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Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Yanks fine without superstar LF

Someone recently asked me -- and for the life of me, I can't remember who, or where -- if the Yankees can win with Brett Gardner in left field. You can imagine my answer, considering that they've already won quite a lot with Brett Gardner in center field. But with Jason Bay nearly a Met, I will assume that at least a few greedy souls in the Tri-State Area are demanding that the Yankees grab Matt Holliday, the last big-time slugger on the market.

But to what end? As usual, Dave Cameron puts everything in perspective ...

Two points here.

One, while it's true that replacing Brett Gardner with Matt Holliday improves the Yankees' chances of getting into the postseason tournament by just a little, we should also account for the fact that Holliday would also improve the Yankees' chances of winning the tournament.

But by just a little. Which leads us to ...

Two, Cameron's central point here is too often forgotten in the rush to judgment and the win-now mentality.

Yes, the Yankees can afford Holliday.

Yes, Holliday would make the Yankees better. Maybe a juggernaut, even.

But the only way the Yankees can fall into a habit of losing, someday, is by stockpiling too many players in their 30s with big long-term contracts. It's incredibly difficult to place a value on flexibility, but that value is real and important and Brian Cashman's awareness of that value is going to keep the Yankees on top for quite some time.