Who will the Yankees get to play left field?

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On the surface trading Melky Cabrera for Javier Vazquez clears the way for Johnny Damon to re-sign with the Yankees, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that they still view him as “too expensive” after last week’s back-and-forth with agent Scott Boras. Sherman also notes that parting with Cabrera probably doesn’t make the Yankees any more likely to end up with Jason Bay or Matt Holliday.
So if Damon, Bay, and Holliday still aren’t likely options, who might the Yankees be targeting to play left field? Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News names Mark DeRosa as “the most likely candidate,” noting that he could start in left field while also providing some infield depth behind Alex Rodriguez at third base. According to Feinsand the Yankees “have roughly $5-6 million to spend on left field.”
DeRosa was initially said to be seeking a three-year deal for quite a bit more than that to begin the offseason, but recently there have been reports of his asking price coming down and the Yankees were actually linked to him several weeks ago despite having no obvious place for him to play at the time. DeRosa hit just .250/.319/.433 in 2009 while battling a wrist injury, but his .291/.368/.453 line from the previous three seasons would be solidly above average in left field.

Justin Verlander named ALCS MVP

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Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, Justin Verlander was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.

“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”

Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.

The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.