Trading Rowand or Winn?

Posted By on January 15, 2009 3:05 pm

Apparently Fred Lewis said on KNBR this morning that he was told even if the Giants got another left fielder (Manny), that he’d move to right. That’s got my friends over at McCovey Chronicles wondering about trading Aaron Rowand or Randy Winn to the Yankees for Nick Swisher.

That’s a nice thought, but there are a few reasons why I don’t think that works very well.

1. If the Giants get Manny, it means they are going full-bore short term. I don’t think you do that and then get rid of another one of your established players. Like them or not, Aaron Rowand and Randy Winn are both solid major leaguers who are likely to outperform Fred Lewis in 2009.

2. The Yankees would like to upgrade in center field, but they already have Swisher to play center, if all else fails. No, he’s not as good as Rowand or Winn. But he’s adequate defensively, and he’s likely to be more productive offensively than either one of Giants vets, so why would the Yankees prefer Rowand at $8 million (plus $36 million to come) or Winn at $8.25 million over Swisher at $5.3 million?

3. If the Giants get rid of Rowand, they don’t have a center fielder for 2010. Unless they want to put Swisher out there, but then that leaves them with the same problem of production at the corner infield spots.

4. Rowand wasn’t as good defensively in San Francisco as he was in Philadelphia, but he’s still better than Winn or Lewis in center. If Manny is going to be plodding around in left, you need to be as strong as you can in the other two spots.

5. Finally, and this is an admittedly difficult thing to quantify, but if I’m introducing Manny into my clubhouse, I want to keep Rowand there too, as a balance. If there’s anyone who would get in Manny’s face for dogging it, it’s Rowand.

Of course, all this makes for nothing more than good January debate, since I doubt the Giants are getting Manny anyway.


7 Responses to “Trading Rowand or Winn?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think Rowand or Winn will out-perform Lewis this year, and I’m curious what makes you think that. Lewis’ MO has been to break out (and show his power) in the second year at each level of the minors. This upcoming year would be his second year, so I would think 20 homeruns are well within his reach. Defensive stats also put him in the elite level of LF’s, which Rowand cannot claim. The smartest move would be to do nothing, but if they do sign Manny, I don’t know how anyone can think that Manny-Winn-Lewis isn’t the best lineup you can put in the outfield. And yes, Winn is more than capable of playing CF.

  2. Mark says:

    Jeff, We are in complete agreement here. The whole point of signing Manny would be to try and win now. Trading either Rowand or Winn is counter to that point. What the Giants should do is eat $5M of Roberts contract and trade him and the remaining $1.5M for whatever low level prospect they can get. This then frees up both reserve outfield spots and thier 400-600 PAs for Lewis and Schierholtz to share.

  3. Jeff Fletcher says:

    Anonymous, the reason I don’t see a “breakout” from Lewis is that he’s 28 years old. I don’t think improvement trends from the minors carry over to the majors when you get to that age. Plus, in the minors when he broke through the second year, it was against all new opponents, generally, because the rest of the league had moved on. That’s not the case in the majors. I just don’t see Lewis ever “breaking out” into much more than what we’ve seen so far.

  4. Dave says:

    Jeff, Trading for Swisher would be a great idea, as I don’t see the Giants signing Manny, and I know Boras is using the Giants to raise the ante for the Dodgers. However I thought that the Yankees were looking for pitching, so isn’t Sabean still looking to move Sanchez or Lowry? Too bad the Yankees don’t want Roberts, that was a bad signing from the start.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Jeff, I think you are seriously overrating Rowand. From 2004-08 Rowand has posted 24.4, -3.0, -4.7, 27.5, and -2.4 respectively in runs above replacement player, according to In 3 of the last 5 seasons, Rowand has been WORSE than a “freely available AAA player”. Yes, he a 2 really good seasons mixxed in there, but that is hard what I would call “Aaron Rowand and Randy Winn are both solid major leaguers who are likely to outperform Fred Lewis in 2009.”. Winn is a very good, solid OF, who is at least Rowand’s equal in CF and clearly and upgrade at the plate.BR/BR/An OF Lewis/Manny(LF), Winn(CF), and Nate/Lewis(RF) is clearly better than any OF that includes Rowand. He plays hard and is probably a nice guy, but I prefer more consistency out of big FA contracts, at least above replacement level.

  6. Jeff Fletcher says:

    Well, anonymous, if that’s true about Rowand, the Giants can’t move him anyway, so it’s a moot point.

  7. [...] response to this post, one of my readers suggested that Fred Lewis is about to break out because he’s always done [...]

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