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Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The good and the bad of Randy Winn

With the Yankees finally having filled their last remaining position -- Brett Gardner's caddy -- LoHud's Chad Jennings brings us the good and the bad of the Yankees' new fourth outfielder, Randy Winn:

I've got two concerns about Winn:

1. What you see is what you get. Because he's a switch-hitter who's been, over the course of his career, roughly the same against righties and lefties, you can't really make him more productive (per plate appearance) by platooning him. He's been almost exactly league-average, as a hitter, in his career, and at (almost) 36 he's not going to suddenly become better than average. So there's your baseline: Slightly below average.

2. Unfortunately, it is might slightly more than slightly. Winn's spent the last four seasons in the National League. Two of those seasons were slightly better than average, two were substantially worse. He's older and he's moving to the tougher league and he's leaving a good hitter's park for one that is good for power hitters . . . and Winn's not a power hitter.

As Jennings suggests, you really can't go wrong spending $2 million on a decent fourth (or fifth) outfielder. But this doesn't strike me as a particularly good fit unless Winn's going to play a lot of late-innings defense.