Yanks, Damon heading toward a new deal

Tomko, A's pen blank Yankee bats
All considered, Yanks handling Joba well

Once this season wraps up, there are few big-name free agents among the Major League outfielders. Matt Holliday will clearly lead the list with Jason Bay and the oft-injured Vladimir Guerrero behind him. Beyond that, a bunch of mediocre outfielders and aging stars will tempt teams.

One of those aging stars we know quite well. The Yankees’ left fielder Johnny Damon will be a free agent at the end of the season. A year ago, I would never have predicted a Damon return to the Bronx for 2010 and possibly beyond, but Damon has turned in a 2009 to remember. He is hitting .283/.364/.521 with 22 HR. He should top his career high in home runs of 24, and his OPS+ currently stands at 129, also a career high.

As the season has unfolded, Johnny Damon has continually stressed his desire to remain in the Bronx, and the Yankees have noticed both this enthusiasm and his production. According to Tyler Kepner, the Yankees and Johnny Damon may be picking each other as Damon hits free agency. The Times scribe writes:

Before the season, there was a sense that the Yankees would allow Damon to move on and turn over his left-field spot to a prospect like Austin Jackson or a younger free agent like Matt Holliday. But Yankees officials seem to understand Damon’s value on the field and in the clubhouse, and now they would like him to return. When the Yankees want to keep a player and the player wants to stay, that is usually what happens.

“I don’t know where else I would want to go to,” Damon said. “Obviously, that’s not the right thing to say when you’re about ready to approach free agency, but I’m very happy with playing in New York, and my family’s happy I play for New York. There’s no bigger place to go. If you play well here, you’re going to get paid. New York has the resources. But we also have the chance to win every year. I don’t want to attempt to go make more money elsewhere, for more years, with a chance to be out of the race by the first of June.

…Damon’s agent is Scott Boras, who is never shy about seeking the highest bidder. But Damon said that during his last free agency, he instructed Boras not to bother gathering offers from West Coast teams. He said Boras would listen to his wishes. “Scott knows,” Damon said. “Even if I did sign another two- or three-year deal to come back to New York, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be retired after that. There could be a time where I go somewhere and pinch-hit for a year or whatever.”

Damon, according to Kepner, recognizes that he’ll have to take a pay cut. After all, no team will pay an outfielder of his age more than the $13 million a year Johnny currently makes.

Now, we’ve recently saluted Johnny Damon. Not only is having one helluva season, but his career ranks him up there. His hits, runs and stolen base totals are among the leaders of this generation of baseball players, and he has been remarkably durable — or at least willing to play through injuries — since 1996.

Yet, I’m not sure how much I would give Johnny Damon. Two years seems reasonable, but should the Yanks be depending upon a 37-year-old Damon in 2011? If he isn’t blocking any younger — and potentially better — players, then so be it. As long as the Yanks do not handicap themselves with a sentimental deal, bring back Damon, but I’m rather wary of giving 36-year-old outfielders with decreasing range too many years or too much money.

Tomko, A's pen blank Yankee bats
All considered, Yanks handling Joba well
  • The Fallen Phoenix

    I think the ideal would be a 1+1 deal, where the +1 is a club option, perhaps with a buyout. Say $5 or $6 million per year, with a $1 or $2 million buy-out.

    Since Matsui won’t be on the team, you could also afford to give Damon additional DH at-bats; it does not seem like his bat is slowing, and YSIII would (probably) only assist in a more-or-less graceful decline given his ridiculous home numbers this year. After all, Damon has essentially re-worked his swing to be built for Yankee Stadium, since it does not take much for him to uppercut a ball over the short porch in right.

    And there are much, much worse fates than having a Johnny Damon soak up 50-75% of your DH at-bats in 2010.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD


    • jsbrendog

      i agree with this. but I wouldn’t be against a 2 yr deal if the base is like <$8. if it is like between 5-7 million and he sucks or falls off a cliff in year two then well, whatever, he is expendable.

  • Jeremy

    I agree that the Yankees will sign him for two more years, considering the lack of alternatives.

    There is no way the Yankees will throw a big contract at Holliday or Bay.

  • http://twitter.com/Hopjake Jake H

    Give the guy a 1+1. Pay him 8 mill the first year with a mutual option for the following year that the team can pick up if Damon plays well. I do wonder if we will see a day when they use OPS+ as a way to get options taken up instead of plate appearances.

    • thebusiness

      Can’t have performance based incentives.

      Anyway, 8M and an option year. Please, please not as the LF. Strictly DH. He may even hit better not playing the field and crashing into walls.

      • Stryker

        having the guy strictly DH is detrimental to the team. it means that there’s no other option for him but DHing – and there’d be no way to give our other aging players (jeter, a-rod, posada) a rest.

  • Makavelli

    In the new Yankee Stadium…with Damon’s swing…I don’t see a problem with 2 years…

    What would it take? 2 years at $14 million maybe? $16 million?

    I guess we’d have to look at Dunn and Burrell’s contracts and then add age as a factor…

  • emac2

    I would offer arbitration but wouldn’t sign a 2 year deal.

    saying he doesn’t want to shop for more money is like calling a house cozy. Cozy is code for really small and not wanting to shop means he knows there are no buyers for an old speed guy who can’t throw.

    I love Damon but we just need a better arm in the outfield. Old speed guys with bad arms are great for the bench but they shouldn’t be signed to multi year contracts in this market.

    • thebusiness

      Offer arbitration and he’ll get at least 15M for a 1 year deal.

    • The Fallen Phoenix

      I don’t think I offer Johnny Damon arbitration, even if I want to re-sign him, because he’d probably get more from one-year of arbitration (even if it’s a non-guaranteed deal) than he would from a two-year deal if he hit the open market.

      Well, perhaps not, but it would be close – close enough that Johnny might just accept arbitration. Boras clients (see: Maddux, Greg) have been known to do that in the past.

      But I agree, I think you avoid giving Damon an outright two-year deal for as long as possible. If you can’t get him except on a two-year deal, well, it would seriously depend on his base salary, because I don’t think you could count on Johnny Damon being more than a 1- or 2-win player in 2011, even if he’s a full-time DH and can’t bring any value (positive or negative) in the field.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Offering arbitration to Damon would probably be worse than a two year deal. He’s making $13MM this season and he’ll definitely get a big raise.

  • thebusiness

    No way you give him a guaranteed two years.

    8M year one, 8M mutual option with a 2M buy out. That way it’s either a 1 year- 10M deal, or 2 year- 16M deal. As the DH though.

    If they don’t sign Matt Holliday for LF, they should trade for a RF and move Swisher to LF- he doesn’t really have a RF’s arm.

    Please avoid Jason Bay.

    • http://twitter.com/Hopjake Jake H

      I do like that.

    • Yankee2

      I agree with that. I see Swish in LF more then I would right field. Leave Gardner in CF and Melky to RF

  • Lardin

    Whats the obsession with Holliday? Do we really need another power hitter?

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Well, he’s younger than the other good options (Bay, Damon) and is a better fielder than both of them. And since when is getting another power hitter a bad thing? The Yankees are a patience/power team, he fits that mold very well. I’m not advocating that the Yankees sign him because I don’t think the Yankees want another long term contract at a corner position, but there’s good reason to want Matty H.

      • Makavelli

        There’s a good reason to like a lot of players. They’re good. But you don’t necessarily have to sign them all.

        Another long term contract would be baaad. We already have Arod into his 40’s at $30 million a year almost. We’re going to re-sign Jeter into his 40’s. We have Tex until his late 30’s. We have AJ Burnett into his late 30’s. We have Sabathia (maybe) into his mid 30’s. And by the time they reach these later years…they’ll still be making a hefty amount. Adding Holliday into his late 30’s…what happens when our team is filled with ALL late 30 year olds??

        Not to mention, Rivera (gulp…) will be gone by then…

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          Another long term contract would be baaad.

          Which is why I said I wasn’t advocating for Holliday to be signed.

      • Lardin

        IMO power hitting does not win in the post season, look at the yankees from 2004-2007. They always got beat by good pitching because they were looking for the big hit instead of manufacturing runs. Damon is perfect for that. He gets on base, he can steal, and he knows how to move runners. As for defense, Damon stinks and would be the main reason I would not want him back. But I would still rather have Damon for two years then overpaying Holliday for 5

        • Makavelli

          You could always defensively replace Damon for Ajax in left or Hinske or whoever else we have at that time…Swisher? Depends on our outfield obviously. But there are always options. His defense is putrid though. But who’s a better option without emptying the piggy bank?

        • DF

          2004? Yeah, the 2004 Red Sox certainly never waited for a big hit. They were all about the bunting and the hit-and-run and whatnot.

          And yes, I know. Dave Roberts.

          • Makavelli

            Well the Red Sox 2004 team had the best offense in baseball AND had 2 Aces in 20+ game winner Curt Schilling and perennial Ace Pedro Martinez.

            The fact that Mike Mussina and his 4.50+ ERA and Jon Leiber and his 4.30+ ERA beat them both the first time around is really the unlikely thing. Then to expect them to beat Schilling and Martinez AGAIN is just asking too much…and it ended up being exactly that.

            • DF

              I think we’re essentially agreeing here. I don’t think the offense cost the ’04-’07 Yankee teams. It was the pitching, especially the starting pitching, that just wasn’t good enough.

              My point was just that it’s quite possible to win in the playoffs without pretending you’re the Angels. Case in point, the ’04 & ’07 Red Sox championships.

          • Lardin

            ant they hit good pitching, which is something the Yankees had problems with until very recetnly

    • Jack

      Need? No. But what’s wrong with another one?

  • CountryClub

    One of the things I always admired about O’Neill was how he took a couple of short term deals at the end of his career when he could have gone out and easily found more money (especially the 1st deal he signed).

    It sounds like Damon is heading down the same path; that’s impressive. That being said, 2 years should be the most they give him. I agree with others and think a 1 yr deal with a mutual option would make a lot of sense.

  • putt

    I was on the fence about Damon coming back. I sort of feel like he’s having a “career year” for lack of a better expression, maybe like Jorge 2 years ago.

    But after he complimented my beard last night and signed an autograph, I’m hooked. Sure, I may be 30, but deep down I’m an overgrown 10 year old. That guy made a fan for life!

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      That guy made a fan for life!


      • putt

        haha…cliche, but true!

    • Makavelli

      He put up identical numbers with the Yankees as he did with the Red Sox in both 4 years. And this year isn’t even finished yet. He could wind up having better numbers with the Yankees than he did with the Sox (when he was younger).

      The move to left field is very nice too. If we already had LF and RF then I’d say no…but we don’t. I don’t see the problem.

      • putt

        They posted his stats from 2001 at the game last night. I think that was his last with Oakland, right? He was something like .256 with 9 homers and 45 rbi. I know those are just counting stats, but I really like his NY counting stats a lot better!

    • Riddering

      If I was capable of growing a beard and Damon complimented it, I would never shave again.

      You are one lucky fan!

  • yankeegirl49

    I’m not sure I would take his comments with anything more than a grain of salt. At one time he also said he didn’t want to play for the Yankees.

    • Makavelli

      His wife calls the shots. She gets her publicity (although I’ve never heard much about her) in NY where she didn’t get anything in Boston…or anywhere else for that matter. Especially if he says he doesn’t want to take offers from west coast teams. NY is the only other solution.

      He plays for a contender every year, they pay him well, his wife gets her mirage of publicity, and everybody is happy.

      Those words he said before about not wanting to play for the Yankees were said before he did play for the Yankees. Things change.

  • Raf

    a 1+1 deal would be ideal. i wouldnt be against him coming back either as hes proved he can be a productive hitter at the top of the lineup when healthy.

  • Makavelli

    Sort of off topic, but why didn’t we take a flyer on Paul Byrd? He was probably extremely cheap and would have been a HELL of a lot better than Sergio Mitre…

    • Zack

      when signed he need 3 weeks to get ready, so basically hes not ready until September, so we’re talking about what 4 starts in September?
      And in his first rehab start at GCL(!!!) he went 7IP, 10H, 8R, 4ER

      • Makavelli

        Yeah I guess that’s pretty awful. But right now I’ll gamble on anything instead of Mitre…

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      There’s nothing “sort of” off topic about it. This is 100 percent off topic. Please don’t post off topic comments. It’s definitely been covered in threads and it’s in the guidelines.

      • Makavelli

        Ok. So if I can’t find the answer to something I want to know and somebody else in here I know has the answer…I’m not allowed to know it? How do I find out? I could see if the off topic stuff got out of hand but it wasn’t. I asked a quick question…got the answer and moved on. In the future I’m just not allowed to ask anybody questions they could help me with?

        • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

          We have a contact box on the left-hand sidebar, and we respond to those promptly. We also host open threads and/or game threads every night at 6:30 or 7. We’ve asked in the past for commenters to keep comments on topic or e-mail us questions. We also delete off-topic comments after the first warning. Those are the rules. It helps us keep the site on focus.

          • Makavelli

            Alright, thanks for the update. Sorry about the mix up. I’ll use the contact box from now on. Thanks for letting me know.

        • Arman Tamzarian

          It doesn’t get out of hand because people are asked to stay on topic

          • Makavelli

            You just basically repeated what was already said, congratulations.

          • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

            Exactly. If everyone thought they could ask a simple off topic question because it “doesn’t get out of hand,” it would quickly get out of hand. That’s all. Trust me on this one. Our heavy-handed on-topic emphasis is well worth it. We know from experience.

  • John

    sign him for 2010 plus an option for 2011. deal around 20-25 million for both years. decline option after 2010 and sign to a multi-year deal carl crawford. thoughts?

    • Mike bk

      too much money is thought 1. shouldnt take more than 8 to keep him here next year and maybe an option for similar after that. i have a feeling that the fa salaries will be much lower this summer like they were after the initial wave last year.

      crawford in a years time would be a great option, depending on what happens with montero positionally dunn could be a good dh option as well in a year.

      • John

        I agree about the money, the deal will be compared to abreu’s. But crawford is a great option no matter the position montero will settle in. he’s the best basestealer in the league, he hits for average, with respectable power, and plays stellar defense. plus he will be only 29 years old. I would love to see him in pinstripes.

        • Mike bk

          i said dunn was the one conditional no montero not crawford and crawford is not an option this offseason he has an option the rays must pick up.

          • John

            My bad about montero and dunn. About Crawford, I was talking about signing him after the 2010 season after declining damon’s option.

    • putt

      I love me some Carl Crawford! He just covers so much ground in left field and is an absolute monster on the bases. That’s an element the Yanks haven’t had in so long. Maybe Gardner will turn into that kind of player, but I think Crawford is just at a different level. His ops+ is 119 with 56 stolen bases. You gotta like that.

      • Slu

        If Gardner becomes 75% of the player Crawford is, I’ll be ecstatic.

  • tampayankee

    Why? Carl Crawford and Jason Bay are available next year! This guy is a shadow of himself. He can no longer field and is not the hitter he was five years ago. Pleas do not Sign this washed up has been Cash. We do noit need more DH’s on this ball club!

    • Zack

      Jason Bay is available after THIS season, but he sucks.
      Crawford is available after NEXT season, if they dont trade him and his new team signs him to an extension.
      So your plane gives us a hole in LF

      • Zack


    • Mike bk

      crawford wont be available this offseason. he has an option year that the rays should pick up if for no other reason than to trade him.

  • currambayankees

    Bring him back on maybe one year basis and as Kay mentioned maybe give him the Coney treatment a little extra cash for one year at a clip. No more then one year though because he is after all 37 and does scare me out in the OF.

  • Mike bk

    the other question is what does resigning damon do to the rest of the of options? jackson stays in the minors? swisher gets dealt? nady gets non-tendered or dealt? how many games can we really expect damon to play in lf without hurting the team defensively as much as he helps offensively?

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Jackson isn’t ready at all for the Big Leagues yet. He’s young too. There’s no reason to rush him.

      • Reggie C.

        agree. Jackson was viewed as an offensive upgrade over the platoon earlier, but i’m not so sure u can argue that successfully today. Jax should be better than the current options , but he’s not there yet.

    • John

      the situation would be the same as this year.
      2009: matsui, damon, swisher, nady, gardner, cabrera (4 lineup spots)
      2010: damon, swisher,cabrera, gardner, jackson (4 lineup spots)

      • Mike bk

        i dont believe they bring jackson up to ride the bench as he would in that scenario.

        also its not the same because jete, a-rod and jorge will need more dh time next year than this.

        • John

          I think Jackson will be called up in june to delay his arbitration years and start in right. Moreover, I think they will be a definite DH next year who will start in the outfield or bench if a player needs to dh. I like better that than having a different DH each day and have a bench player play.

    • mike HC

      Do you want to bench Damon this year and replace him with Hinske, or Jackson or Gardner? Is his defense hurting more than his offense this year? There is no reason to expect him to get worse next year. I don’t understand why everyone can’t imagine a team with Damon as an everyday outfielder, when this years team has the best record in baseball doing just that.

      • Mike bk

        maybe the question you should ask is will his offense next year be near where it is this year to not care what his defense is this year.

        • mike HC

          Damon has been out of this world this season. I would not expect him to repeat this every year. But there is no reason to expect Damon to perform below his career averages offensively in the next two years. And there is a good chance he can soundly outperform those averages as he has this year.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Why would Swisher get dealt if Damon is resigned? That would still leave a corner spot vacated and unless the Yankees got absolutely blown away, they wouldn’t trade Swisher and have an OF alignment of Damon/Jackson/Cabrera. That is, IMO, an unacceptable alignment, especially in the AL East. Also, if Jackson starts 2010 in the minors, that won’t be a bad thing. Look at Andrew McCutchen; he spent a year and a half at AAA before being called up and the Yankees could easily pursue the same course of action w/A-Jax.

      • DF

        You’re forgetting that Swisher is a bad outfielder who sucks at hitting because he only hits .240…

        Just ignore his range and his excellent OBP skills and his P/PA and then you’ll start to get it.

        • Stryker

          can’t tell if this is serious or not. is my sarcasm meter broken?

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            It’s not serious. The “Just ignore his range and his excellent OBP skills and his P/PA and then you’ll start to get it.” gives it away as sarcasm.

            Your meter’s is on the fritz.

  • r.w.g.

    So I guess this means they aren’t going to readjust the fences to cut down on the cheapies?

  • mike HC

    I would hate to see Damon go. As a hitter, he is irreplaceable to this Yankee Lineup. Defensively, he is pretty bad, but if he was as good defensively as he was offensively, then the Yanks would not be able to re sign for only a year or two and at a pay cut. I would re sign Damon, but that would not prevent me from signing Holliday if the price is right. Just like trading for Swisher gave the Yanks some flexibility in last offseason, I think signing Damon this offseason will do the same thing.

    • Reggie C.

      irreplaceable? matt holiday could replicate JD’s numbers for the next 4 seasons. im not entirely convinced that ballclubs view Holiday as an elite player anymore. if bidding isnt crazy, Cash will be right there.

  • John

    if Damon stays, I expect the opening day lineup to be damon LF, gardner CF, cabrera RF, swisher DH. jackson stays in AAA to delay his arbitration years, then get called-up in june to replace cabrera in right and cabrera shares his time with gardner.

    • Nady Nation

      I sure hope the Yankees do NOT start off next season with Gardner and Melky in the same outfield, especially when you have a perfectly fine RF in Swisher (who is a much better hitter than either Gardy or Melky), and a plethora of options in free agency to fill the DH void this winter.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        This. Jackson shouldn’t be playing right anyway; his bat does not justify that position as of yet.

    • currambayankees

      Why does everyone keep mentioning Arbi years for AJax? The Yankees don’t care about Arbi years. They just care that a player is ready to play and if he is he’ll be up at that time.

  • John

    the perfect scenario IMO is damon in 2010 plus a club option for 2011 and a multi-year contract to carl crawford. 2011 outfield:
    LF Crawford CF Gardner RF Jackson
    DH: Swisher, Posada, A-Rod.
    this outfield has little pop, but a lot of excellent defense and speed on the bases.

    • DF

      Jackson doesn’t seem like he’s going to have the kind of bat to play in RF. His value comes from the fact that he’s a CF who could probably put up decent numbers while playing plus-defense at a premium position.

      If you move him away from CF, you lose a large chunk of his value.

      And power >>>>>> speed on the bases. You hit the ball far enough, you don’t have to run.

    • Bill

      Love the idea of Damon for 2010 and Crawford in 2011. Although I don’t know if Jackson has the bat for RF. If Jackson pans out I could see us dealing Gardner and if he doesn’t I could see us dealing Jackson.

      Also by 2011 you’ll probably have to factor Montero into the fold either at DH or C. That probably means Swisher in RF.

  • YankeeScribe

    I’m ok with signing him for 2 yrs at 8 mil per season. Damon can take over Matsui’s role as DH and we can get AJax in left field…

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      No. Austin Jackson should not be playing a corner OF spot unless his power absolutely explodes between now and the beginning of next year, which is highly unlikely.

  • Mac

    I would not give him a guaranteed two year option. Not with Carl Crawford becoming a free agent after next year. But I would do a 1 year at 10 Million, with a 2011 club option at 8 million and a player option at 4 million. Or something of that sort. That is as close to a 2 year deal I would do.

    I would still drive up the price of Bay for the Sox. But I don’t think Bay or Holliday are worth it. Not in a park that is built for lefties. Not with Carl Crawford as a free agent a year later.

    Potential Depth Chart for 2010:
    LF: Damon/Jackson
    CF: Gardner/Cabrera/Jackson
    RF: Cabrera/Swisher
    DH: Swisher/Posada/Jeter/Arod/Damon

    • Makavelli

      1 yr and $10 Mill might be too much. You could get 2 yrs at $7 or $8 mill a piece…why not take it? You could still grab Crawford…Swisher’s deal is up after next year I believe.

      • John

        no. after 2011 season

    • DF

      That outfield could easily become the worst hitting OF in baseball. And it’s best case scenario is merely that it’s about average, I would think.

      We need a lot more production than Gardner and Cabrera can provide, IMO. They’re fine platooning in CF. I don’t think they should be playing at the same time.

      • Makavelli

        I absolutely agree. Ajax hasn’t seen the majors yet. Melky and Gardner are no sure things. Damon would be in decline. And Swisher won’t be around in 2011 I don’t think…and his .240 average right now is in line with his career BA…

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          And his .374 OBP and .479 SLG are both about 20 points above his career averages. Nick Swisher does not get his value from hitting for average, he gets it from getting on base and hitting for power.

          • John

            indeed, swisher has been one of the most productive hitters for the yanks this year. hits are overrated while walks are underrated. people should cheer as much for a walk than for a hit. I prefer to look at OBP and SLG while analyzing a player than AVG and HR

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Hits >> Walks


              Getting on base >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Making an out

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              Nick Swisher has 20 home runs. Those home runs count towards the “hitting for power” part of my sentence.

              And, yes, people should cheer for a walk because it means the batter didn’t make an out, which is what the batter’s goal is, right?

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                And, yes, people should cheer for a walk because it means the batter didn’t make an out, which is what the batter’s goal is, right?


                And, I’d imagine people DO cheer for walks, in person, at the moment. They only besmirch them in the abstract, after the fact.

                I’d bet to you that if you never looked at a single stat for Nick Swisher, never once looked up his BA or his OBP or his SLG or HR, but just watched him every day in every game and never tracked his stats but just accumulated nothing but anecdotal evidence, you’d probably think he was a good player, pretty hands down at that.

                Because all you’d remember was him getting on base constantly, working pitchers deep into counts constantly, hitting homers constantly, making good RF catches constantly, and striking out and making goofy misplays only occasionally.

                Players like Swisher, with low BA/high OBP/high SLG look better in person than they do on paper, which is ironic, since those types of players are always derided by people who bemoan excessive statistical analysis.

  • Paul

    Keep Damon for another year, he bring a lot of intangables to the team. I think you need characters like he and Swisher to keep thing loose.

  • misterd

    2 years, preferably with the second year as an option.

    I’d offer $5m, though offer plenty of incentives that could take him as high as $10m (though that should be met only if he exceeds even his current level of play). I would not go more than $7m guaranteed.

  • Rob in CT

    I’m wary. He’s old, he’s having a career year. If the Yanks can do something reasonable (no more than 2 yrs), fine. Matsui walks, Damon plays LF and sometimes DH. Ok.

    Holliday, though, would help the team get younger. I’m sure he wants a super long-term deal and I know people question his ability to hit in the AL (though by the time he was traded back to the NL, hadn’t his numbers come back up to what was reasonably expected of him?). Even with the adjustment, he’s a good player.

    Bay is a pretty good player. He’s apparently bad with the glove and he just went through a bad slump which makes him look worse than he is with the bat. By season’s end, I think his overall production will be above-average. I think he’s worth talking to, but I’d want the Yanks to be stingy with the length of a contract for him.

    Austin Jackson, if he can make it to the bigs at all (his K rate is crazy), has to play CF to be of any use. He doesn’t have the bat for a corner.

  • Bill

    I’d prefer to take a pass on JD. I see Posada as dh more next yr. Time for ajax to step up.

    • Florida Ed

      I agree. Everyone is forgetting that Posada is a very poor defensive catcher, but a good hitter with 3 years left on his contract. Damon is a terrible defender-lets move on.
      The Yanks must start bringing in more youth

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Definitely not. If you play him in center, that leaves Melky or Brett in left with Swisher in right. You’d have one player who could adequately hit for his position, maybe two if Jackson has a strong rookie year. If you stick Jackson in left, then you’re really screwed because I doubt his power is going to come along fast enough to justify LF in the Bronx in ’10.

  • Slu

    If it comes down to choice between Damon and Bay, you have to go with Damon. If it is Holliday and Damon, I think you still have to go with Damon, only because Crawford is going to be available. If Crawford is traded and signed to an extension though, all bets are off. In that case, Damon is the perfect stop gap if/when Jackson arrives.

  • Bo

    Damons earned an extension.

  • Dillon

    Are most the people on here actually saying we should consider signing Damon to a 2 year deal? A guy in his late 30’s who was rated by his peers as having the worst arm in baseball and whose routes to the ball get worse every year?

    A 2 year deal for him shouldn’t be an option. Offer him one year if we can’t get Carl Crawford. No more.

    Spend the money on another front end starter. I think Lackey, Hudson, Bedard are FA’s.

  • Yankee2

    Personally, I love Damon and what hes brought to the team. He capable of still having a good bat in the years to come as hes come up in pretty big situations and pulled through. Though, there may be better talent out there, I think giving Johnny even the “DH” job wouldnt be a bad idea if you take him out of the field.

    Damons also a good clubhouse guy, he seems to have a very good personality along with Nick Swisher to keep things fun though still competitive.

    I also agree with the Posada not as fast as he used to be behind the plate. Love Molina and when Franisco Cervelli was from Minors. Those are quick catchers still capable of throwing runners out such as the faster ones in the leauge able to get those good jumps and steal the bases on the Yankees.

    Posada has a good bat which could very well let Matsui walk which i dont think would hurt the Yanks considering his knee injury that keeps effecting him.

    I think getting rid of Damon isnt the smartest choice of the Yanks. Hes earned an extention without any doubt.

  • mikea58

    The Yankees should re sign him.He plays hard evry time he’s on the field and he’s an asset to the team.

  • novymir

    What about Posada? I can’t believe the Yankees are going to let him catch in 2010 and 2011. I believe he will be the DH in those years.

  • KK

    Is something wrong with Austin Jackson? I’ve been hearing about him for like 2 – 3 years now, and it seems like they never plan on giving him a chance to play. I’d rather they just let their aging outfield go and struggle for a year with Jackson taking his lumps. There would probably be a lot of complaints, like when Melky was struggling, but if he’s as good as they keep saying he is, then he should get a chance to show it soon.

    • Jasphil

      KK – I agree. I’d like to see Jackson in the OF as well. they should try to blend him in like they did with Melky along with some vets. With Damon re-signed, you can give him a shot along with Gardner in spring training. If he struggles, he struggles. But at least he’s given a shot and maybe we get younger, faster, and a bit closer to the future Yankee outfield.

  • Jasphil

    I think Damon is a safe bet to bring back. He’s a grinder, rarely gets hurt, and is a professional hitter. I hope that he is not having a good season only because it’s a contract year. Defensively he’s not the greatest, but he’s not in steep decline, either. He can still track a fly ball down, and his arm doesn’t hurt us too bad on too many occasions. He’s a good player, and as with any free agent signing, you have to look at the alternatives out there. For what our needs are, he’s probably the best fit.

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  • Judge Bee

    WE miss Swisher here in Oakland. And I HATE Billy Beane for trading Swish for prospects. Why would any one in his RIGHT mind would even think about trading a 28 plus home run type of guy and get minors, who can hardly hit 5 home runs the entire season??
    Two of those prospects don’t even exist in Oakland any more since Beane guy traded them back to other teams. ((Crap)0
    Swisher was named the FUTURE of Oakland. Now with him gone, I don’t see any future for the A’s. Good for the Yankees. At least he is with a team that appreciates him. Oakland A’s suck, just as Billy Beane sucks. I am so sick and tired of this guy and his money ball crap. I wish he was gone and I wish I wasn’t an A’s fan so did not have to deal with the pain of watching great players come and go because beane guy says so…

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