(Would you trade for this guy? Courtesy of The AP)
I snapped to attention yesterday after finding out Nick Swisher left the game with a quad injury and looked at what internal moves the Yankees could make to cover themselves if Swish had to miss some time. He's out of the lineup today, but the bone bruise to the quad doesn't seem like something that's going to keep him out for very long at all. Still, it can't hurt to finish this exploration into potential OF replacements out, what with Brett Gardner still out for another month and the possibility of more injuries always looming. If the Yankees do end up needing to look to the trade market to plug an outfield gap, here are some names that could draw their interest.
David DeJesus- Chicago Cubs
DeJesus has been mentioned in connection with the Yankees before, going back to his years in Kansas City. Like Andruw Jones, he's capable of playing both corner outfield spots, and he's always been solid defensively, this year's negative numbers notwithstanding. Although he isn't lighting the world on fire offensively (.261/.362/.385, .325 wOBA), DeJesus has always been good at working counts and drawing walks, and with the Cubs going nowhere and Theo Epstein looking to rebuild, it seems like he would certainly be available.
Carlos Quentin- San Diego Padres
He's fresh off the DL and raking right now (.417/.541/.896, .584 wOBA and 6 HR in 61 PA), which makes him one of the popular names to throw out as a potential trade target. With San Diego having a group of young outfielders in the fold, they could be looking to move Quentin for some pitching prospects. Quentin does bring a powerful bat to the table, and could be a deadly option against lefties, but he's a nightmare defensively and the corners in Yankee Stadium can be difficult to navigate if you're unfamiliar. He wouldn't be my first choice, because of the defense and health questions, but Quentin is an intriguing possibility.
Seth Smith- Oakland A's
There hasn't been any talk of Smith and the Yankees, but he seems like a perfect fit to me. He can hit (.269/.383/.451, .362 wOBA), he can draw walks (13.9% BB rate this year, 10.3% for his career), he can run the bases a little bit, and he can play a serviceable left field in Gardner's absence. Smith is also a left-handed hitter, which plays well in Yankee Stadium, and he would allow Raul Ibanez to move back to a more permanent role as the DH. The A's just signed Smith before this season, but with Billy Beane in charge nobody is ever untouchable on that roster. At the very least, it would be worth a call to see what Oakland said.
If you wanted to take on some salary and possibly look into moving C-Grand to left, you could talk about Denard Span. Or if you're just a complete idiot, you could talk about signing Marlon Byrd. But the guys above are the ones I'd put at the top of the list if turns out the Yankees look into adding an outfielder. I'm not saying they need to right now, and they definitely don't if Swish is going to come back in a day or 2. But if somebody else does go down, keep the names above in mind.