Yankees Hot Stove: Gardner, Granderson, Ichiro and Swisher - Lady Loves Pinstripes Yankees Hot Stove: Gardner, Granderson, Ichiro and Swisher - Lady Loves Pinstripes Yankees Hot Stove: Gardner, Granderson, Ichiro and Swisher - Lady Loves Pinstripes

Yankees Hot Stove: Gardner, Granderson, Ichiro and Swisher

 What will the New York Yankees outfield look like next season?

Nick Swisher salutes the crowd during roll cal...

Nick Swisher salutes the crowd during ‘roll call’ at the June 8, 2009 Yankee vs. Rays.

For starters, CF Curtis Granderson and LF Brett Gardner will be back. The Yankees picked up Grandy’s 2013 option and Gardner is under team control till 2015 but is arbitration eligible.

So that leaves GM Brain Cashman with a need in right field and a sub off the bench that need to be filled. The free agent options are not endless so lets start with what the Yankees already have, or had.


You can bet that Nick Swisher will be gone as he wants a multi-year deal and some other team will give him one. Over his four years spent in the Bronx, Swisher hit 105 homers, 349 RBIs, drew 327 walks, 531 strikeouts and posted a .268 batting average.

Unfortunately the last impression Swisher left was during the 2012 postseason where he had a .167 batting average, three RBIs, with 10-strikeouts and he made game changing fielding errors. Of course Swisher was not alone as he was just part of the many problems the Yankees faced this past October.

The Yankees did make a qualifying offer to Swish worth the league standard of $13.3 million for one year, but that was more of a strategic move by the Yankees to guarantee that when Swisher signs elsewhere they will be compensated with a draft pick in the first or second rounds.

Swisher became commander-like in right field to the famous Bleacher Creatures but other fans grew sick of his over zealous antics, myself included.


When the Yankees made the trade for Ichiro Suzuki I was not for it, as adding another 38-year old superstar on the decline did not seem ideal to me at the time.

But boy was I wrong, as the lure of donning the Yankees pinstripes worked its magic and rejuvenated the 38-year-old Ichiro back to his productive ways.

Over 67-games wearing a Yankees uniform, Ichiro’s numbers prove just that:

Ichiro Suzuki - 2012 - NYY - baseball-reference.com

And according to NY Post’s Joel Sherman, a source close to Ichiro said he wants to be a Yankee again and that money would not be a factor.

Well, that should be music to Cashman’s ears as it would give the Yankees a defensive dynamo trio in the outfield with Gardner in left, Grandy in the middle and Ichiro in right. But knowing the Yankees, they see Ichiro as a downgrade to Swisher because he doesn’t hit home-runs and that is what they tend to value.

In my opinion, the Yankees should re-sign Ichiro for 2013. It makes the team offensively more diverse because Ichiro is a lefty bat that is a singles hitting machine. Ichiro gets on base so if you stick him in after the 4-5-6 of the batting order maybe it would help drive in some of those runners the Yankees left on-base all last season. Plus even at his age, Ichiro can still a pest on the base pads, which is never a bad thing and another area the Yankees lacked in 2012.

Let’s just hope that Cashman doesn’t brush aside the fact that Ichiro was one of the few Yankees who could hit in the postseason, which ultimately led to the team’s HUGELY embarrassing exit from the ALCS.

Bringing back Ichiro for 2013 is something I refer to as a DA—BOOM!


Raul ‘the hero’ Ibanez should definitely be back in 2013 but not for his fielding skills, as defensively it was painful to watch him cover left field last season after Gardner got injured.

Ok, he is better defensively than other designated hitters, like Hideki Matsui in 2009 and technically Big Papi as he stinks at first base. So I guess Ibanez does bring some extra cushioning if Yankees suffer from injuries; and after last season it is better be safe than sorry.

Bottom line is Ibanez can rake, he always could. He is not devoid of cold streaks, as find me an MLB batter is, but when hot Ibanez turns to fire. Mainly, Ibanez hits in crucial situations, as Yankee Universe witnessed more than once this past postseason.

So, re-signing Ibanez is another Cashman no brainer here but just for his bat but it is nice to know that if desperate he can fill in the outfield if needed.


  1. John says:

    I agree that Swish won't be back. I do hope that Ichiro and Ibanez both come back, but ou do know that Ichiro swings from the left side, not the right side. Yes??

  2. Frank Spero says:

    WHAT roll over rover won't be back thank god he was getting on my nerves too with the phoney smile happy talkj

  3. deathrider says:

    Ichiro isn't a righty. It would be an all lefty outfield – and that's the only problem "experts" see in that arrangement. I personally don't care…just get another righty to balance it. Picking up Ichiro and Ibanez is the best bet, for sure

    • LLP says:

      You are correct Deathrider….but over his career Ichiro has posted a .334 BA vs. lefty starters and .318 vs. righty starters s the guy just plain out hits.

    • lolo says:

      An all lefty outfield refers to defensive play not offensive.

  4. bonedoc says:

    Swish is a high character guy and a great presence in the clubhouse. Unfortunately, his numbers are average. I like him but will be ok watching him sign with someone else.

    • LLP says:

      Bondoc…Swisher got on my nerves this season after the antics he pulled in Boston when the Yanks came back from a 9 or 8 deficit in April and it was Fenway's 100th year anniversary. He acted like it was the WS Game 7 or something. It was rude in my opinion and ESPN John Krik called him out on it, which was spot on.

  5. truth says:

    I think your ideal outfield might be a little better defensively if you put somebody in right field rather than two guys in left (gardner in left, Grandy in the middle and Ichiro in left – as you state it).

    • LLP says:

      Sorry, TRUTH….it was an honest mistake as I know where the players play but Ichiro and Gardner can both also play center if need be too, which is not so easy to do. So they can rotate too, which with all the injuries the Yanks experienced last season it is better to have more dynamic/versatile players.

  6. USN (Ret) says:

    1. Swisher thinks it's cute to salute with his left hand. I think it's discourteous and ignorant.

    2. Grandy/Gardy can always be traded, there is no guarantee they will suit up for us in 2013.