In Other News...Do the New York Yankees Miss Miguel Cairo?

Shanan H.Analyst IJanuary 13, 2009

There have been a couple of articles written recently about the Yankees "Lacking bench depth."

In the opening of Rob Abruzzese's article "Do Yankees Have a Bench Problem?", he states:

"By adding a trio of big name free agents the Yankees have been very effective in addressing their most pressing needs, but are they neglecting other needs at the same time?"

In my opinion, the Yankees have made some great signings in Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia.

Many people have tossed up the idea of trading Xavier Nady or Nick Swisher for a young prospect. Yes, that’s a great idea, but Chris Jennings of the Scranton Times-Tribune sees benefits of keeping both X and Swisher on board the NY train:

1.  Keep Matsui out of left field. For the sake of Matsui's health and the sake of the Yankees defense, it's best if Matsui sticks to designated hitter. With Nady and Swisher both on the roster, it's possible for Matsui to not see a single day in the outfield while the Yankees instead use Nady or Swisher to spell Damon.

2.  Use Nady as a platoon starter and pinch hitter vs. lefties. Let me present Nady's career splits against left-handers: .308/.383/.470. For a team that is heavily left-handed, especially in the outfield, those numbers are nice to have around. Damon has hit lefties pretty well in his career, but they gave him considerable trouble last year. Matsui has also hit slightly worse against lefties in his career. At the very least, Nady would give the Yankees a go-to outfielder against left-handed starters and a nice pinch-hit option against left-handed relievers.

3.  Give Matsui and Damon a better shot of staying healthy. Matsui is coming off significant surgery and Damon was pretty banged up last season. It's worth giving each of them a day off once in a while, and it might be worth giving Teixeira a day or two off during the season as well.

4.  Have options in right field. For all the Yankees depth in left field and sort of in center field, the Yankees don't have the same luxury in right. Aside from Nady and Swisher, Melky Cabrera is the only guy on the roster who has the arm for right field. His defense makes Cabrera's come-and-go offense mildly acceptable when he's in center, but I'm not sure his bat is what the Yankees want out of typically power-packed right field.


So, although trading one of those two could get a good prospect, I have a better idea.  Sign Adam Dunn, and then trade Xavier or Swisher. Dunn is an upgrade over either of those two players, and would do the job of whichever one departed.

To add more bench depth, the Yankees should sign Miguel Cairo. This year, with the Mariners, he played every position except center field, pitcher, and catcher. He was a great team player, bunted well, and batted for an okay average.

He also has a history in New York. He played the majority of 2004 at second base for the Yankees, and backed-up for the team in 2006 and 2007.

With these signings, the Yankees will be better, and have the "bench depth" that the recent articles were talking about.