Saturday, May 29, 2010

No Winn Situation

With Curtis Granderson returning to the Yankees roster after his DL stint with a Grade 2 strain of the left groin, room had to be made. In a move that sort of surprised a number of people, me not being one of them, the Bronx Bombers decided to cut outfielder Randy Winn.

Winn signed a one year, 1.1 million (plus incentives) contract this off season and became a part time player for the first time in his 13 year career. He struggled mightily in that role, batting .213 with 1 homerun and eight RBIs in 61 at-bats.

Winn wasn’t expected to be cut when Granderson returned… many figured 25 yr old Kevin Russo would get sent packing back to Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, but the Yankee brass feels Russo has played well subbing for Marcus Thames, who is down with an ankle injury. Russo’s numbers aren’t overly impressive himself though… he’s batting .250 with 0 homeruns and 4 RBIs in 20 at-bats, but Manager Joe Girardi likes Russo’s flexability to play the infield and outfield.

Winn was brought in by the Yankees to platoon with Brett Gardner with the expecation he would play against lefties, but Winn went 0 for 11 against lefthanded pitching. Winn never seemed confortable in a part time role and his struggles were evident from day one. As I said when the signing happened, this one was a total mistake. The Yankees got lucky to be able to sign Thames to a minor league deal and he makes much more sense for them (his ankle injury not withstanding). The Yankees themselves realized their mistake, cutting Winn so early in the season and keeping Russo who really hasn’t shown any reason to believe he’s going to be much of a contributor down the line.

The Yankees can afford to make such mistakes though, and it’s a smart move to cut their losses now.

As for Winn, he’ll likely go home and see if someone else will come knocking. Seeing as the Yankees will pay all but the major league minimum of his 2010 contract, Winn will likely get a shot from someone looking to see if a veteran presence can help their club.

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