The New York Yankees faced a risky off-season but Brian Cashman and the Yankees did well in keeping the franchise from breaking down. The Yankees lost two starting position players from a year ago, but made smart moves to enhance confidence for 2010. The signings of Andy Pettitte and Nick Johnson, plus trades bringing in Javier Vazquez and Curtis Granderson made it easier to forget about Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon.
Even though this deal was expected, can you imagine the Yankees without him? They would lose a guy that starts 30 games year in and year out. They would also lose one of the big four; Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada being the other three.
The Yankees dealt Ian Kennedy to Arizona and Phil Coke and Austin Jackson to Detroit, getting Curtis Granderson in return. Yes, the Yankees traded highly regarded Austin Jackson but there were many questions with Jackson. Questions about his power and how long, if ever, it would take for him to turn into a guy like Curtis Granderson. The deal gave the Yankees a new face, Granderson is 28 and has three years left on his contract. Granderson hit .302 in 2007 and .280 in 2008. Hitting coach Kevin Long is one of the best in the business and should help rekindle the fire that helped Granderson turn into a 20/20 guy. Granderson will be able to take advantage of the short wall in right field and will benefit from hitting behind Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez. The Tigers wouldn't have pulled the trigger if they didn't need to cut payroll.
This deal was a steal. The Yankees got another guy (Javier Vazquez) who will start 30 games and eat up a bunch of innings. The Yankees dealt Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino. Melky's talent reached its peak and he's really just a .250 hitter. This deal has opened a return for Left Fielder Xavier Nady. Dunn is just a failed outfielder with a strong arm. He's just a lefty guy and the Yankees got Boone Logan, so it's not a loss. Vizcaino is the only real chip worth noting but the deal had to be made.
The Braves probably wouldn't have done this deal if they didn't need to cut payroll. This move stabilizes the rotation and makes it so they don't need to go to a 3 man rotation during the playoffs.
This deal will not be praised like it should. The Yankees found their new/old DH hitter and at a low price. Nick Johnson signed for $5.5 million and will probably hit second in a high power offense. Many people are angry the Yankees didn't go after Hideki Matsui as their DH, but I see it a different way. Johnson is replacing Damon (hitting second), not Matsui. Matsui was already replaced by Granderson (batting fifth). Johnson is also not going to get hurt since he's going to be the DH. Johnson provides a very high on base percentage and those behind him (Mark Teixeira Alex Rodriguez) will benefit.