agent, spoke for at least the third time and Bick said the two “moved things ahead, talked about some comparable players, things of that nature.”
Bick would not be more specific, but he reiterated that Giles would like to play in New York, though Giles has a reputation as a West Coast kind of guy.
Over at the Replacement Level Yankees Weblog, SG thinks that a Giles-Matsui-Sheff outfield would be hard to resist:
Giles has not played center field regularly since 2000, although he has seen spot duty there as recently as last year. If the Yankees are considering signing both Giles and Matsui, they’ll probably have the best hitting OF in baseball, although defense will continue to be a problem. While Giles is going to be 35, he is still a very good offensive player who should be reasonable risk on a 2 or 3 year deal. While I wish the Yankees would stop signing older players, if this is the alternative that does not involve trading away young prospects, it’s probably the smart way to proceed. Let’s hope Joe Kerrigan can teach every pitcher on the staff a 2 seam fastball.
Steve Lombardi has a slightly different take:
Giles can help the Yankees – but not as a full-time CF. After watching Bernie Williams out there for the last few seasons, and seeing catchable balls fall for hits and not seeing any hits turned into outs, I’m shocked that the Yankees would consider putting another non-centerfielder in the 8-slot for 2006.
But, maybe what the Yankees are thinking here is that they use Giles to play some CF in 2006 – maybe no more than 50 games, and the rest of the time he plays RF (with Sheffield being the DH). And, Bubba Crosby gets over 100+ games in CF as a starter (with Giles in RF and Sheffield as DH).
SG goes on to mention that the Yankees will likely overpay for Matsui but they don’t have much of a cherce.