Some baseball teams do not have an ideal leadoff hitter. The New York Yankees have the luxurious problem of deciding who should hit first.
The Yankees made substantial financial commitments to center fielders Jacoby Ellsbury (seven years, $153 million) and Brett Gardner (four years, $52 million) this past offseason. The front office’s sky-high payroll allows for a variety of lineup options that most other teams could only dream about.
Website Batting Leadoff argued that the Yankees should have traded Gardner in the offseason. The outfield is now crowded with Ellsbury, Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano and Ichiro Suzuki, another potential top-of-the-order hitter.
Both Gardner and Ellsbury are stellar defenders in center field, but Gardner will likely be fielding from a corner when Ellsbury is playing. They are two players with multiple offensive weapons.
The Yankees have an embarrassment of riches. Ellsbury is the top leadoff candidate, but Gardner and Suzuki are enviable insurance.