Randy Winn to the Yankees

The New York Yankees have added another veteran piece to an already stacked ballclub, signing outfielder Randy Winn to a one-year deal, worth a reported $2MM. 2009 was the first season since 2006 that Winn was not more than a fringe option for an outfield spot on fantasy rosters. From 2006 through 2009, here are the numbers Winn put up with the Giants:

2006: .262/.324/.396, 11 HR, 10 SB, 82 R, 56 RBI
2007: .300/.353/.445, 14 HR, 15 SB, 73 R, 65 RBI
2008: .306/.363/.426, 10 HR, 25 SB, 84 R, 64 RBI
2009: .262/.318/.353, 2 HR, 16 SB, 65 R, 51 RBI

Winn’s 2009 wasn’t a huge shock, but it was lower than it should have been. His line drive rate was actually at a career high (or at least since 2002, when our data begins) last year, and his speed score was above his career average. He should have a bit of a bounce back at the plate, and that is reflected in most of the projection systems:

Bill James: .276/.337/.389, 7 HR, 13 SB
CHONE: .259/.317/.364, 8 HR, 12 SB
Marcel: .276/.334/.396, 8 HR, 16 SB
Fans: .277/.326/.385, 5 HR, 12 SB

With a move to Yankee stadium and a great lineup around him, he will get plenty of runs, and the home runs should come easier. However, this assumes he will be the starting left fielder, which is something we just don’t know at the moment. The best guess is that Brett Gardner will maintain the starting left field job, but with the uncertainty that surrounds this situation, his ADP will likely drop, making him a possible bargain.

Keep a close eye on this situation, but Winn could receive playing time in more than one way. If DH Nick Johnson gets hurt, Nick Swisher could slide into first base, allowing Teix to rest as the DH, and placing Winn in the outfield.

If you are in an extremely deep mixed league, or moderately deep AL-only league, Winn might be worth a flier.

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Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.

38 Responses to “Randy Winn to the Yankees”

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  1. JayCee says:

    Atrocious signing. The Yanks OF is now as weak ofensively as any in the AL.

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    • JayCee says:

      To the mindless down-raters,

      name a weaker OF offensively.

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      • ReindeerGames says:

        The As, WhiteSox, Tigers, and Royals.


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      • RollingWave says:

        just based on offense?

        Tigers (Magglio / Raburn last year 117 /132 , unless you think the completely unproven Austin jackson will come close to Curtis Granderson’s #),

        White Sox (i’m not even sure who their starting OFs are anymore, Pierre / Jones / Quinten? even assuming completely healthy Quinten how much do you really think Jones and Pierre can hold up laste year’s # with a full year?)

        Houston (last year Bourn / Pence / Lee was 110/117/119 ) kinda a wash that could go either way.

        Padres ( no exp needed)

        D-backs (did you see what their OF outside of Upton did last year? probably not, since no one else did )

        Twins (maybe , depend on Delmon and wether Cudder holds up, could go either way basically a wash )

        Royals ( no need to explain there)


        Marlins unless Stanton comes up and establish quickly.

        Cubs if Soriano doesn’t bounce back significantly.

        Depending on who they put in CF, the Brewers might not be better despite having Braun.

        Reds OF was horrendous last year (3 guys that got most playing time was Tavaras / Nix / Bruce ), even assuming improvements from Bruce it still looks very bad.

        Giants (obvious)

        Pirates unless you think Garret Jones is for real.

        So that’s 14 teams right there that’s either a wash or clearly worse. which, like I said, puts them at about average . and that’s assuming Curtis Granderson stays at 100-110 WRC+ .

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      • DavidCEisen says:

        So the Yankees outfield is made up of: Swisher, Granderson, and Gardner.

        According to the projections Gardner is an average hitter to slightly above and both Granderson and Swisher are projected to be around 120-130 wRC+.

        So figuring that they are about 40 wRAA, they should be better than the Royals, White Sox, Mariners, Athletics, Blue Jays, Rays, Twins, and Tigers. They probably will be better than the Orioles, Rangers, and Angels.

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      • JayCee says:


        Gardner rates a “+” apart from his ability to score because the Yankees are batting behind him? I love the guy as a player, but I have to question what “average” is for him to rate a “+” after adjusting for team and ballpark.

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      • JayCee says:

        Rolling Wave-

        I’ll take the Padres OF this year over the Yanks.

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      • DavidCEisen says:

        JayCee, wRC+ is based on wOBA, so the lineup around him doesn’t effect it.

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      • Matt B. says:

        Blue Jays… Wells, Snider? and ?

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      • RollingWave says:

        Jaycee : you might want to actually tell us who the Padres are actually going to start out there.

        I’m assuming they’ll start Headly / Gwynn / Venable. the 3 of them combined for 108/97/113 . even assuming some advancing due to youth ( though Gwynn already exceeded expectation by a mile last year and I doubt he get any better than 100 at very best.)

        The Yankees, assumign they start Gardner / Granderson / Swisher most of the time, would likely throw up something around 100/115/120 between them in a fairly conservative estimate.

        sure, we could argue that Gardner and Gywnn is a wash and I wouldn’t really oppose that. but really? Headly and Venable over Granderson and Swisher?

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      • JayCee says:


        Hit “refresh”- their OF is Blanks, Hairston and Venable. It’s very nice.

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  2. RollingWave says:

    they were projected to score about 80 more runs then the next highest team before the signing anyway. also, their 3 main guys last year put up a WRC+ of 107/ 107 / 132 (and one of those 107 was Curtis Granderson who had a career low) is that great? no, but it would be at wores. average.

    (FWIW, the current projected starters of the Red Sox OF threw up 113/114/134 . so yeah, it’s better, but the degree isn’t nearly as much as you’d think . )

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  3. The A Team says:

    I’m just wondering why the Yankees would put Swisher on 1st and DH Tex…he’s pretty damn good at first after all. The effect would be the same, but I’d expect to see Swisher or Posada DH’ing in the event of a Johnson injury.

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  4. Bernard says:

    I agree with A Team. There’s literally no scenario where the Yankees put Swisher at first and Teixeira as the DH with any regularity. If Johnson gets hurt then Swisher, the weakest of the OF defensively, would go to DH and Winn would start in RF. Or the aged core of Posada, Jeter and Rodriguez would get a lot more time in the DH spot.

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  5. elgringo79 says:

    Would George Steinbrenner have stuck so closely to this 2MM cap? Surely an extra 4MM for Damon at 6MM would’ve been both worth the upgrade and well within the Yankees means.

    Why is Hal so immovable then? Is the son, who grew up on Dad’s money, and was away vacationing during this process, more interested in profiteering than winning? I am a Yankee fan, and I love the Yankees for doing whatever it takes to win. Some people hate the way they spend money, but let me tell you… it would be a far bigger injustice for them to pocket the money instead. The moment they DON’T do whatever they can to win, that’s when I have a problem.

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  6. elgringo79 says:

    I bring up the vacationing part, because a few years ago, George picked up the phone when ARod called. That was another situation where Boras was leading his client to an unwanted stalemate. They worked it out. Damon called of his own accord this weekend. Maybe inspired by that same story. Who knows what would’ve happened if George had been able to answer.

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    • Tom B says:

      don’t believe everything you read in the national enquirer.

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      • elgringo79 says:

        We’ll never know for sure, but there were lots of outlets reporting the ARod-George convo. I’ve only seen one so far about he Damon phone call (NY Post… not much better)

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      • elgringo79 says:

        SI is reporting the same thing, after Verducci interviewed both Damon and Cashman. Satisfied now, smartass?

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  7. RollingWave says:

    If we just base on WAR, there’s a solid argument that Winn might be a comparable or better player than Damon

    last 3 year

    Winn: 9.1 WAR

    Damon : 8.9 WAR

    the bat isn’t going to be much better than average at best. but let’s be real here, the Yankees are sporting 8 guys who are likely going to crack 115-20 WRC+ in front of them.

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  8. RollingWave says:

    Also, Winn effectively replaces not Johnny Damon, but Melky Cabrera. Granderson actually replaces Damon.

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  9. Jay says:

    You don’t need a great-hitting outfield when your infield consists of Teixeira, Cano, Jeter and A-Rod. You’re not entitled to an all-star at every position…

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    • fanfromflorence says:

      They are not entitled to an allstar at every position, but they sure would love to have one at each position. give them time i suppose…

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  10. Joel says:

    I like Winn as a signing. He’s a plus defender at the corners, which the Yankees need.

    Terrible fantasy option, though.

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  11. Fishkiller says:

    Hopefully this sends a message during these financial strapped times to all of Boras type players…..lower your price or they will look elsewhere.

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  12. FireOmar says:

    wtf how come no one understands this has everything to do with next year’s free agency class

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  13. elgringo79 says:

    6MM/1yr for Damon would not interfere with a Crawford signing next year.

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  14. CJ says:

    Would Damon take 1/6 though? If hes still holding out for two years, you gotta cut him loose.

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  15. fergie348 says:

    Winn’s batting splits were extreme last year – his OPS batting right handed was .384 (?!), whereas his left handed OPS was .751. I think you can consider him as a left handed hitter instead of a true switch hitter.

    I don’t see any reason for the Yanks to start him against lefties, as he’s not qualified to bat right handed. This presents a problem, as both Gardner and Granderson are lefties. Swisher is a switch hitter, but that leaves the outfield pretty heavily tilted to the left.

    I just added it up. Yanks have a $95 MM infield. I guess they can have some holes in the outfield and still be competitive..

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  16. Rafael Santana's Brilliant Bluff says:

    Fergie, the thinking is that last year’s struggles against lefties were an abberation, as Winn has had career-long decent success against them.

    I’m curious. Did the Yanks cuts payroll this offseason? And how much did they lop off the budget. If so, Cashman deserves credit for a pretty clever strategy. He’s managed to design a team that is as strong as last year’s…at least on paper.

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    • JimNY says:

      Yeah, they cut payroll. They took off $26 mill for Matsui and Damon, $6.5 for Xavier Nady, $5 mill for Chien Ming Wang, $2.1 for Jose Molina, and various players making less than $2 mill. All of their additions this year combined add up to roughly what they paid Damon and Matsui last year (if you factor in that Pettite’s guaranteed salary isn’t all that much more than his earned incentives less year).

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  17. JimNY says:

    I still fail to recognize exactly why people think Gardner is incapable of being a full time position player. Is it really such a terrible thing to have a 9 hole hitter with major wheels and ++ defense in left field who’ll get on base 34 or 35% of the time?

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