Wednesday’s Winter Meetings leftovers
INDIANAPOLIS — Could the New York Yankees’ acquisition of Curtis Granderson affect the Giants? Probably not. But if the Giants were so inclined, they might be able to coax an outfielder from the World Champions.
The Yankees probably wouldn’t want to trade Melky Cabrera, since he’s only 25 and relatively affordable, having earned a base salary of $1.4 million last season. But he could be deemed expendable if New York decided it had a glut of outfielders. Cabrera was linked to the Giants in trade rumors a couple of years ago, which of course means nothing.
The Yankees also have Nick Swisher, the former Oakland Athletic who probably wouldn’t mind returning to the Bay Area. Swisher propelled 29 home runs out of the Yankee Stadium launching pad and compiled a .371 on-base percentage despite hitting only .249 last season. But Swisher’s mildly pricey, as he’s owed $15.75 million over the next two seasons.
Though most speculation has linked the Giants to corner outfielders, general manager Brian Sabean said that one or two scenarios “possibly” exist in which the club could acquire a center fielder, who would prompt Aaron Rowand to move to left field. But, Sabean added, “We’re not asking Aaron to move and we don’t anticipate that he’ll move.”
Nate Schierholtz has helped himself by playing winter ball in Puerto Rico. The 25-year-old candidate for the right field job entered Wednesday batting .339 in 15 games for the Gigantes de Carolina, helped partly by tutelage from San Francisco’s globe-trotting hitting coach, Hensley Meulens.
“I give Nate a lot of credit,” Sabean said. “We really appreciate what he’s doing to go to winter ball and he has made some changes with Hensley. Everybody’s pulling for Nate. He’s got too much passion for what he does and he works at it. He’s a good outfielder (with a) good arm, good baserunner. We just haven’t seen enough consistency with the bat, or more so the power that we thought we’d have at this time. But he certainly (has) a captive audience right now. He wants to be out there.”
— Chris Haft