What Does The Yankees Trade For Javier Vazquez Mean For Their Outfield?

Scott AlfanoContributor IDecember 22, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - OCTOBER 19:  Melky Cabrera #53 of the New York Yankees bats in Game Three of the ALCS against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Angel Stadium on October 19, 2009 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The New York Yankees traded Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn and a minor leaguer for Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan today.  With this move, the Yankees now are suprisingly light in their outfield. If the season started today they would have Nick Swisher in right, Curtis Granderson in center and Brett Gardner in left. 

As much as everyone on the Yankees wants to see what Brett Gardner can do with a full season as a starter, they aren't prepared to make 2010 and experiment in left field.  They would much prefer, like last season, to let Gardner fight for the spot, then bench him if need be.

So what are the Yankees realistic options?

Johnny Damon - This is easy.  The Yankees have essentially opened up Damon's position for him to play again.  However, if Damon won't come down in price and years it will never happen.  The Yankees may not want to overpay for Damon, but they've just put themselves in a position where they may need to come up in price a little bit.

Xavier Nady - Nady can't be the final answer, as his rehab won't have him ready for the start of the 2010 season.  If anything, the Yankees will sign Nady to an incentive laden deal to help out the middle and end of the season.

Matt Holliday and Jason Bay - As much money as the Yankees have, they won't spend it on either of these players.  They're looking for a short term deal so they can land Carl Crawford in 2011.

My sleeper pick for a one year deal: Marlon Byrd

Marlon Byrd is still relatively young and has just come off arguably his best season in the big leagues.  He hit 20 home runs and batted over .280 for the Texas Rangers.  He played in all outfield positions and actually had a 1.000 fielding percentage in left field in 36 games.

The Yankees first look is going to be back at Johnny Damon.  If they cannot work out both years and dollars, Marlon Byrd should get a pretty decent look from the team.