Yanks Considering Winn?

Trade deadline installment #47328 from The Star-Ledger discusses that Randy Winn of the Giants is on the Yankees’ radar for possible outfield acquisitions. Humorously phrased, Price states that “According to an official from a National League team, who asked not to be named because his club was not involved, the Yankees have been scouting San Francisco Giants outfielder Randy Winn.” I say humorously because this sentence reflects a degree of safe distance for both the Yanks from actively discussing Winn and, quoting an unnamed NL source, seems that it came to Price by way of an NL team official or scout over a cold one.

Perhaps. It might be just as likely that the Yanks had someone in the area to visit a stadium and assess Winn, with nothing more than a report issued to come of it. Part (probably the majority) of me hopes so, for Winn is 34, makes $8 million this year and will make $8.25 million in 2009 and, while that’s not a king’s ransom for the Yanks, is a lot to pay for a fairly good if unspectacular player who won’t provide a long-term solution in left. That he isn’t, at any cost.

Yet part of me also wonders what a player like Winn might bring were he actually playing on a good team with a deep lineup such as the Yankees. Last year, Winn hit .300 with 14 homers and 42 RBIs for a Giants offense that, even with Bonds, was second-last in the NL in runs (683), and third-last in BA (.254). This year, again, the Giants rank near the bottom of the NL in runs (14th with 405), average (11th at .255), and OBP (again 14th at .318!?!). Offensively, the team stinks. Winn himself has always been a steady player, a switch-hitter and nice outfielder, mostly even from both sides of the plate (career .285 as RHP, .288 as LHP). This year, he’s batting .277 (.282 as RHP, .266 as LHP)/.345/.390, with 5 HR, 39 RBI, but has stolen 19 of 20 bases–a feature that stands out to me. I can’t help but wonder what Winn would do (pardon the unintentional alliteration), say, batting 7th or 8th in the Yanks’ lineup. He could solidify the bottom of the lineup, especially with a resurgent Cano. He might find himself on base even more when surrounded with better players, and able to contribute sound speed and judgment. He might be the kind of acquisition in which a fairly good player rises to the occasion and an improved environment.

That is a chancy move, especially at the financial cost, the age, and the asking price (none known to me). I certainly wouldn’t give a lot for him, but would be willing to take on salary in exchange for a lower-rated prospect and not give anyone close to blue-chip status. Something in my gut tells me Winn wouldn’t be a bad pick-up. He wouldn’t be my first option to play left field. But to me he, his stats, and his salary are somewhat different from Washburn.  A position player in a new, deeper lineup is often put in a better position than a pitcher, who might gain run support and might pitch in a more favorable park, but has to face lineups alone regardless of the locale. A fairly high ERA such as Washburn’s can come with or without run support. Washburn, should the Yanks acquire him, might get more run support and pitch with some vim and vigor that the 2008 Mariners simply wouldn’t inspire. Winn, should the Yanks acquire him might or might not pan out. But Winn hasn’t experienced a precipitous drop in certain stats such as average and stolen bases–though certainly some with HR and OBP–that would translate well to the Yanks, and his HRs and OBP might rise in the Yanks’ lineup.

Both these potential moves would be risks, and to the best of my knowledge the Yanks are not in the kind of active talks with the Giants for Winn that they are with the Mariners for Washburn. But Winn has a couple characteristics–decent average and very good speed–that for the short term present certain possibilities that acquiring Washburn for the staff does not, to me anyway. Don’t offer a ton for Winn either way. But I’m admittedly a bit more intrigued by him than I am Washburn.

Published in: on July 25, 2008 at 4:05 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I cannot type to save my life I meant Hi not My im an idiot

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