So i was looking over the holes that are still in the Yankees roster (according to the Yankees), and i came up with some options for a starting pitcher/centerfielder.
Now the Yankees have a star centerfielder in the making... Austin Jackson, so don't expect them to make deals for guys with contracts that exceed the 2009 season. This cancels out players like Aaron Rowand, Curtis Granderson, Shane Victorino... but several players caught my eye.
Marlon Byrd, Reed Johnson, Gabe Kapler and Ryan Freel are all players who's contract runs out after the 09 season. Each have solid qualities the Yankees would be interested in, whether it's speed, fielding or the ability to hit.
Each can be obtained for cheap, since they are in their contract years and are most unheard of to the average baseball fan. I'm not saying swap Nady/Swisher for one of these guys, but a low A prospect who has potential but the Yankees know probably will never make it to the majors (deals like this happen all the time).
Now personally i would love to see the Yankees give Gardner a shot, but Hank/Hal still have the bad memories of relying on their young studs to get it done for them... i.e the 08 season. But if the Yankees wanted to obtain one of these guys and see what they are made of, it wouldn't hurt.
Look at it this way, if the trade doesn't work out the way the Yankees hoped, each player would be excellent off the bench and you can just plug Gardner/Melky in CF.
Now onto the Yankees second problem... the number 5 starter.
Every Yankee fan would love to see Andy back in pinstripes in 09, but it seems to be more and more unlikely as the new season approaches. The Yankees have options, they can go into spring with Phil Hughes as their number 5 guy, or they can go get someone (I love Phil Hughes as the number 5 guy, but i think the Yankees want him to stay in the minors for a bit).
There are your obvious guys who the fans would love to see in pinstripes like Ben Sheets or Sidney Ponson... haha just kidding.
Ofcourse the Yankees are looking into the free agent market for a starting pitcher right now, players like Randy Wolf, Braden Looper and Freddy Garcia are all still available, but maybe the Yankees can pull in someone via a trade.
There were a few pitchers that caught my eye who's contracts run out after the 09 season such as Jarrod Washburn, Todd Wellemeyer, Doug Davis and maybe even Erik Bedard who can be obtained through a trade.
Again, i would love to see Phil Hughes as the number 5 guy, but these are options the Yankees may consider. Each could fit solidly into the number 5 role atleast until the Yankees feel Phil Hughes would be ready to take a spot in the rotation.
Strictly what i think the Yankees may be looking at here, i think they are ready for opening day with the lineup/rotation they have right now. But ofcourse Hank and Hal want to put the best possible lineup on the field for the upcoming season, and this may be what they're looking at.