Things have been a bit quiet since the Yankees sent shock waves throughout baseball last month in acquiring the biggest names of the 2008/2009 free agent class.
While they certainly seem to have addressed the team's most glaring needs, they may be poised to streamline the glut of outfielders they currently possess while simultaneously attempting to fortify a pitching staff already bolstered by the additions of C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.
A rumor circulating around the internet about the Yankees and Mariners allegedly discussing a trade of Hideki Matsui for Erik Bedard has grown some legs in recent days. This is a deal that could be a toss-up in terms of who would be taking the bigger risk. If the Yanks weren't paying any of Matsui's salary, it could be argued that they could be the beneficiary of such a deal because Matsui will make somewhere around four or five million dollars more than Bedard this coming season.
Bedard is an injury risk with a world of talent. Only two seasons ago, it could be argued that he was the best pitcher in the American League. After being traded to the Mariners prior to the start of the 2008 season, it was expected that he would head a relatively strong Seattle rotation. Having suffered various injuries and ultimately being shut down in September with a cyst in his throwing shoulder, he only managed to log 81 innings-hardly what the Mariners had hoped for.
Matsui has had his share of problems as well. Over the course of the past two seasons, he has had both knees surgically repaired. In 2006 he suffered a wrist injury, which required surgery, that shelved him for most of the season. When healthy, Matsui has the ability to post very strong numbers and could help to fill out a lineup very nicely. However, at this stage of his career, he is almost certainly a better option as a DH than an outfielder.
If there is any truth to this rumor, this is a deal the Yanks would have to make. The offense that Matsui could potentially offer would be missed by a team that failed to score 800 runs last season. Yet, if both are healthy, a quality left handed pitcher is a heck of a lot harder to find than a left handed bat.
I think Brian Cashman knows this, which is why I wouldn't be shocked if he put this one in the books.