Morning Bits: Teixeira, YES, A-Rod, Jeter, Granderson
Here are a few quick items on the morning:
- Mark Teixeira thinks his new teammates “are going to do just as good a job as the guys that left.”
- The YES Network has hired former NY Times scribe, Jack Curry, as both an analyst and columnist.
- Alex Rodriguez shook off Damon-related questions yesterday and will address the media tomorrow.
- Derek Jeter is scheduled to address the media today and is expected to discuss his contract situation.
- GM Brian Cashman continues to name Curtis Granderson as the team’s opening day center fielder.
Here’s what Cashman had to say on the subject yesterday, regarding Granderson and center field, to Jody McDonald and Jim Bowden, hosts of SIRIUS XM’s MLB Home Plate Channel (props to Andrew for the abbreviated transcript).
Host/Jody McDonald: “With the acquisition of Curtis Granderson and Johnny Damon leaving you
now have three guys for two spots – [Brett] Gardner and [Randy] Winn and Curtis Granderson –
manning left field and center field. Are you going to try to make a decision as to what’s the best
position for Curtis Granderson and leave him there? Is Curtis going to be asked to go back and
forth between center and left? How’s it going to shake out as to where Curtis Granderson plays
defensively this year?”
Brian Cashman: “He’s our center fielder. We traded for him to be our center fielder. I think that
what’s taken place is when you’re asked questions like ‘Is there a possibility of Gardner playing
center?’ I’m like, well, if we feel Gardner makes us our best team with Gardner at center because
we’re blessed to have two above average center fielders patrolling Yankee Stadium’s outfield out
of the three man alignment. So we have [Nick] Swisher in right, Granderson in center and
Gardner, assuming he holds it down and wins it, will be in left. But Granderson’s our center
fielder. He’s an above average center fielder and that’s why we acquired him. But to be quite
honest if somebody asked, ‘Hey, but is it possible Brett Gardner might be a better center fielder?’
Our defensive metrics on Brett Gardner made him one of the elite center fielders in the game. I’m
not saying he’s the top but he’s close to it. So in fairness we acknowledge that but does that
mean it’s the right thing to do to move Curtis Granderson over to left? I’m not saying that but I’m
also open minded to say, alright, we’ve got a new player. We’re gonna see how our team fits and
we’ll make decisions accordingly as we see things playing out. But Granderson’s our center
What do you think about Cashman’s comments? He seems pretty set on Granderson in center, though he does allow himself some wiggle room just in case Joe Girardi chooses another direction. It will be interesting to see where Brett Gardner – equipped with hair this season – ultimately ends up playing, as the decision could indicate what the club thinks about him, long-term (left field = little to no future with the team, whereas center field = a legitimate future).
Photo by Reuters