Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reds fans should root against the Yankees getting Cliff Lee

But not for the reason you might think (that the Yankees get all of the good free agents). But because their fall back position is Carl Crawford. And if that happens, the Yankees will have to trade Brett Gardner or Curtis Granderson.

Gardner would be a great fit for the Reds. According to some experts, he's the best left fielder in baseball. Gardner hit .277 last year with a .383 on-base percentage and 47 stolen bases. He would be a great lead-off option, and could even yield to Gomes against tough lefties. The best part: He made barely over the minimum last year and is not yet arbitration eligible.

There's a lot of buzz out there about the Reds (and a ton of other teams) trying to trade for Justin Upton. Gardner is not as good, but the Reds wouldn't have to give up the farm to get him the way they would for Upton.

Arroyo for Gardner? (Remember, this whole idea is premised on the fact the Yankees did not get Lee. Arroyo's above-average 200 innings would plsy well in New York.) How about Volquez for Gardner? He's got more upside than Arroyo and a smaller contract, although he is arbitration eligible. The Yanks might take a chance on him. Downside there for the Reds, however, is they gave up Hamilton to get Volquez and Gardner is not Hamilton. I'd let the Yanks choose: reliable high-priced 3d starter, or riskier, cheaper, potential number 2?

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