Specifically, this deal appears to open the door to a significant role for New Ulm native Jamie Hoffmann.
Here are the key aspects:
- 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.
- Granderson's career platoon splits: .292/.367/.528 vs. RHP, .210/.270/.344 vs. LHP.
- Gardner's career platoon splits: .260/.328/.361 vs. RHP, .241/.310/.316 vs. LHP.
- Hoffmann is a right-handed hitter.
- 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.