Friday, December 25, 2009

More PT for Hoffmann?

Everybody else's view of this week's Javier Vazquez (photo)-Melky Cabrera trade between the Yankees and Braves focuses on the Yankees pitching and the Braves lineup. Leave it to me to be parochial and focus on the Southern Minnesota angle.

Specifically, this deal appears to open the door to a significant role for New Ulm native Jamie Hoffmann.

Here are the key aspects:
  1. The Yankees' current starting outfield —based on 2009 plate appearances — includes Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner — a switch hitter and two lefty bats.
  2. Granderson's career platoon splits: .292/.367/.528 vs. RHP, .210/.270/.344 vs. LHP.
  3. Gardner's career platoon splits: .260/.328/.361 vs. RHP, .241/.310/.316 vs. LHP.
  4. Hoffmann is a right-handed hitter.
  5. GM Brian Cashman said in announcing the Vazquez trade that the team was not going after further big-money players.
Take all that at face value, and the NUN — that's New Ulm native — figures to have at least a shot at a significant platoon role.

Do I take it at face value? Not really. The Yankees had supposedly set a payroll target for 2010 under $190 million; they are now above $200 million with just 16 players under contract, two of whom are unlikely to make the 25-man active roster. I believe that they have figures in mind for the name LFs in free agency — Johnny Damon, Matt Holliday, Jason Bay — and are just waiting for one of the three to drop into their laps.

But as matters stand, this trade looks like a nice Christmas present for Hoffmann.

1 comment:

  1. In spite of what they say, I don't believe Damon will be returning to the Yankees. They have expressed a desire to get younger and both Bay and Holliday are significantly younger than Damon. Either one would be an improvement over an aging Damon.