Damon knows his role


Johnny Damon might not understand the negative value of his defense, but he does understand his standing with the Yankees. From Mike Puma of The Post:

“I know I don’t fit their payroll,” Damon said. “We’ve had a little bit of communication with them, but my price is too high right now. I don’t think I’m their solution.”

Damon’s price might not remain too high for much longer, depending on how the market works out after the holidays. Maybe he’ll find a team to give him two years at a salary over $10 million, but looking around the league it appears unlikely. If Damon ends up signing a 2009 Abreu deal, I wonder how much he’ll regret overstating his demands early in the proceedings.

As for potential Damon replacements in left field, don’t count on Mark DeRosa. Jon Heyman heard that the Giants offered him a two-year, $12 million contract. I doubt the Yankees match that.

Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. jsbrendog says:

    i see damon crying one lone tear while sitting at home next year watching the yankees win the ws on tv again.

  2. A.D. says:

    If the Yanks trade Gaudin, they could potentially give DeRosa that type of money.

  3. A.D. says:

    I am very interested to see if Damon ends up anywhere near his number.

    Maybe the Braves on a 1 yr deal Damon – McClouth – Melk/Diaz Giving an extra year to Schafer/Heyward, and Damon could play some 1B

    • Something about Damon at 1B doesn’t sit right with me. I know it’s a (relatively) easy position for an MLB player to shift to, but… I don’t know, Damon stabs at flyballs that are falling right into his glove. I’m sure he wouldn’t be a disaster at 1B, but I think he might be very subpar. I’m not confident in his ability to dig throws in the dirt or even catch throws up the line, let alone field grounders and turn a double-play here and there.

      • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

        Damon scooping balls, turning double plays and stretching for poor throws? Shield the children. Yikes. I think I’d rather stare at the sun in the desert.

        • Yeah I think maybe I should take back that part where I said he wouldn’t be a disaster at 1B. He probably would be.

        • OldYanksFan says:

          Really. Look how easy Giambi made playing 1B look. Playing 1B may be easier then the other positions, but it ain’t easy. Did you see Mattingly play? How about Teix last year. A fine fielding 1Bman makes a BIG difference over a poor one. Think about it this way. JD MIGHT be as good at 1B as Giambi was. Ya really want that?

      • Ed says:

        Agreed. First base is an easy position to move to from somewhere else in the infield, but infield and outfield require different skillsets. It’s far easier to swap around within the same type of position than it is to switch between infield and outfield.

      • A.D. says:

        Yeah it wouldn’t be the best, but figure he could spell Glaus every once in awhile

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

        Damon catches flyballs like a girl playing softball. He runs with his arm extended, trying to have the ball hit his glove.

  4. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    Scottt Boras’ clients must be thrilled with him this Christmas. Johnny, Holliday and Bay should all go to Japan for a year. Show baseball that they need Scott Boras.

  5. JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

    As much as I dislike heaping praise on Gardner, the DeRosa question ultimately comes down to what you expect him to contribute offensively, and if that potential upgrade over Gardner is worth the multi-year deal it will take to bring him in. Do you think he’s the guy hitting .280/.360/.470 or the guy hitting .250/.330/.410? Gardner will be just as valuable in the outfield and more so on the base paths, and for the meager salary he’s receiving, it’s probably best to stick with him if payroll is high and DeRosa needs a two-year+ deal to sign.

    Sure, he can play multiple positions and although I appreciate versatility as much as the next guy, we probably won’t need that with Hoffman, Pena, Cervelli, Miranda. Hinske’s still out there, too, right?

    If his price tag is two years for cheap ($4 mil.), yeah, I’d definitely take a flier on this guy. But for three years, $5 million per, hell no. Stick with Gardhoff and make a play if need be come Trade Deadline time.

    We don’t need a LFer (and it pains me to say that).

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

      I wouldn’t expect much from Hoffman. If the Yankees have an injury in the outfield between C-Grand (sorry Jamal) or Swisher, then the Yankees will have to find an outfielder, quick.

      • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

        DeRosa is still probably not worth the cost. Again, it all hinges on the years. If it’s two and under $5, definitely. Anything over that is a poor allocation of resources. (Gulp) Nady, Hinske, Hairston, Johnson should all be worthy fliers.

        My favorite: Ryan Church

  6. nick blasioli says:

    i for one do hope that they work out a deal for damon..after trading gaudin and mitre, they may have enough to make the deal…

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

      We’re already at the top level of payroll, have already depleted a good amount of depth on the farm and have potential All Stars are 7 defensive positions and one very good one at DH. We can afford to have an all defense+speed, no hit LFer.

      Unless something real cheap comes along, I’d say let it be.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

        Mr. Xaivier Nady VI, come on down.

        • I was thinking the same thing earlier today, and I’ve seen a few people mention it. If Nady can be had on a really cheap deal, he looks like a decent option at this point. If the Yanks look at the medical reports and decide his arm has a decent shot at holding up, a Nady/Gardner/Granderson/Swisher OF could get the job done or at least hold down the fort until something else comes along.

          All depends on the financial demands and his health, both of which, unfortunately for us, we know next to nothing about at this point.

          • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

            I’m just worried about an injury in the outfield. Hoffman is a Rule V pickup for a reason.
            I know being worried about an injury and calling for the inclusion of a guy coming off a major injury is questionable, but for now Nady would be seen as depth, until he is fully healthy.

            • True, but he’s not the only option left. JMK’s newest man-crush (Church) is out there, and there are others. I’m not a Gardner-hater, but I definitely agree with you and would like to see them handcuff him to a decent fourth OF option not named Hoffmann… And I think Nady could be that guy. It’s just too early to be calling for a Nady signing when there are still guys out there who don’t have twice-TJ’d throwing elbows.

            • A.D. says:

              Yeah Hoffmann is a rule V guy for a reason, and while I don’t expect amazing results, he was behind Manny, Kemp, and Ethier… a pretty good bunch.

      • Tom Zig says:

        Wouldn’t you put Gardner in CF to maximize his value?

        • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

          It’s kind of academic to me at this point. Gardner in CF, Granderson in LF, whatever. Whoever is the better CF goes there.

          Keep in mind LF in YS3 is huge, so Gardner still has very good value there if that’s where he goes. Also, his arm (despite what the SSS shows) is pretty weak, though accurate. In fact, it may allow Granderson to play further toward Right Center to improve the defense. Swish’s average-good range could be aided by Granderson.

          I think Granderson is better than his UZR numbers of the past two years have shown. He’s also been playing in the fucking equivalent of the Polo Grounds in Detroit and had Magglio, Marcus Thames, Guillen and Ryan Rayburn out there with him.

          • Tom Zig says:

            You raise valid points. I kind of like the idea of putting Granderson in center and Gardner in left. Even though it may look awkward.

          • Chris says:

            I think Granderson is better than his UZR numbers of the past two years have shown.

            I think he was better than his UZR numbers show the past two years, but with his other speed numbers trending down I think it’s a safe assumption that he’s a step slower than he was in the past. He’s still an average (maybe slightly above average) defender in CF, but not as good as he was a few years back.

            Another thing to consider is that CF tend to lose their range very quickly – and once it’s gone it generally doesn’t come back. If you look at most of the top defensive CF over the last 8 seasons (while we have UZR data) you can see steep dropoffs in the performance of most of them. It happens at a different time for everyone, but it does eventually happen.

            • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

              You may be entirely right. I look at the years and see his UZR as:

              2007- +14.2
              2008- -8.9
              2009- +1.6

              Also, his stolen base totals went from 26 to 12 to 20, so I’m just cautiously optimistic that 2008 was more an outlier and he’s somewhere between 2007 and 2009. And again, he’s been playing in a colossal outfield with poor defenders, so it’s possible his numbers are adversely affected.

              The wide range in the three years make it difficult for us to come to a definitive conclusion; if he really is closer to 2008 and 2009 I’m not opposed one bit to having Gardner in CF. Granderson may have hit that cliff, but at 28 with a large variation in the numbers, the weird field and his poor teammates, I’m just not sold.

              We’ll definitely find out, though. Worst case scenario he plays a very, very good LF and Gardner plays an excellent CF (though I really hope he learns to take better reads on balls off the bat and take better routes to fly balls).

  7. Frank says:

    Yanks should look into trading for Cody Ross of the Marlins, who are deep in OFs. Maybe even Rajai Davis of the A’s. Either of those 2 are better offensive players than Gardner and provide excellent defense.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

      OBP of .321 and lower in his two full professional seasons. Not worth the prospects unless they’re meh/fodder-type players.


    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

      And again, I know the horse is still dead, but we’ve already lost a fair amount of depth in the farm. Trading for a marginal depth guy like Davis or Ross that will cost money and prospects I don’t feel is worth it. There are FAs out there that can probably duplicate their production that will only cost a low base, short-term deal without giving up more of the farm.

      And really, the A’s have no reason to give up Davis. He’s cheap, young and productive. Besides, it’s not like anyone’s really pushing for his spot (that I know of).

  8. Mo says:

    Not DeRosa at 2 for 12.
    Cody Ross and Conor Jackson are interesting trade candidates but will Cashman want to move more prospects.
    I propose sign Cust 2 for $6m.

  9. Mo says:

    I like Nady but his arm will be shot

  10. Michael says:

    At this point will Damon be offered anything more than the Yankees were allegedly offering- 2 years/$14 mil?

    • Raf says:

      i cant imagine. maybe 2/$20M but thats doubtful. two offseasons in a row where a veteran Boras client has completely mistaken the market.

    • slappy white says:

      I dont see it. I cant imagine anyone else even matching that offer. Thats alot of money for most teams and the ones that have enough, Damon just doesnt fit…..My question is, What makes these players trust Scott Boras ? First the ARod debacle and now this

  11. Mo says:

    Rajai Davis as a platoon with/Gardner and Granderson is interesting

  12. Raf says:

    so who are left as potential suitors for Damon if the Giants are making that offer to DeRosa? or are they not envisioning him playing the OF full time?

  13. Tom Zig says:

    As much as I would like Mark DeRosa, he did have wrist surgery and finished the year with an OPS+ of 99. I don’t know how his wrist has healed and I haven’t seen any posts about it. If it’s healed and he can hit and field sign me up, if not pass.

    If we’re not going for Holliday (which obviously we’re not), then just throw Gardner in CF where we can have plus defense and an average bat at a premium position and I’ll accept that solution.

    I don’t want Damon because I’m tired of people as slow as Jose Molina going from 1st to home on a line drive to left. (hyperbole alert). Yes I’ll miss his OPS+ of 115-125, but he wants too much money and we have a DH already, thanks for the memories.

  14. Sleepy Carl says:

    Anyone curious to see how a Hoffman/Gardner platoon would work to fill that last OF spot instead of getting a FA for it?

  15. Brian says:

    We’re getting way too greedy here. Think about the dynasty years. Our LFs were Chad Curtis, Ricky Ledee and Shane Spencer. We don’t need an All-Star at every position. Our lineup is already stacked with Gardner/Hoffman.

  16. slappy white says:

    Note to Boras and Damon: If you dont fit the Yankees payroll, whose payroll could you possibly fit ?

    • Damon’s not a bad fit because the Yankees can’t afford his asking price, especially at something like 2 yrs/$20M, he’s a bad fit because they don’t want to add that kind of salary to their already-signed roster of players and within their budget for this offseason. The fact that the Yankees have decided they don’t want to pay that price doesn’t mean they can’t, or that another team can’t. Every team in baseball can afford that price-tag.

      • slappy white says:

        I understand the Yanks could,but I was just commenting on his statement. I just wish we hadnt gotten to this place because Id rather see Johnny Damon up in a big spot than Nick Johnson….I actually agree with everything you said

  17. Can you smell what the Rock is cooking says:

    Nady-Can platoon with gritty and gutty and Nick the Stick. Low base high incentive.

  18. Mo says:

    Here are Cashman’s younger cheaper LF options available via TRADE:
    Ryan Seeney L 25
    Rajai Davis R 29
    Scott Hairston R 30
    Chase Headley S 26
    David Murphy L 28
    Nelson Cruz R 30
    Josh Willingham R 31
    Seth Smith L 27

    FA options
    DeRosa R 35
    Cust L 31
    Ankiel L 30
    Church L 31

    all flawed for sure that’s why they are “cheaper” options. Preferences? Thoughts?

  19. Its interesting that they will not step up and pay what he truly deserves. They win a world series with the guy, and all of a sudden he costs to much. I guess they dont want to win again for a least a few years.

    • Damon doesn’t deserve anything. The Yankees paid him well for his four years. They set a target price on him and decided that if he didn’t take it, they’d move on.

      I won’t even touch the last sentence of your comment.

      • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

        You could even argue they overpaid for Damon, considering they signed him to play CF and he ended the last few years not even capably defending LF.

      • Im going to politely disagree. You dont win championships and then go out and unload players. Damon, Matsui (World Series MVP) and Cabrera? Come on man, all this talk about the Yanks buying championships, now were selling them.

    • Salty Buggah says:

      :head explodes:

    • JobaTheHeat62 says:


    • What do you think he deserves? What should the Yankees pay him? They decided what he’s worth to them for 2010-2011, and Damon’s demands were above what they were willing to pay to bring him back. Do you think what the Yankees decided Damon is worth was incorrect?

      You haven’t thought through any of this. I watched a couple of minutes of your video blog thingie, where you basically say that the Yankees were wrong to trade Melky away and should have re-signed Matsui and Damon, but you haven’t thought through any of the relevant issues involved with any of those decisions. You admitted you don’t even know what dollar figures are being discussed, so how can you think your conclusion that they should have paid Damon ‘what he deserves’ is a well-reasoned conclusion?

      I don’t mean to be harsh, I just think that if you want to comment/blog about these things, you should probably put some effort into doing some research and really thinking about this stuff more critically instead of just tossing out your first, emotional reaction. We all like Matsui and Damon and appreciate everything they, and Melky, did in 2009, but that doesn’t mean the Yankees should have brought them back.

      (Also, go check out a site like fangraphs and read-up on some of the more sophisticated statistical analysis. Batting average, runs, RBIs and the like are not the best stats to use when judging hitters.)

    • Richard Deegan says:

      What part of “Don’t call with an offer of less than three years for $ 39MM” wasn’t clear? Part of negotiating is always the risk that someone takes you at your word. So now, come February or March, giving JD Abreu’s 2009 deal may seem too high to a lot of teams.

  20. Frank says:

    with Granderson and NJ already on board, Damon’s offense isn’t necessary. What the Yanks need is an OFr who can play defense and produce decent offensive numbers, preferably a RH bat, to platoon with Gardner or Granderson. Or in the case of someone like Cody Ross, start ahead of Gardner.

  21. Jeff says:

    Ankiel is intriuing to me with his power lefty bat in YS3, strong arm and decent range (was playing CF in St.L).

    Church is interesting as well. Cust – no thanks – he is a true three outcome guy: walk, SO or HR.

  22. JobaTheHeat62 says:

    if were debating Gardner and DeRoas ill take gardner everytime ebven if he hits .230. the speed and defense and small controlled contract easily outweighs the 10 extra HRs and 20 points on the batting average DeRoas would bring. I think DeRosa is a very average player. Gardner is also a very average player. now i would still take damon, sure hes being a dbag this offseason, and is too expensive but im a big fan of johnny damon. im sad to see it end this way even if he is on the decline.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

      I agree with most of your points but I wouldn’t go as far as calling Damon’s actions this off season as douche bag-ish. He’s been pretty frank about the situation and has said nothing but gracious statements of the team and management. He and Boras overplayed their hand and may have misread the market, but to derive douchebaggery from that is pushing it way too far.

  23. ultimate913 says:

    Good, Damon. We’ll just start Gardner in LF. People say that we don’t need all stars at every position, and they’re right. But I get excited to see what Gardner can do if given a chance to start. Heck. For all we know, he can turn into an all star.

    But people will argue that most of Gardner’s value comes from his defense in CF. Fine. We’ll let him play CF while Granderson plays LF. We see what their defense is like after a nice sample size and we determine who does best in LF and CF. The one that is better in CF, is the starting CF. The other is the starting LF. Yay or nay?

  24. larryf says:

    Damon 1/$10M, with an option for a second year at the same if he starts in the World Series for the Yanks in 2010….

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Glenn Beck Complex says:

      Way too much $$ is we only have $4-5 million to spend. Besides, I really doubt he takes that.

  25. Bob Michaels says:

    Bring back Home run Shelly Duncan.

  26. [...] the recent reports are true and the Giants really have offered Mark DeRosa $12 million over two years, the Yankees are likely out. That limits their free agent options to Byrd and Nady. By the numbers [...]

  27. Greg C says:

    I don’t think Damon an get $10 mil/year, but someone is paying Coco Crisp more than Abreu made last year. Is Damon really that bad?

  28. Greg C says:

    As far as adding a LF, I don’t really see the point if it means getting someone cheap who isn’t even average. We can do that internally.

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