Thursday, December 01, 2005

Yankees to acquire Farnsworth

Reports this am indicate that the Yankees are about to sign Atlanta closer Kyle Farnsworth for 3 years and $17-18 million to likely replace Tom Gordon as Mo's primary setup man. $6 million a year is expensive for a setup guy - ("Karsay money"?) but its probably money needed to be spent. Farnsworth is a big, 6'4" fireballer who can strike hitters out and has a sexy 1.0-ish WHIP.

Despite a horrific meltdown in Game 4 of the 2005 ALCS against Houston and the Yankees' poor history of signing Atlanta pitchers (Karsay, Hammond, Wright so far) Farnsworth is probably an upgrade over Gordon.

More interesting is the banter the last couple of days about putting Jeter or A-Rod in centerfield. It's risky to break up the best left side of the infield in baseball and I'd give this a 30ish percent chance of occurring at the moment but if the Yanks move toward spring training without signing a regular CF the buzz will increase.

Between DJ and A-Rod DJ is the clear choice. If you move DJ into CF, the natural follow-up is to move A-Rod back to shortstop and sign a decent hitting but good defensive 3B. Jeter is quicker than A-Rod and would have at least an above average arm. A-Rod would be again the best all-around shortstop in the game and provide tremendous offensive punch in the SS slot. This doesn't solve the issue that the Yanks would still be without a natural leadoff hitter and would need leave DJ there.

What's important here is for the team to decide in a timely fashion what CF will look like. It will be much better to make this decision in February and let DJ have all of spring training to acclimate to CF [not to mention sign a 3B] than to decide in May that Bubba Crosby isn't cutting it and then executing a torturous Chinese fire drill. I like Bubba's speed and grit but he just hasn't played enough to indicate if he could be the full-time CF.

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