Here is some random babbling about each of the players and my thoughts about them
Derek Jeter : Jeter has had one of the best seasons of his career. Offensively and Defensively. Passing Luis Aparicio for the most hits by a SS in the history of baseball is huge. Jeter is a definite first round hall of famer and still plays like it. Everyone is worried about Jeter playing short stop that they will have to move him in the not so distant future. I don’t see it, until he starts to show any signs of sucking I think he will be your short stop until he cant play anymore.
–Johnny Damon: Damon is the last year of his contract and has made it clear that he likes being a Yankee and wants to come back. I can see him taking a sizable discount on a one or two year deal. I think that if the Yankees bring him back it will be as a DH/back up outfielder type. His defense has suffered last couple of years (not that he was ever a stellar defender) but he still runs well he has 9 steals and has not been caught. Most importantly he is still hitting well currently at .280 with 22 hr and 67 RBI. I would give him a one year 8 million dollar deal with an option for a second year. 8 million would be a bargain for the Yankees considering they are paying him 13 this year.
Mark Teixeira : The way the Yankees snick in at the last minute to sign Tex and steal him away from the Red Sox has been huge. As this weeks YOM player of the week and our pick for league MVP its no secret how we feel about him. Two words describe how Tex has been and they would be Clutch and Awesome.
Alex Rodriguez: A-Rod is quietly having a good year. Quiet is the Key. Sense the beginning of the year when the steroids poop hit the fan he has kept his mouth shut and let his bat do the talking. He missed a good chunk of the first part of the season so you have to keep that in mind when you look at his numbers but in only 87 games this year he has 21 HR and 67 RBI with a rather pedestrian average of .256. But I figure he will end the year with an average around .280 35 homers and 85 RBI. Those are good numbers for someone who has played a full year. One difference in his game is he hasn’t choked in pressure spots.
Hideki Matsui: Matsui had surgery on his knees in the offseason and although he has been ok with the bat this year 19 homers and 55 RBI he is far from career numbers and his inability to run has certainly taken away his value as a Yankee. Its a contract year for Matsui and although he has been a good Yankee over the year , I doubt you will see him back in pinstripes next season.
Jorge Posada: After signing a huge four year deal last season and then promptly spending most of the season on the Dl with a shoulder injury. There has been concern that at 38 years old he may not be able to finish his contract behind the plate. This year he has returned to form and is hitting for power and in the clutch. Not known as the greatest defender he is decent and I think will be able to complete at least one more season as the primary Catcher. After that it will probably be a year of DHing before retirement
Robinson Cano: After a down year last year Cano has returned with vengeance. Currently batting .318 with 18 HR and 60 RBI it has been a career year for him. He also has been playing a gold glove caliber second base. With only 5 errors on the season I would be surprised if he didn’t win it.
Brett Gardner: Although currently on the Disabled list Brett has been a nightmare for opposing pitchers whenever he gets on base. His .275 batting average is better than most would have expected and his defense has been excellent. But most importantly is the element of speed he brings to the team his 20 stolen bases are a tribute to his good base running instincts. At only 25 years old you may be seeing him in pinstripes for quite a few years to come.
Melky Cabrera: Melky is one of those guys that as soon as you give up on him and say this guy sucks, he does something like hitting for the cycle that gets the fans back in his corner. If you were going to use one word to describe him it would be inconsistent. What he does bring every day is a very strong arm and above average defense.
Nick Swisher: Over the Winter he was slotted to be the starting first baseman than after the acquisition of Mark Teixeira he was to be the Fourth outfielder and Back up first baseman. Then after the season ending injury to Xavier Nady he became the starting right fielder. The Yankees got Nick from the A’s for a handful of magic beans and it has been worth it. While not hitting for average hitting only .242 but he has had a great eye at the plate and his .373 on base percentage proves that. The reason his average is so low is that when he hits he tends to hit for power with 20 HR and 64 RBI the possibility exists for him to have a career year in both of those category’s. He hit 35/95 back in 2006.
Romero Pena: Pena is one of my favorite Yankees this year he is a versatile rookie who can play second, short or third base and is starting to learn how to play in the outfield. Pena’s biggest asset is his glove. When he plays short stop he reminds me of a young A-Rod able to field anything he can touch. He also has a strong accurate arm even off balance.Pena has also been a surprise at the dish hitting .277 in 94 trips to the plate. If Pena can find a bit more power he may be a regular in the Yankees line up a few years down the road.
Eric (hit man) Hinske: A decent mid season pick up for the Yankees from the Pirates Hinske provides a left handed power bat off the bench. His defense is not great (serviceable ) but not great. He has also played at third base in his career but his defense at third is not that good . But if the Yankees need a HR late in the game off the bench Hinske has proven to be the man.
Gary Hairston Jr.: A trading deadline pickup that initially was shocking to everyone as the Yankees were expected to seek a fifth starter. Turns out Cashman is a genius. Hairston is the guy who can play every position except catcher and it wouldn’t surprise me if he is learning how to do that in his spare time. He has hit very well after coming to the Yankees just a couple of weeks ago and does not hurt you defensively wherever he is playing. Having a player like this certainly gives you late game options pitch hitting as well as a guy who can get your regulars some rest in preparation for the playoffs.
Next time on Yankees Babble I will give my opinion on the Starting rotation. No need to wait around in anticipation just make sure you follow us on twitter, user name Yankeesmagazine.