Berroa, a former Rookie of the Year who has become one of the worst players in Major League Baseball, will compete with fellow fringe-man Cody Ransom for the backup infield job created when we traded Wilson Betemit for the now irrelevant and apparently on-the-market Nick Swisher.
Im rooting for Ransom! He is less disappointing because he hasn't done anything of note at the big league level to hope for.
As for Swisher being on the market, apparently the Yankees are trying to move either him or Xavier Nady to thin out their corner outfield/first base surplus.
I was going to write a post imploring the Yanks to keep Nady, but Rob Neyer beat me to the punch again, so it seemed I was stuck to writing about Berroa until I read what he wrote.
Nady is a fourth outfielder in Neyer's opinion. And for once I strongly disagree with him. The guy hit .305 with 25 homers and 97 RBI last season, which he played much of for the Pittsburgh Pirates. I am very confused what about those numbers says fourth outfielder. To me, that says number 5 hitter on most teams. He doesn't walk enough. Which is a big deal, but come on. The rest of the stats are there and he is a good enough all-around player to warrant time on the field. That being said, I bet he hits closer to the .268 he hit after the trade last season, and his OBP might be too low next year if it does happen that way, but he deserves a shot after the flashes of brilliance he showed in '08. I don't feel comfortable with what Swisher and Hideki Matsui will produce next season. They both have serious question marks, based on performance and health, respectively. He is not expendable, especially with Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner in center field. It's frustrating that Neyer thinks he would be worth trading for a decent reliever, especially considering the strength our bullpen showed last season without an effective Damaso Marte.
I view Professor X as one of the keys to next year's squad. Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada and Nady will determine how good the lineup really is. Unless we acquire a Jorge Julio-type for him, in which case the Yanks may not be as good as advertised. If we could get someone near Carlos Marmol's level of setup effectiveness, I'd do it in a heartbeat, but I don't think that that many Major League GMs take LSD as a performance enhancer.