The Yankees were pretty much set in rightfield during 2008. . Whilst they used five other players in walk-on roles, the rightfield pretty much belonged to Bobby Abreu. Since the season finished the Yankees seem to have show little interest in the out-of-contract Mr Abreu. So what the story?
Bobby Abreu (156 games). Of those a massive 150 games saw Abreu spend time in rightfield. And it has to be said that Bobby was a very consistent presence in an uncertain year for the Bronx Bombers. He finished the season with a .296 batting average. He endured a slower start in April, going .269 on the month but he soon picked up the pace. He batted .330 with a .570 slugging average and 4 home runs the following month. June was a slower month but in July he hung around a .300 average all month before closing it out at .299. He also managed 20 RBIs in July, second only to A-Rod. In August, he had a quieter month for power but leapt to a season-high .342 batting average, only topped by the resurgent Derek Jeter. He finished the season with a quiet .276 which meant that he dropped below the .300 line for the season. His 100 RBIs and 100 runs and 20 homers made him a stand-out player for the Yankees in most every category, so why the lack of interest?
Well, the headline is that Abreu wants a multi-year deal and the Yankees would only be interested in having him back for 1 year initially. This would make sense on the cautious-build-from-within-2008 Yankees but makes no sense for the 2009 Yankees who having just rid themselves of 1 under-performing long-contract first-baseman have just signed Mark Teixeira to a mere eight years. For some reason, Abreu’s face doesn’t fit but whatever that is about it seems to have little to do with his on-field play. Go figure. It’s not likely that 1 year contract is even on the table for him to refuse. I’m more likely to be playing in the outfield than Abreu is – and that makes absolutely no sense.
Xavier Nady (59 games). Nady played only 7 games in rightfield. See my leftfield analysis for some thoughts on his season.
Melky Cabrera (129 games). 5 of those included time in rightfield. See my analysis of the centrefielders for a look at his troubled season.
Justin Christian (24 games). 5 in rightfield. Most in leftfield. And you’ll find my thoughts on him on the leftfield page.
Shelley Duncan (23 games). He played in rightfield in 4 games. See my first base analysis for my thoughts on his year.
Hideki Matsui (93 games). Only 3 of those came in rightfield. I’ll get to him when I get to the designated hitters.
And for 2009? Well, there’s Nady, Damon, Swisher (well, they have to find somewhere to put him now they’ve got Teixeira) and my money’s on Nady. The fact that he only played 7 games there in 2008 should worry the Yankees. Should worry them a lot……..