Yanks reach agreement with Nick Johnson

RAB Live Chat
Johnny Damon overplayed his hand

Update (3:10pm): Looks like SportsCenter might have jumped the gun; T-Kep says Nicky J. still has to take his physical. That’s what I get for trusting ESPN.

2:17pm: ESPN just reported that the Yanks have officially signed Nick Johnson to a one year contract. Buster Olney says Johnson will make $5.5M in 2010 with a mutual option for 2011 worth another $5.5M. There’s also incentives based on plate appearances.

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RAB Live Chat
Johnny Damon overplayed his hand
  • vin

    Nice… time for Sheets.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      If they have enough.

      • Evil Empire

        I think on the livechat, Mike said the Yankees were at $193M-ish now. That should still be enough room, in theory, for an incentive-laden deal for Sheets.

        If they did that, Cashman could put a bow on this off-season and basically just monitor any potential emerging trade opportunities.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          Oh cool, the live chat is blocked for me. =/
          But I’d rather they take a chance on Justin Dushcherer so Joba and Hughes can both start.

          • Evil Empire

            I’m not that crazy about J-Douche, I’d just as soon not sign him and let Joba and Hughes start.

            Ben Sheets, when healthy, would be the 2nd best starter on the team, and it is to the team’s best benefit to have him there while one of Joba/Hughes (presumably Hughes) goes to the bullpen.

            Steve H – I think it was him – put it best last night by saying that limiting your options just so that both Joba and Hughes can start in 2010 is putting the cart before the horse. If we can get sign Sheets, you throw one of ‘em into the pen or into triple A for depth and say “Sorry kid, you’ll get your shot soon enough”.

            For the record, I do want Joba and Hughes to be starters for their overall career. And Ben Sheets is probably the only pitcher that’s available right now worth favoring over either of those two in 2010.

            • J

              I think this is fantastically stated.

              Well said.

        • Mike bk

          was that counting the 6-7 in arb contracts?

          • Evil Empire

            Yes, estimated amounts.

        • themgmt

          They’re actually at 202M by my count.

  • terri girl

    OK, now where’s our pitcher? lol

  • Salty Buggah

    Great deal. I don’t get the hate by some. Yes, he has injury risks but so did Hideki. He is likely to produce at least as well (probably better) as Hideki.

    • http://www.workwithpete.com Pete

      Less power, more walks.

      • Steve H

        And, worse case scenario, Nick Johnson can at least play one position. Matusi cannot.

  • Joey Boots

    The Yankees know next year will be different. The Sox should be there until the end. The Rays may improve. There will not be a month to rest guys. They will also not play 15 games in 31 days. They need to get younger. I would have loved to have Matsui and damon back but Johnson and his 400 obp replaces Damon. Granderson and his 30 homers replace matsui. Maybe they sign Derosa and Sheets. Joba back to pen. That is a great team.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Maybe they sign Derosa and Sheets. Joba back to pen. That is a great team.
      DeRosa is terribly overrated.
      Joba is a starter.

    • http://www.workwithpete.com Pete

      >> Joba back to pen >>

      OH NO YOU DI’INT!!!

    • Tampa Yankee

      Maybe they sign Derosa and Sheets. Joba back to pen.

      You had me up until this point. No to DeRosa. Yes to Sheets. No to Joba in the pen.

      • Joey Boots

        Hughes to pen? Derosa would hit ninth. 23 homers last year. 30 in Yankee stadium? Also good because if they carry 12 pitchers Ramiro Pena is only backup infielder. It would be nice to rest both A-rod and Jeter in blowouts. Maybe Cano against a tough lefty who he has poorr numbers against. 4-5 million for Derosa.

        • Tampa Yankee

          Per MLBTR:
          “11:54am: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports agrees: the Yankees will focus on pitching now. They’re interested in DeRosa, but Rosenthal hears that his asking price (three years and $18-21MM) is too high for the Yanks.

          No Thanks! Plus he is coming of wrist surgery and is way overvalued.

          IF they get Sheets, Hughes could start in the pen since he is most likely on an innings limit. Joba will not be.

          • Joey Boots

            Thats his asking price. You do not get what you do not ask for. What is his market? I give him 2 years for 10 million. Hit him 9th. People are worried about Nick Johnson’s injury history. With Derosa, if Johnson gets hurt you can do the revolving door DH (although i hate the idea of a revolving door DH)

            • Tampa Yankee

              I give him 2 years for 10 million.

              Just like with JD situation, just because the Yanks offer him an amount they are willing to a deal at, doesn’t mean he’ll take it.

              • Joey Boots

                Exactly. That is his option. Maybe the guy wants a ring badly enough to take it. maybe he is into history and would one day like to tell his grandchildren he played with hall of famers like Rivera and Jeter and Arod. or maybe he wants to squeeze every dime he can out of baseball.

            • Tampa Yankee

              As far as markets – Giants, Cards, Twins maybe Sox if they think Beltre costs too much.

              • Joey Boots

                Holliday signs with cards- they are out. I doubt those other teams go 3 years 18-20 mil.

                • Tampa Yankee

                  Holliday signs with cards- they are out

                  Says you

        • Section 39

          Hughes is actually more likely to hit the pen at some point since he will have an innings limit like Joba did last year. Joba no longer will have an innings limit.

          DeRosa wants 3yrs at 6-7 million. That’s too much for what he does. His AVG/OBP were just plain terrible last year and don’t warrant that type of deal regardless of his HR hitting ability. We don’t need more people to slug the ball — we need people to get on base for the rest of the sluggers.

          • Joey Boots

            I like the fact a Pitcher has to go through hell with 1-8. Then Derosa comes up ninth with Jeter on deck. They try to get by with throwing fastballs and he makes them pay. I bet in this lineup and stadium his numbers improve

        • http://www.facebook.com/Austin.M.Matherne Austin M. Matherne

          Maybe he hits 25, but definitely not 30. Derosa had a .928 OPS against LH, .695 against RH. Anyone up for a Melky, Derosa LF platoon? Of course, Derosa’s asking price would have to come way down for me to even want this.

    • J

      Joey, why would you want Derosa? Figuring that he makes 5 million a year for 3 years (which is much less then he is asking), would you really want to invest that much into a utility guy? How much did Hairston make last year? I would much rather pay 1 million to him and have the same positions covered.

      • Joey Boots

        You would not give Derosa 3 years. maybe 2. I outlined why I would want him. Can play against tough lefties who Cano has trouble with. Start in Left and maybe hit 30 homers. Give the other guys some rest during blowout games. He makes sense. It is not my money. I would want a starting pitcher first.

        • Tampa Yankee

          So, you are saying you’d want to sit Cano vs. LHP and play DeRosa would play 2B?

          • Joey Boots

            No against select lefties. For instance if Cano is lifetime 3 for 30 against Cliff Lee. You can play Derosa that game. I would not make a habit of it. It is an option.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

              Everyone struggles against Cliff Lee. He’s a good pitcher.

              I’d still want Cano starting against Lee rather than DeRosa.

            • Tampa Yankee

              So you want to pay $5M for a Util/spot starter. Pass.

              • J

                I just don’t see the benefit of paying money that could be better used on other spots for a guy like Derosa. I think Joey Boots is glossing over the wrist injury; injuries to the wrist drastically impacts power. See Ortiz, David and Matsui, Hideki as prime recent examples.

                • J

                  And sitting Cano is a terrible idea. I try to see the positive in everyone’s opinion, but benching Cano against a tough lefty when Derosa is just as likely to struggle (for example, against Cliff Lee) is a terrible idea.

                • Joey Boots

                  But he hit 23 homers last year.

                • J

                  I’m not saying Derosa is bad. I’m just saying that, with a team filled with stars, it’s unlikely that he would get much run. To pay him near what he’s asking for such limited action at the possible risk of not signing someone who could help the team in an area of need (Sheets) is a bad idea.

              • Joey Boots

                he would be my starting left fielder. And I do not want to pay anything. The Yankees will pay him. It is not my money.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          Can play against tough lefties who Cano has trouble with.

          Robinson Cano, career:
          vs RHP as LH – 2105 PA, .309/.338/.491
          vs LHP as LH – 931 PA, .300/.341/.453

          Robbie’s just fine against lefties. So’s Nick Johnson, for the record. With Damon gone and none of the aging lefty DH free agents brought in, the only lefty we have who struggles against lefties is Granderson, and he’s not going to be platooned for DeRosa anyway.

          Oh, and Gardner, but he’s not starting, so that’s moot as well.

          • Joey Boots

            Derosa could play Left and Melky Center against tough lefties. Granderson could sit. I am not advocating cano sit verse lefties. Just the rare lefty that Cano struggles with.

            • Tampa Yankee

              In that situation, I’m ok with playing Hoffman in LF and sitting Granderson. Then using that $ on Sheets and Chapman

              • Joey Boots

                very plausible. I agree on the Chapman and Sheets part if it is a choice. Although I am not sure how anyone can say they are ok with playing Hoffman. I have never seen him play and he is 25 in Triple A. I do hope he can do the job.

                • J

                  I think this is a good point. Hoffman is getting WAY too much love from people who have never heard of him before. I don’t even think he sticks for the season.

                  Question on the rule 5. If the Yankees were to trade Hoffman, and he gets demoted, does he then get sent back to the Dodgers still? Can they trade him if they wanted?

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                  Question on the rule 5. If the Yankees were to trade Hoffman, and he gets demoted, does he then get sent back to the Dodgers still?

                  Yes.

                  Can they trade him if they wanted?

                  Yes, but the above fact undercuts his trade value quite a bit. If we wanted to send him to the minors, we’d probably have to work out a trade of some sort with the Dodgers, giving them some other prospect in return.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

              Meh, against tough lefties, I’d probably just sit Melky and keep Granderson in the lineup anyway. Melk’s no great shakes against southpaws.

              DeRosa would fill a role on this team nicely, that’s for sure. I just doubt he’d drop all the way down to our pricepoint.

              I think the rumor that he gets a 3/18 is ludicrous, nobody’s giving him that. But someone could give him a 2/10, including the Cardinals who like him and would bring him back, and I highly doubt we match that. Our pricepoint is more “something below Nick Johnson”.

              I think we’d only take DeRosa at a one year deal, and he’d probably get a two year deal somewhere. Jamey Carroll did, after all.

              • Joey Boots

                maybe Derosa would take a one year deal expecting the economy to come back.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                  Only if there’s no two year deals on the table.

                • Joey Boots

                  His thought process could be take 2 years at 12 million. or one year at 6 million or less. Tear it up hitting in front of Jeter and Behind guys like Swisher (who will be on base like crazy) have inflated numbers and get an inflated contract in a much better economy.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                  That won’t be his thought process.

                  He’s 34. Coming off wrist surgery. If he’s got a 1/6 and a 2/12 on the table, the only way he picks the 1/6 over the 2/12 is if the 2/12 is from a team in Japan.

                • Mac1

                  Melk was better against lefties than righties last year:

                  268/343/420 – 5 HR 20 RBI 15BB 16K

                  That was one of the things he really improved on last year.

                  Not saying he’ll do it again or Grandy should sit…just sayin

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                  Over the larger sample size of the rest of his career, Melky is quite bad against lefties.

                  Perhaps he turned a corner this year and has eliminated his split… perhaps not. We shall see.

                  However, it does give you more more reason to play him and thus, one less reason to add DeRosa.

                • Mac1

                  389/421/444 against Lester… (18 ab’s 6 singles a double 1 BB 5K).

                  8 for 20 vs Kazmir

                  0 for 13 vs Ollie Perez

                  He’s done remarkably well for a 4th ofer against some top pitchers – one of the reasons I never wanted to just deal him away.

                  Yeah, Melk before last year was awful against lefties, Don’t know if it was a fluke or if he partied less and worked more.

                  Just sayin.

        • Salty Buggah

          Cano DOES NOT struggle with lefties.

          Cano vs RHP 2009: .869
          vs LHP: .876

        • Salty Buggah

          And no, Derosa wont hit 30 HRs in YSIII. It mostly helps lefties and hurts righties and Derosa is a righty. A-Rod just makes it look easy.

          • Joey Boots

            Derosa can hit fly balls the other way. And lineup placement. He will get fastballs to hit. No one will want to walk him to get to the top of the lineup.

            • Joey Boots

              I would wrap up a starter first though. Sheets 6 guaranteed the rest in incentives. I am sure they can go over budget by 2-3 mil if it helps the team

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

              Derosa can hit fly balls the other way. And lineup placement. He will get fastballs to hit. No one will want to walk him to get to the top of the lineup.

              All of that is true.

              None of it adds up to “He’ll hit 30 homers”, though. 15-18 is more realistic, and that’s if he plays every day, which he probably wouldn’t.

              • Joey Boots

                23 last year- why not more this year. I also think he would play every day.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                  23 last year- why not more this year.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....th_of_hand

                • Salty Buggah

                  Where? LF? Melky can provide as much offense and better defense than Derosa there at a much much cheaper price.

                  Derosa 2009 OPS+: 99
                  Melky 2009 OPS+: 99

                • Jordan – Undecided 2010

                  Check out their career wRC+s and then their three year averages from 2007-2009.

                • Salty Buggah

                  Melky had a higher wRC+ last year by one point but Derosa has been better over his career and the past 3 years. But, he still wont be worth his price. That marginal upgrade offensively over Melky (that is if Derosa returns to his career best 2008 levels) is not worth it. Also, Melky is still only 24 so its unfair to compare career levels. We could say he can improve in 2010.

                • Jordan – Undecided 2010

                  On the contrary, DeRosa has exceeded his salary in terms of value every year since 2005.

    • Evil Empire

      Sigh. This post had a good start to it, but then it just ended in the ugliest way; “Sign DeRosa, Joba to the pen”

      I’m with you on Sheets though.

    • Salty Buggah

      Mark Derosa Career OPS+: 97

      Mark Derosa 2009 OPS+, despite the 23 HRs: 99

      Pass

  • manimal529

    5.5mil with incentives based on plate appearences

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

    We like this move, yes?

    • Tampa Yankee

      Yup

    • radnom

      Yes. Let this be a lession to everyone who continually shot down any mention of NJ because they knew he would require multiple years and would want to play the field. Stop being so sure about things you really have no idea about.

      • Bob Stone

        I’m not so sure of one thing – Were you giving us all a lesson or a lesion?

        Personally . . . I’d opt for the lesson.

        • radnom

          Too bad….I meant lesion!

          • Bob Stone

            Gee thanks.

      • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        ::golf-clap::

        • Bob Stone

          Is golf clap worse than regular clap or a lesion?

          • radnom

            There is a Tiger Woods joke to be made here somewhere, I just can’t find it.

          • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            I really don’t want to know why you have venereal diseases on your mind today.

            • Bob Stone

              It must stem from talking aobut all this serious money being given to big league professionals.

    • Jai

      Lukewarm. For one year and essentially the same money, why not bring Matsui back? Both are health liabilities, and you can always go out and get Johnson next year to replace Godzilla. I still would have brought Damon and Matsui back, with Melky or Gardner out the door.

      • radnom

        Lots of reasons.

        For one, the Yankees have a better idea of anyone on how Matsui’s knees are holding up. They may consider him more of an injury risk than you do. Also, while Johnson has had a bit of a checkered past, a number of his injuries have been of the “accident” kind. He is significantly younger than Matsui, and if the Yankees consider him less of a liability I am be inclined to believe them.

        Health concerns for both players aside, neither is able to offer anything in the field but I feel Johnson’s offensive skill set is a better asset to this lineup as it is currently constructed. This is open to debate of course, but I can’t fault the Yankees for feeling that same way.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          Main reason:

          Matsui’s bat had already been replaced by Granderson.

          Johnson’s bat is thus the best replacement for Damon. Johnson wasn’t replacing HazMat, he was replacing Johnny.

          • radnom

            Agreed, this is what I was saying in my second point.
            I don’t think you can fully discount the health concerns for each player though. I think if reality matched the common public opinion (that Johnson is much more injury prone than Matsui) than this would no be a good deal at all. Luckily, for reasons outlined above, I don’t think this is the case.

          • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            I’m not sure why you think this is such an important point… And I’m also not sure why it’s true.

            Career wRC+:
            Johnson: 130
            Matsui: 127
            Granderson: 119
            Damon: 112

            Granderson is an outfielder with some speed, Damon is an outfielder with some speed. Matsui is a slow-footed DH, Johnson is a slow-footed DH.

            Why are we supposed to look at Granderson as Matsui’s replacement and at Johnson as Damon’s replacement, again? Because Johnson is likely to hit in the 2-hole in the lineup (which is yet to be seen, really… Granderson could hit there, too)?

            So much points to Johnson being the Matsui replacement and Granderson being the Damon replacement, I’m just not sure why you see the opposite or why this point is so important to you that you keep pushing it.

            • bkight13

              Agreed. Nick is clearly replacing Matsui.

              • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                You know, I don’t think we need to put them into these made-up categories… I don’t think it matters who is replacing who. I mean, if the Yanks had traded for Granderson and then signed Damon to be the primary DH, they would have been changing the make-up of the roster as opposed to replacing pieces with similar pieces. But, it just so happens that as of today, they Yanks replaced Damon and Matsui with Granderson and Johnson, and if you have to pair up one of the ’09 players with one of the ’10 players, it makes the most sense to pair up Damon/Granderson and Matsui/Johnson.

                Either way, though… It’s a pointless exercise. The Yankees needed an outfielder and a DH and they filled those slots. They didn’t ‘replace’ Damon and Matsui, they filled their open roster/lineup spots.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                  The Yankees needed an outfielder and a DH and they filled those slots. They didn’t ‘replace’ Damon and Matsui, they filled their open roster/lineup spots.

                  That.

                  That’s all I’m really saying with my silly semantics quibbles. That there’s more than one player being replaced, so the simple “Why Johnson v. Matsui” question needs more context and may not be the correct question to be asking.

            • radnom


              why this point is so important to you that you keep pushing it.

              Do you realize who you’re talking to? He is the king of getting on a point and pushing it over an over.

              I think this is a silly argument though, all four of the players are different hitters and neither one is “replacing” another straight up.
              I think TSJC’s main point behind this, and this is something I believe as well, is that once Granderson was already added that Nick Johnson was a better fit in the lineup that Matsui.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                Do you realize who you’re talking to? He is the king of getting on a point and pushing it over an over.

                … nah, I’m not going to open this can of worms. I’ll let it slide.

                • radnom

                  Don’t take that the wrong way. You just have strong opinions and post here *a lot*. Often times every comment thread about a topic will be filled with you re-stating your opinion on said topic.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                  Fair enough.

                  If I’m curt with you it’s because time is a factor. I think fast, I talk fast, and I need you guys to act fast if you wanna get out of this. So, pretty please… with sugar on top. Clean the fucking car.

                  /TheWolf’d

                • J

                  I think he is implying a sexual joke could be made. TJSC doesn’t seem to take anything personal.

                • radnom

                  I wasn’t sure, and it came off much more harshly than intended so I wanted to clarify.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

              My reply:

              Matsui and Granderson’s OPS+ have always been primarily SLG driven. Johnson and Damon’s OPS+ have always primarily been OBP driven.

              That’s why they hit where they hit in the order. It’s the type of bats they are.

              • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                “Matsui and Granderson’s OPS+ have always been primarily SLG driven. Johnson and Damon’s OPS+ have always primarily been OBP driven.”

                Well let’s see if that’s true… I’m looking at OBP and SLG as a percentage of OPS, here, so if my methodology is stupid or there’s just a better way to look at this, please let me know.

                Matsui
                2009
                OBP: 42%
                SLG: 58%
                Career
                OBP: 43%
                SLG: 57%

                Damon
                2009
                OBP: 43%
                SLG: 57%
                Career
                OBP: 45%
                SLG: 55%

                Granderson
                2009
                OBP: 42%
                SLG: 58%
                Career
                OBP: 42%
                SLG: 58%

                Johnson
                2009
                OBP: 51%
                SLG: 49%
                Career
                OBP: 47%
                SLG: 53%

                From that it looks like Matsui’s, Damon’s and Granderson’s OPS have about the same mix of OBP and SLG, and Johnson is just the weird (and by weird I mean awesome) outlier. I’m not sure there’s a clear correlation between Johnson/Damon and Matsui/Granderson there, per your reasoning.

                • Evil Empire

                  “Johnson is just the weird (and by weird I mean awesome) outlier”

                  Fucking seriously awesome. OBP monster. If he stays healthy for an entire season he will score a ton of runs setting the table for the sluggers.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                  Perhaps the correlation is overstated.

                  However, if the Yankees believe in the correlation, it may cause them to behave in a certain manner.

                  Ultimately, what I’m trying to say is not so much that Granderson is per se the replacement for Matsui and that Johnson is per se the replacement for Damon, but that the inverse thought process that you would reflexively believe in, that Granderson is the replacement for Damon and Johnson is the replacement for Matsui (based on their defensive positions) is not necessarily the correct one.

                  It may be they’re constructing their replacement strategies based on defensive positional replacements, they may base the strategies around batting order replacements, it may be a hybrid approach, it may be something else.

                  I’m merely saying it’s overly simplistic to say that 2010 Nick Johnson is the direct replacement for 2009 Hideki Matsui simply because they both figure to play the same position. It’s more complex than that, there’s alternate ways to view the Yankees 2009-2010 offseason strategies.

                • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Oh I agree that it’s overly simplistic to say that Johnson is the replacement for Matsui and Granderson is the replacement for Damon. But you’re really stretching to make the opposite point, and I’m not sure why.

                  It’s a silly argument either way, and it couldn’t be much more irrelevant to anything important. You don’t need to strain to make the opposite argument in order to debunk the argument that Johnson is replacing Matsui, yadda yadda, you just need to say that the comparison is stupid in the first place. Don’t tell me it’s simplistic to say that Johnson is the Matsui replacement and Granderson is the Damon replacement by making a similarly simplistic, and kind of strained counter-argument that Johnson is the Damon replacement and Granderson is the Matsui replacement. Neither is true, the whole conversation is silly.

                • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  I didn’t see your comment above before I wrote this response. We agree, let’s be done with this and get back to the dick jokes.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                  FACT: We’ve been talking about Johnsons, holes, stretching, straining, swapping, and arguments for like an hour now. FACT.

                • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Ha, good point.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

                  You always know how to cut to the core of me, Mondesi.

          • Jai

            It’s not about replacing players, but similarity of contracts going forward. Because of their contracts, Johnson and Matsui are interchangeable, and linked in that way.

          • Charlie

            jeez you keep doing this. it doesn’t matter who replaced who, you’re really overthinking it.
            just saying

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

              I agree that it doesn’t matter who replaced who.

              However, if you start saying “We shouldn’t have replaced Matsui with Johnson” then it DOES kinda matter who replaced who, because instead of examining the replacements as a package deal (Damon and Matsui out, Granderson and Johnson in) and viewing the tandems holistically, you’re now separating the two and viewing the replacements individually.

              If you’re doing that, you have to consider that you may be viewing the individual replacements incorrectly. You may be asking why Player X replaced Player Y when he actually was designed to replace Player Z.

              To wit: After we traded for Granderson, all three of these players were on the market:

              Matsui, Damon, Johnson.

              Matsui signed first. We made no tangible attempt to retain him. Reportedly, we didn’t even really engage him in any sort of negotiation.

              Meanwhile, we negotiated with both Damon and Johnson, and signed Johnson. That evidence is circumstantial, but it may point to a disinclination to bring back Matsui once Granderson was brought on board. Damon and Johnson were the two more desired candidates of the three to fill the remaining vacated “spot”.

              FWIW.

          • jim p

            Kepner summed it up well last night:

            We’ve replaced two aging lefties, one speedy and one slow, at $26 million for ’09 with two younger lefties, one speedy and one slow, for $14 million.

            Though I totally wanted both Damon and Matsui back, and not just because I like them a lot as personalities, Cash has done right by the team with this.

            To be fair we could add IPK & AJax to the cost. But the difference in salaries means we can also acquire a Sheets for the same dough.

      • bkight13

        Plus, if Tex ever has to miss time you have a GG caliber 1B instead of a pure no-glove DH.

        • Mac1

          NJ is a lousy defensive 1st baseman. 12 errors last year, which for a first baseman is a ton since most of the time the other infielders get the E.

          He’s got limited range and poor footwork – his Rtot #’s are negative for most of his career – unfortunately the hype that NJ received before he came up to the Yanks never was dispelled.

          I remember Kay saying that NJ (when he was in AAA) was already better on D than Tino – ridiculous.

    • Evil Empire

      Very much so.

  • The Three Amigos

    Good deal for the Yanks. I thought for sure they were going through the motions to get Damon down, but they didn’t get him down enough.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

    Does that mutual option have no buyout of any sort, or lower plateau?

    As in, if Jorge looks like toast behind the plate and we decline Nick’s 2011 option because we want to move Jorge to permanent DH, Nick gets nothing? No 1M buyout, no option to trigger the 2011 year at a lower salary (like Varitek’s mutual option)?

    Details me, Buster Olney!

    • radnom

      If he reaches 1000 plate appearances in his first season, a 4 year 63 million dollar extension kicks in.

      • radnom

        If I were a GM I would put random, unachievable incentives for ludicrous amounts of money into every deal I signed.

        • jim p

          …and, an additional $3.5 million if you don’t break a bat during a game for the year,

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

            Hells yes. Them shits are expensive.

            Mark DeRosa, we’ll give you a 1 year, 2 million dollar contract, but you get an extra 15M if you play in 165 regular season games this year. Deal?

    • toad

      Does that mutual option have no buyout of any sort, or lower plateau?

      There has to be something, otherwise a mutual option is completely pointless.

      I mean, there’s no reason Johnson and the Yankees couldn’t agree to another year at $5.5 without the option being in the contract, and if either side doesn’t want to the option does nothing by itself.

  • http://thebronxbloggers.wordpress Will

    Did you know NJ’s walk out music was “Rain on my Guitar” by Taylor Swift.

    I hope that changes in the Bronx.

    • radnom

      I unfortunately did know that.

      You’ve been reading his wiki page too?

  • Chris

    Is this really true:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N.....k_Up_Music

    Can he really have Taylor Swift as his walk up music?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      Maybe Tex’s walkup music will be Kanye West and the PA announcer will one day accidentally interrupt Nick’s walkup music with Mark’s.

      • jsbrendog

        icwudt

  • A.D.

    Never gotten the whole point of the mutual option, just negotiate another contract.

    • radnom

      I can’t think of a mutual option that has ever been picked up by both sides.
      Unless there is a buyout, whats the point?

      • Mike bk

        usually what happens is like varitek. if the team picks it up it is for 5.5, if nick does it would be for something lower like 3 mil or they both walk.

        • radnom

          Well that kind of situation actually adds something to a deal.

          I was assuming this was a literal mutual option, like Hudson had with the Braves last year (either both the team and the player agree or the player is a FA).

        • A.D.

          That makes sense, its the literal mutual option that doesn’t. Thats not really a mutual option its more of a Team & Player option.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

            … which is why I want some FRIGGIN DETAILS HERE!

            I don’t ask for much, people. All I want is some sharks with laserbeams attached to their heads. Is that so much to ask for?

  • http://empiresportsnow.com Rich

    I don’t want to get anyone riled up but can I get the opinion of people whether they think Matsui or Johnson is a better hitter?

    I understand Johnson has a great OBP but he doesn’t have the power of Matsui and the Yankees lose some protection in the middle of their lineup. Both players are injury prone but like someone stated before, the Yankees have insider knowledge of Matsui’s knees so maybe that factored in. Comparing Matsui and Johnson is sort of comparing apples to oranges tho. They excel in different aspects.

    I still think Matsui has one more solid season in him with over 20 hrs, around 90 RBIs and about .270 avg.

    Johnson will be a good fit in the # 2 hole for the Yankees. Does this signing also show the Yankees have no faith in Granderson being a viable number two hitter? or do they just see him more as a 6th of 7th hitter?

    • Mike bk

      seems as if NJ is to replace Damon while Granderson is to replace Matsui

      • http://empiresportsnow.com Rich

        That does seem more like the case. Thanks

    • http://dinosaursneverexisted.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/melky.jpg Drew

      This signing shows the Yankees needed a DH. Don’t over think this.

      As far as who’s the better hitter, they both have very similar career OPS’s. They are both good hitters, declaring one better than the other would be completely arbitrary.

      • http://empiresportsnow.com Rich

        Thanks for the reply

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      (not going to comment on this so that I don’t drive radnom and Mondesi crazy)

      • radnom

        Mike bk beat you too it anyway.

        • radnom

          *to

      • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Ha, I just scrolled down to this and did a real-life facepalm when I saw Mike bk’s response, above.

    • Lifetime of Question Marks

      Granderson’s slugging and power is better for 5-6-7 holes and Johnson’s high OBP is better for the 2 hole. Would we prefer to have Grandy’s speed in the 2 hole? Yes. But the Nick’s OBP is way more important in that spot.

    • Chris

      Matsui has a career ISO of .191 while Johnson is at .174. Before this season, Johnson’s ISO was .187. While Matsui had more power last year, it’s not that different from Johnson.

      The real question (for me at least) is whether Johnson’s loss of power in 2009 will continue. Maybe having a full season/offseason to recover from the torn wrist tendon will help him recover his power. Specifically, his HR/FB% dropped from a career level of 13% down to 6.2%. If that recovers, then he’s a significantly better option than Matsui. If not, then he’s basically the same as Matsui.

  • JohnnyC

    Jon Heyman’s doing his regular bit with Francesa right now. As usual, he’s a font of misinformation and pointless speculation. Is it just me or does anyone else get the impression listening to Heyman that he really doesn’t watch the actual games?

  • Bob Stone

    Enough already with who replaced who. It was said earlier in this thread and I’ll say it again. We had two openings and we filled them with two players.

    • Lifetime of Question Marks

      That.

    • radnom

      I’m just happy we filled one of our openings with a Johnson.

    • http://empiresportsnow.com Rich

      Sorry guys to repeat something that was already discussed. Too many comments to read them all

      • radnom

        You are by far the most polite RAB commenter.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          Yeah, we gotta find a way to end that shit and turn Rich into a real insufferable asshole like the rest of us.

          STOP SHOWING US UP, RICH! YOU JERKFACE!

          • http://empiresportsnow.com Rich

            Man I have my work cut out for me to get on that level. That doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time and dedication to become a real insufferable asshole.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

              It does.

              My secret: profanity.

              • http://empiresportsnow.com Rich

                You have a gift my friend. Keep it up.

              • ecksodia

                I lol’ed.

      • Chris

        You better watch out. If you’re not reading all of the comments you might get DFA’d down to LoHud.

        • http://empiresportsnow.com Rich

          I’ll make sure that doesn’t happen

        • Evil Empire

          IETC

      • Bob Stone

        You’re good as far as I’m concerned.

        • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Well thank Mo, he got the Bob Stone stamp of approval.

          ::makes wanking motion with hand::

          (Totally kidding, Bob.)

  • Tom Trudeau

    KenDavidoff:

    The last number the #Yankees floated to Johnny Damon was 2 years, $14 million. Scott Boras wanted two years, $26 million for Damon.

    …I knew all these 2/$18-22 alleged offers sounded really high considering Cameron only got 2/$15.5. G’luck JD.

  • Steve H

    Johnson is going to see a ton of fastballs. He is about the perfect (reasonable, so not Mauer) #2 hitter for this lineup. As good as Robbie is, putting him in the #2 hole would be somewhat of a wasted opportunity. He’d still rake, but having an extremely patient hitter in front of Tex and A-Rod is huge. Knowing Johnson has a great eye and is more than willing to take a walk, a pitcher will be forced to throw strikes to him. The vast majority of pitchers have their best control (and command) over their fastball. Dude is going to feast on them this year.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      Jeter-Nick-Tex-ARod-Posada-Granderson-Swish-Cano-Melky…

      mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, drink it in. It always goes down smooth.

  • http://WayneD WayneD

    The NJ signing makes no sense on several levels.

    1) We passed on a PROVEN DH in Matsui for an unknown commodity at that position in NJ.

    2) NJ is one of the most injury prone players in baseball history; he makes Gerald Ford look like he floats on four-leaf clovers. We passed on one of the best DHs ever because he has “balky” knees for one of the most often injured players of the past decade? You gotta be kidding.

    3) Matsui supplied protection for A-Rod; NJ supplies NO protection for A-Rod.

    4) What’s NJ’s much vaunted OBP when he’s been on the DL the last 647 times?

    This signing is risky & ill-advised. We will almost certainly regret this signing.

    I can see it now. Opening Day. Nick Johnson pulls a groin muscle putting on his pants, dislocates his shoulder putting on his hat, goes to the bench to watch the game in a sling, misses the bench and ruptures his spleen.

    Yea, this signing is a great idea. This is the dumbest thing we’ve done since we traded a certain right field cannon to the Seattle Mariners.

    Is there ANYBODY out there who actually beieves NJ will make it through the season without at least one lengthy trip to the DL? This is insane.

  • http://WayneD WayneD

    I’m not a religious man, but I’m going to pray that NJ FAILS his physical so we can get out of this signing while the getting is good.

    We have enough hitters to rotate/rest in the DH spot (plus Miranda and possibly Montero in the 2nd half). We should take that $5.5M and apply it to a left fielder.

    I like Melky as a fourth outfielder, but I’d trade him to the Cubs (who seem interested) for prospects.

    Then I’d take his $2.5-3M in salary (via arb) and apply it along with the $5.5M toward signing Holliday, who would make us a much better, more potent line-up. With him behind A-Rod, A-Rod will have a MONSTER year.

    Obviously Holliday will take more than $8-8.5M to sign, but that money would effectively lower his cost to the Yankees to about $10M a year. And if they want to save a few more bucks (about $1.5M), trade Mitre.

    Lastly, we MUST sign Sheets, too. Holliday + Sheets = another WS, assuming Sheets remains healthy, which, of course, is a gamble, but just about anybody we can sign at this point is a gamble and none of them have Sheets’ upside.

  • Joseph M

    What sense does it make signing Johnson. The one position Nick plays is currently manned by a player who play 150 plus games. Johnson could injure his hand putting on a batting helmet. The only hope here is Damon changes his mind and Cashman gives a little. Maybe something can be worked out and the Yankees can move Nick to a team, you know, that needs a first baseman.

    I’m stunned by what Cashman has done this off season, he has weakened the outfield, I think (I hope I’m wrong) that Granderson
    is on his way to being the next Vern Wells. On top of that you know your getting a Swisher like performance from him in the post season.

    On top of Granderson, the Yanks go out and sign Johnson, and to think the Yanks could have brought back Matsui for just a million more. This is a great day for American League pitchers.

    Thank God we won in 09 this season is not shaping up well.

    • ecksodia

      We all know about NJ’s injury history, yes, but if you mention it then you must concede that Matsui is also going to be prone to injury with those knees. If you say “but he’s only going to play DH!”, well… Nick Johnson’s also going to play a lot of DH, I believe.

      Granderson the next Vernon Wells? Wells was coming off a career year when he signed that ridiculous extension, and by contrast, Granderson’s 2009 was good (.340 wOBA), and he is under team control for three more years; I just don’t see how they’re even in the same ballpark, in terms of production at the time of acquisition, and contract terms.

      Or did you simply mean that it’s a player move that’s headed for epic failure? In that case, I can neither debunk or support your supposition, because only time will tell.

      • ecksodia

        *and contract terms, among other things

  • ecksodia

    About NJ; it seems no one has mentioned that making the transition from being in the NL the past 6 years might affect him. It’s true that he’s proven he can hit in the AL (and the AL East, no less), but that was some time ago.

    Wait and see I guess. Yankee Stadium should help, and although he’ll be facing better pitchers, let’s hope that his batting eye’s still good enough to get him on base over 40% of the time.

  • http://WayneD WayneD

    The stupidity of this signing is infuriating.

    In his eight full seasons in MLB, Johnson has

    * exceeded 600 ABs ZERO times
    * exceeded 500 ABs ZERO times
    * reached 500 ABs ONCE (with exactly 500 ABs)
    * failed to reach 375 ABs 5 times
    * recorded less than 110 ABs 2 times.

    Now, let’s compare that to Hideki “He’s an Injury Risk” Matsui. In seven full seasons with the Yankees, Godzilla:

    * exceeded 600 ABs 2 times, a bit more than 0
    * exceeded 500 ABs 4 times, which is considerably more than 0, Cashman.
    * reached 500 ABs 4 times (3 more than NJ)
    * failed to reach 375 ABs 2 times (3 less than NJ)
    * recorded less than 110 ABs 0 times (2 less than NJ).

    Does anyone notice a pattern here? We avoided resigning one of the best DHs ever because of injury concerns and instead turned to Nick “Typhoid Mary” Johnson. Brilliant! Are you INSANE, Cashman?

    Of course, we going to get more power out of NJ, right? Let’s see . . .

    Matsui: 347 extra base hits in 7 seasons.
    NJ: 255 extra base hits in 8 (!) seasons. (Oh, Christ!)

    And Matsui is a .292 career hitter, while NJ is at .272.

    Matsui’s playoff BA & SLG totals are: .312 / .541
    NJ’s more limited playoff BA & SLG are: .209 / .299

    This signing is MORONIC on a level rarely seen in Yankee history! And the amazing thing is, Johnson may also be slower on the base paths than Matsui.

    What the hell is Cashman doing here? Take all this talk about OBP and stick it.

    A player’s OBP on the DL is .000, no matter who he is.

    This move is a complete waste of $5.5M. If NJ gives us 400+ ABs, it’ll be proof that God is a diehard Yankee fan!