The Yankees are talking to the Mariners about acquiring Randy Winn and a starting pitcher in exchange for Carl Pavano. The Yankees need a centerfield replacement and would most likely prefer to get out from Pavano's contract. You know, since he doesn't look like the Cy Young candidate they thought he would be. Let's compare Winn and Williams in center using Net Runs Above Average.
Winn's Rate2 of 100 is based off of his career levels. He has played some excellent centerfield defense sometimes in the past, but was relatively average over the course of a full season last year. His Rate2 was 99 last year. He would still be an upgrade over Bernie Williams, but as we can see here, not by that much. 7 runs above average more than Williams could account for a small number of wins (maybe 1 or 2) but that might be all New York needs as well. Let's take a look at the pitching aspect. Supposedly, Pavano would be sent to Seattle and Joel Piniero might be headed to the Bronx.
Neither of those lines is very attractive, but Pavano appears to be the better of the two. Of course, Pavano is making $9 million this year, and has 3 years $30 million remaining on his contract. Pineiro on the other hand is making $2.5 million this season, with 2 years and $12 million left on his deal. It is a given that Pavano will pitch better than he has in NY, most likely by getting out of there in the first place and also by pitching in Safeco rather than Yankee Stadium. Randy Winn is not much of a piece of trade bait, and the Mariners seem to have the Yankees in a desperate situation. To put it bluntly, do you think that you could do better than Carl Pavano for Randy Winn? Pavano is/was overrated and now is overpaid, but could help the Mariners and as I said, I think is the best you can get for a player like Winn. Pavano may be paid like an ace, but if he can pitch like a capable #2 or #3 guy in Seattle (something Pineiro is not doing) he would prove valuable. Atleast more valuable than we have seen with Winn, who is a below average player according to Net Runs Above Average. Is the deal worth it for the Yankees or Mariners? Vote in the poll included in this post.
Personally, I feel like the Mariners should go for this in order to obtain another starting pitcher (if the market remains inflated for pitchers, Pavano might not actually be that bad a deal...Burnett is going to get overpaid by a mile, and then who knows what happens next). The Yankees need a centerfielder, although I'm not really sure if Randy Winn is the answer. I hate to add insult to injury, but here's something I haven't heard anyone mention yet:
Lofton might be old and not as good as he used to be, but the same thing could be same about Williams to a much more severe degree as we can see by Lofton's numbers so far this year. Plus, Lofton is playing very good defense this season, something the Yankees need desperately. And what of Felix Rodriguez, the man traded for Lofton? 15 IP this year before going down with a torn meniscus in his knee, giving up 9 walks to 7 strikeouts with a 4.20 ERA. Oops.
Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the salary information. It is so hard to find salary information sometimes, but this site is very handy, and even has contract length, years, and the pay for each season broken down, along with major league service time and some other tidbits. Handy for articles such as this.