Report: Yanks wrapping up deal with Johnson


Update (7:15pm): Ken Davidoff says the two sides are wrapping up a one year, $5.5M deal, pending a physical. Holy bargain Batman.

5:34pm: Via GAK3, the Yanks and Nick Johnson are getting close to an agreement on a one year deal, and it could be announced as soon as tomorrow morning. Johnson will get a chance to have a huge year by hitting a bunch of cheap homers to right with a ton of men on in front of him, putting him in position to go back onto the market next season and command some serious bucks.

On-base percentage is the single most important metric in baseball, and Johnson excels at it (.426 last year, .402 career). We’ve already written extensively about Nicky J. here and here, so you know we’re in favor of bringing him aboard.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. SamVa says:

    Thank god, now we have a replacement for the Wang jokes.

    Homegrown I love it.

  2. Salty Buggah says:

    One year deal? FUCK YEAH!

  3. jOEY tIME! says:

    This move makes ALOT of sense… a 1 year deal means you will get 100% from Nick (he will want to perform for a new deal)

    The real question’s are, will he be our #2 hitter? Where will Granderson hit??? And how long do we have to wait until we sign Chapman?

  4. A.D. says:

    Can’t complain on this move. Could still wait on Damon if they want, assuming the market for him continues to fall out and the Mariners don’t make a move.

    • Steve says:

      I could be wrong, but I suspect the Mariners’ supposed interest in Damon is nothing but Boras talk/leaks. The Mariners are building their team around pitching and defense. Not only is Damon’s defense atrocious, thus would not seem a fit at all, but his power outburst last year was so obviously inflated due to Yankee Stadium (he hit I think 17 of his 24 HRs at Yankee Stadium, all of them to RF). Safeco Field is a big park, Damon would be lucky to hit 10-12 HRs there. I just can’t see why they would want Damon, particularly with the outrageous contract demands Boras has made.

  5. broooklyn ed says:

    hopefully by having Johnson in front of Tex will end his April slump.

  6. vin says:

    Nick’s obviously a health risk, but he’s probably just as likely to get as many ABs as Matsui. Interesting acquisition. Puts a bit more pressure on Damon since Nick can easily hit 2nd in this lineup (as opposed to Granderson).

    • KK says:

      Matsui is fragile, but in an everyday sort of way… when Nick Johnson gets injured, he REALLY gets injured. You either get everything from him, or he’s on IR for months, unlike Matsui who would play the whole year at about 80%

      Cross your fingers and pray his injuries are limited this season. I still don’t want Damon back, but the Yankees probably do need to either shore up left field, or get some better depth replacements. If anybody on the infield is out for an extended period of time, things could get ugly.

      Anyone else afraid that Cash thinks Jamie Hoffman is the answer to Left?

      • Anyone else afraid that Cash thinks Jamie Hoffman is the answer to Left?

        No. Not remotely.

      • vin says:

        No, I just think Cashman really wanted to get rid of Bruney. As it stands right now, Melky has to be the favorite, but it wouldn’t shock me if Hoffmann gives him some competition.

        • KK says:

          Melky and Hoffman are almost the same player, statistically (based on the minor league stats, since Hoffman’s major league stint isn’t really long enough to make a comparison).

          In the minors, both hit about .290, obp at around .330 and slugging close to .400. Baseball America has Hoffman listed as the top defensive outfielder in the Yankees system, so defensively he’s probably going to be about the same (more range, less of an arm?) I guess the only real difference is that Hoffman is a righty while Melky is a switch who can really only hit as a lefty.

          Frankly it seemed like a pointless move.

      • sleepykarl says:

        Doesn’t it seem like the bulk of his injuries are of the freak variety from playing defense? The collision with Kearns and the line-drive off the face make it seem plausible.

      • dalelama says:

        I agree KK this is just a move to cover the Matsui debacle as Matsui with a bum knee still has played more games than Johnson over the last few years…Johnson is just a DH with the Yanks as was Matsui but with less power and no big game track record..but hey he can play first 5 times this year to rest Texiera..I am not impressed at all…we have just replaced Matsui with a substandard piece….

  7. Jake H says:

    Love the signing. Now just get Chapman and I will be completely happy.

  8. DP says:

    Nick Johnson was in the Yankee organization from 1996-2000….

    Core five!

  9. Short Porch says:

    Totally awesome.

    I love bringing back Nick the Stick. He’s a Yankee farmhand.

    Now if we can only get the Cubs to cough up Sori if they pick up most of his salary. ;)

  10. Matcohen says:


    I always preferred NJ – love the huge OBP. I was afraid that the Yanks would allow sentimentality to override sanity and sign Damon or Matsui.

    Johnson’s power should improve with a yea more of recovery.

    1 year deal – so if Montero is ready in 2011, he can split DH and catcher with Posada.

    This is absolutely terrific.

    • dalelama says:

      Wow, Johnson is a serious downgrade from Godzilla…hurt more, no big game track record, and less power…and with the Yanks Johnson is nothing more than a DH….a serious letdown

  11. jOEY tIME! says:

    any word on the proposed dollar amount??

  12. Evil Empire says:

    Oh boy!

    In somewhat of a twist of irony, I could see how Matsui’s deal with the Angels provided an impetus for Johnson to sign up with someone as well.

    Its very arguable whether a team would prefer Johnson over Matsui anyway, due to Johnson’s awesome OBP skills and Matsui’s old man knees.

    • KK says:

      The difference is that everyone knows Matsui is clutch under pressure. Johnson, on the other hand, has been out hitting in Washington and Florida, where nobody cares.

    • dalelama says:

      Matsui’s old man knees have gotten him thru more games over the past five years than Johnson..and Matsui has power…Johnson is nothing more than a USA version of Bobby (let me draw a walk to put the pressure on someone else) Abreu without speed or the ability to play a position other than Tex’s….

      • sciorsci says:

        So, just asking… are you completely unaware of the value of OBP, particularly in the #2 spot in the order? The guys he’s supposedly going to “put the pressure on” by taking a walk will be Teixeira and A-Rod. I can live with that.

        • dalelama says:

          Sure but would rather have the guy who drives in the runs and has clutch history aka Matsui especially after the story line we need someone who can play the outfield and less injury prone—Johnson for the Yanks is just a more injury prone and weaker Matsui

  13. Patrick says:

    Any idea what the Yankees are going to do with Hinske or Nady? Or are both of them gone?

  14. J.R. says:

    Smart deal for both sides. Hopefully Johnson gets some power back, but if not getting on base at 40% is great with tex and arod behind him.

  15. Kevin M. says:

    Now wait for the inevitable complaints that he can’t hit second cause he’s going to “clog up the bases” with that .426 OBP.

    As if Mark Teixeira could possibly lap him (or anyone else) on the bases….LOL.

    • jsbrendog says:

      buster olney beat you to it.

      id link but it is insider and trash

      • Kevin M. says:

        Think about what “clogging the bases” literally means to realize how stupid it is.

        The only time you could ever conceivably prevent a runner behind you from taking an extra base is if you couldn’t score from second on a single where a runner on 1st would have gone from 1st to 3rd. It would be incredibly rare, and Tex is just about as slow as Nick J. is anyway.

        Give me a whole lineup of guys who are slow as hell and get on base 42% of the time and I’ll give you the best lineup in the history of baseball.

        • BklynJT says:

          Not saying that Nick clogs the base paths but it would be nice if he could score from first on a double from Tex or Arod. Damon could do that normally, I’m not sure NJ can. I would prefer to have some more speed in the 2 hole, but NJ’s OBP is hard to ignore.

    • Zack says:

      he did steal 10 bases in 2006, somehow

  16. Reggie C. says:

    Hopefully Cash is minding his pennies with this Nick Johnson signing so to position a winning run at Ben Sheets. Johnson will find his groove behind Jeter.

  17. SamVa says:

    I bet Granderson is like..

    Didn’t take too long..
    this offseason has been pretty enjoyable I must say..
    Time to lock up Sheets.

  18. Johan Iz My Brohan says:

    Take that Scutaro and Cameron, we got Johnson and Granderson!

    • JobaTheHeat62 says:

      but how do we respond to lackey??

      Please sign sheets, please!!!!!!!

      • but how do we respond to lackey??

        Phil Hughes + Joba Chamberlain

        • Evil Empire says:


          One of those two does his job and holds down the #4 spot and our rotation is right up there with anyone else’s.

          Its an exciting but risky proposition, trusting those two to hold down the back of the rotation. They’re MAJOR X-factors. I’m all for it considering Ben Sheets is probably not an option.

          • ColoYank says:

            Hughes is an X-factor, yes. But Joba should be exempt from that judgment, I think. He started 31 games very competently, especially for a 23-year-old. His performance suffered when they messed with his schedule, but still, the Yanks went 20-11 in his starts.

            • dudes says:

              he was solid up until the 100 innings mark, then tapered off as he found himself deeper and deeper into new physical territory. i expect good things from him this year.

      • KK says:

        It just seems like Sheets is the same as Wang but with more strikeouts and homeruns given up (it mainly balances out). Unless you’re getting Sheets really cheap – and I don’t know if that’s the case.

        I’d rather they spend the money on Chapman (if they can straighten out his control, he could be a lefty reliever for this season and maybe transfer to a starter over the next year or two) and see if Duscherer wants to be a Yankee.

    • dalelama says:

      dude you forget a small detail…Lackey…LOL

  19. JobaTheHeat62 says:

    very nice…perfect player for this Yankee lineup. to me i think granderson and nick make this lineup better than matsui and damon did, then again that lineup won the world series so time will tell.

    • Mike Pop says:

      If Granderson goes back to 07 level(I know, unlikely) then most definitely, these two outproduce Damon and Hideki.

      • Salty Buggah says:

        Even if he doesn’t. He’ll at least equal Damon when you factor in defense. He has to rebound at least a little though, so that’s even better.

      • Tank the Frank says:

        I think Granderson definitely rebounds. He’s too good of an athlete. He’s a player that will be helped by Yankee Stadium A LOT…both offensively and defensively.

        • KK says:

          He’ll hit for more power, but the dude strikes out a lot. Hopefully on the Yankees, he’ll be around enough players who can teach him some patience.

          Either that or he and Robbie Cano can both flirt with the ridiculous .300 average with .350 OBP, frustrating many.

      • dalelama says:

        But it should have been Granderson and Matsui…..

  20. Guest says:


    Check please. Man that, right field porch would get OWNED by this lineup.

    • SamVa says:

      I think Damon is out of contention now.
      Which is fine by me, love him, but he wants far too much $$$

      • Guest says:

        You’re almost certainly right, SamVa, but I am still holding out hope that the market drives him back into the fold…

      • Mike Pop says:

        With you here. If Johnson is signed, I’m perfectly fine with Melky in LF.

        Every position doesn’t need an above average bat. Melky is fine out there, considering the improved defense.

      • JobaTheHeat62 says:

        just think how crazy it would be if we signed damon…obviously it would require a large pay cut at this point, but crazier things have happened. what a lineup that would be be, only negative would be Damon as the primary LF with his awful defense and noodle arm.

        i love the nick johnson signing, but i will miss johnny damon…when he joined us from the red sox i thought it was so cool. i kind of hoped he finished his career with the Yanks.

    • Guest says:

      Before someone beats me to it, yes Johnson would probably make much more sense in the two-hole than Damon; I just think its unlikely that Girardi would move Damon out of the two hole if we resign him.

    • Dan says:

      Damon is unlikely though…

      • Kevin M. says:

        Damon will be very likely once he realizes nobody is even going to match our current offer from him, hever mind pay him his pipe dream of $13/mil per for 4 years.

        • pete says:

          yeah but even the yankees won’t match their current offer if they sign johnson, i’d think. My guess is that with johnson the offer goes down to 1 year w/ an option, at either $9 apiece or 10 and 8. There’s nowhere near enough need for damon if they have johnson on the team to let him get anywhere close to what he wants, and once the assumption that the yanks have the prohibitive offer of 2/$20-22 on the table goes away, other teams (Giants, Mariners, Rays) might jump in. In my opinion, Damon’s not worth what he’ll cost unless that’s around $3 million. This team is offensively stacked already, and his defense will hurt, and his salary will prohibit the yankees from investing in starting depth, which, with the addition of Johnson, becomes waaaaayy more important than not having a 100 OPS+, +5 (at least) UZR guy batting ninth, which would be the alternative to signing damon.

        • Even when his market collapses, he’ll still take an offer from someone else. He’s too prideful to come back to NYY at a massive paycut. It’s why Hideki left, it’s why Abreu left, it’s why Bernie retired, etc.

          We are now in a position to lowball Johnny, and we will, and it will cause him to take someone else’s lowball offer over ours, even if it costs him another ring.

          • BklynJT says:

            You could of said the same thing about Pettitte, but he came back to us last year on a contract that completely favored the Yankees. Did we even offer Abreu a deal? Did we even offer Hideki a deal? I’m not sold that they left because of pride, Matsui (or his agent) said himself that he didn’t want to wait around for the Yankees and lose his chance to sign with a team.

    • jsbrendog says:

      pssssst. come ere……

      damon isn’t on the yankees

    • Salty Buggah says:

      Gangstas Row

    • Kevin M. says:

      I definitely would not bat Cano 9th.


      • KK says:

        Granderson should probably bat ninth. He’s got enough speed to play as a secondary leadoff ahead of Jeter.

        Not that it makes a huge difference, the bottom of the lineup looks like the top of the lineup for a lot of teams.

    • pete says:

      I don’t see damon coming back bro. That would mean putting them over their roster budget without doing anything to improve SP. Going over budget means taking money away from someplace else (i.e. Chapman), and you don’t do it just to bring in more offense at an unreasonable contract and defense so much worse that it practically takes away all of the offensive benefit anyway.

      would be a good 10-13 million dollars cheaper, and, defense included, come close to approximating that production. through in the possibility of signing someone like sheets with some of that extra cash, and it’s clearly the smarter move. LOVE this signing.

      • Kevin M. says:

        You might be right….but there are options between Gardbrera and Damon. Nady, even Hinske, etc.

        • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

          Nady and Hinske are not in the mix for a starting gig. At all.

        • pete says:

          I would say that nady, given the injury, is probably not BETWEEN gardbrera and damon, but rather beneath both of them. And hinske isn’t even close, defense (as it should be) considered.

      • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

        In fairness, they may use the rest of their IFA budget for Chapman, and if his p/y is too much, may draw a small fraction out of the ML roster.

        Everything else, TOTAL AGREEMENT, BRO!

      • Reef says:

        these are the yankees, remember? they just built a cash cow of a stadium. they don’t operate on a budget and never have, never will.

  21. [...] CLOSE (5:48 pm) — As soon as I post this piece, we learn from George King (props to RAB) that the Yankees are actually inching closer to a deal with Johnson. King says that the idea of [...]

  22. Brooklyn Ed says:

    seriously can’t wait for Johnson – Teixeria – Roriguez making the pitcher work. its going to be a nightmare for them.

  23. Rob says:

    Now, go get a decent upgrade in LF (Byrd or DeJesus) and the offense and defense are set. Sheets and Douchebag to the rotation.
    Call it an offseason.

  24. DP says:

    *phone rings at Boras’ office, where Damon is hanging out for some reason*
    Boras: Hey Johnny, it’s Cashman for you.
    Damon: Yes! He’s gonna give me that 3 year deal I want!
    *picks up the phone*
    Damon: Hello?
    Cashman: Hey Johnny, how’s it going? Remember how we offered you 2 for 20?
    Damon: (eagerly) Yeah?!?
    Cashman: Well, we’re changing it…
    Damon: Really?!?! I knew it!
    Cashman: Yeah, uh, now it’s 1 for 8.
    *Damon starts crying as Boras hangs up the phone for him*

  25. Mike bk says:

    i personally would have preferred a bigger bat or someone who gave us more positional flexibility but maybe it being the 2nd year he will gain some strength back form the wrist and w the short porch hit 15 out while maintaining his obp.

  26. JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

    **Jersey Shore fist pumps**

  27. mr yankee says:

    Now we are talking, Nick is perfect for this lineup good obp decent pop and does not strike out. I like this signing a lot. Now we get Sheets and I am good. The only negative would be if the Sox got Adrian Gonalez and Matt Holliday. I would be shocked were that to happen.

    Why would you trade Adrian Gonzalez now anyway? would it not make sense to let teh season begin see if a-the Padres can contend in a weak nl west. B-See what other teams are interssted as the year progreses? Braves, Mariners, Dodgers, Angels?

    • DP says:

      I agree with most of this except for one thing: the Padres as currently composed would have trouble competing in the Eastern League.

      • mr yankee says:

        I suppose so but really they have some talent there and I think you have to give your team a chance. They dont have to trade Gonzalez. Short money and your fans love him. I would let the team have a shot if they star to get buried early on then I would make him available. By then I think more teams will offer deals. Remeber at 10 mill for two seasons any team could afford him.

    • re: Adrian Gonzalez… The good reasons to keep him (that he’s awesome and he’s cheap and signed through the 2010 season with a cheap club option for 2011) are also good reasons to trade him in that they make him very attractive to other teams. He’ll never be as valuable to the Padres on the trade market as he is today.

      I get why the Padres wouldn’t want to deal him, believe me… I just think maybe we get a bit carried away looking for reasons why a deal with Boston wouldn’t happen because we don’t want to see it happen. Given the moves the Sox have made already this offseason, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them offer their farm for Gonzalez, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Padres accept that offer. This guy is a golden ticket on the trade market for the Padres. We’ll see.

      • mr yankee says:

        With his contract many other teams could afford him and why limit yourself to one team. I would think wait for the season to begin let other teams get a-desperate and b-injuries and see what happens.

        • Oh sure, I’m not saying they have to trade him this offseason. I just don’t think it’s as much of an impossibility as a lot of Yankees fans like to tell themselves.

          • mr yankee says:

            for the package I mentioned below yes I would think the Padres might consider that group. Were Theo to make this deal his farm system is gone and anyone living in the Boston area knows how much he loves his “guys” I am not saying it wont happen, but remember the Beckett deal was againt Theo’s wishes and was made while he quit temporarily.

            • So… You agree with me. Cool.

              (I’m not talking about whether Boston would cough up whatever San Diego is going to demand, I’m just saying this idea, that I’ve seen discussed here ad nauseum, that it makes no sense for the Padres to deal Gonzalez, isn’t necessarily accurate.)

              • mr yankee says:

                I think they have a decent pool of talent, now is it enough to compete this year? no. is it enough to compete next year if they make a few moves? maybe. I would want to build the team around Gonzalez. If I could not do that I make him avaiable at the trade deadline this year. I guarantee you get a better return. Also if they can compete its not like San Diego could not attract FA. I mean it is a pretty nice play to play ball and live.

                • Yup to all of that. And yet, my point stands. Adrian Gonzalez is an incredibly valuable trade chip right now, so it’s not like there are absolutely no reasons for the Padres to consider moving him.

                  Your points are all well-taken, but we’re not really participating in the same conversation.

      • mr yankee says:

        Also if Theo will give up Ellsbury-Bucholz-Bard-Kelly then he can have AG. If I were Hoyer that is what I would demand.

    • The only negative would be if the Sox got Adrian Gonalez and Matt Holliday. I would be shocked were that to happen.”

      (realizes mryankee just thought about the situation holistically and made a hypothetical situation but then calmly and logically debunked it as unlikely)
      (realizes mryankee has just turned an intellectual corner to a wider and more accurate understanding of the world)

      :: head explodes in a mixture of shock and joy ::

      • mr yankee says:

        Now I did not come up with that theory, that was the Yankee Universe. Funny but on WEEI there is not a tremendous amount of joy with Lackey being signed. Essentially getting the money that Bay would have gotten. Interesting to see if Hoyer does what I think he should do.
        A-Give his team a chance to win with Gonzalez.
        b-Wait for the market to expand as teh season progresses
        c-Mariners-Angels-Dodgers-White Sox might have 1b needs and might be willing to drive up the price for AG
        at this contract any team could afford Adrian Gonzalez.

        • Mike bk says:

          I think the Mariners might make a legit run at Adrian. Saunders, Trunifel, Morrow would be a great start. Put Adrian in the lineup w Ichiro and Figgins in front of him and combine that with Lee and Felix and it’s a legit contender.

          • pete says:

            they’d be a crraaazzily top-heavy team though. It would be interesting to see, though, if top-heavy ness can compete when complimented by amazing defense.

        • Now I did not come up with that theory, that was the Yankee Universe.

          I don’t care where you got it from. I’m just thrilled you read it, understood it, accepted it, and disseminated it to others.

          This is a great day. You have restored my faith in humanity. You’re my new favorite poster.

        • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

          Gonzalez could probably be had by the Sox this year if they wanted. He definitely boosts this team tremendously. However, they have a tight payroll now, need to re-sign some players in the next few years, and would ship out some really good prospects to get him. That doesn’t really fit their MO.Few of the other teams can offer the prospects needed to grab A-Gonz. The Angels also already have 1B covered.

          The Dodgers haven’t spent anything on picks the past few seasons. They have a pretty bare cabinet; the M’s are still dealing with Bavasi’s reign AND just gave away some guys in the Lee trade.

          The White Sox and Angels don’t have a lot of depth, either, but have some attractive young guys.

          • mr yankee says:

            I could go on, Indians and Rangers. If the Lowell trade falls apart then the Rangers make a lot of sense. The point is this will be Hoyer’s most important move. He cannot blow it and I think he has the luxury of time.

            • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

              Rangers and Indians makes sense, except management on the Rangers changing and the Indians…being the Indians.

              Rangers have the deepest, most talented farm system in the game. The Lowell trade is, in my mind, a non-factor. They could deal for him and Gonzalez, and still have a really good, talented farm. They’re best capable of weathering that kind of loss.

              • Mr.Jigginz says:

                And,if I’m correct, Gonzo is of Mexican descent and there are a LOT of Mexicans in the Texas area.He could be a very positive factor for ticket sales,just in time for the new owner/management to step in.

  28. aj says:

    So is this it for Johnny Damon, if so are the Yanks setting up for Crawford or Jayson Werth next year? If that’s the plan, I like it. Or maybe Yanks want to keep payroll low so they can be in on Cliff Lee or another starter next year.

    • Mike bk says:

      if this budget is a new thing and 200 is the rough target each year i dont see us being too big in FA next year either seeing as how Jeter and Mo will be back, so only really Nick and Andy are coming off the budget, but at the same time Granderson, Swish and Cano will get an extra 6 mil combined, Joba and Phil will also be arb eligible i believe.

      Maybe Jeter and Mo take a pay cut and that frees up more money, but not sure on that.

      • mr yankee says:

        I dont buy that if there is a player they need they will get him.

      • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

        I wouldn’t get my hopes up with pay cuts for Derek and Mo.

        • Mike bk says:

          i am not. in fact the opposite i am assuming we are going to be quiet in FA the next couple years until 2011.

          • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

            All signs point to that being true. Payroll starts coming off looking toward 2012. Going to be some really interesting conversations regarding some of our old guard veterans.

            • mr yankee says:

              Again do not be so sure if the right players are available. The Yankees will not cheap out on their fans.

            • Mike bk says:

              i think Posada is gone after the contract, Andy might finish after this year coming, i think Mo has 2-3 left, not sure how long they will do Jeter’s deal. I love our guys but i wish we didnt do so many long term deals with players into the late 30′s early 40′s.

              • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

                Again, agreed. I don’t see Posada or Andy being here after the contracts are up. Jeter on a (gulp) 3-year deal, Mo on a two-year deal.

    • Tank the Frank says:

      Either way works for me. I think this lineup is set. Damon, at his price, is a luxury. The Yankees have great outfield depth right now and have vastly improved defensively in that area as well. One more SP for depth and call it an offseason. I think what you said about the payroll is true. Next year’s FA class is so good you have to make sure you have some payroll flexibility.

    • Evil Empire says:

      More like Jayson “NOT” Werth it. He’ll be 32 when he hits FA.

      Crawford though, I’d be all up ons for a Johnny Damon-esque deal (4/52)

      • Charlie says:

        jayson werth is a fucking beast dude, and 32 is not that horribly old. on a 3-4 year deal i’d probably go for that. and crawford is obviously great, but i’m thinkin ur gonna have to pay him quite a bit more than that considering how many teams are gonna want him.

        • Evil Empire says:

          I will respectfully disagree with your assertion. Werth as a two year hold-me-over I’d be fine with. Anything longer and I’d probably think it’d be too much.

      • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

        -32 DO NOT WANT

  29. Charlie says:

    nice move. i was never really a fan of johnson when he was with the yanks, but that obp is pretty sweet. the only thing i’m not so sure about is the now stronger possibility that gardbrera is in lf. i know, i know, they can make up for the offense and the OF defense will be nasty, but i’d still be more comfortable with an everyday LFer out there

  30. Tank the Frank says:

    I’m guessing (hoping) the Yankees truly believe that his wrist is ok. If he gives us marginal HR output relative to what he’s capable of, and Granderson really shines as expected in Yankee Stadium, this team could really hit a shit-ton of home runs. I can’t wait to see A-Rod play a full healthy season at YSIII as well…he should launch about 40-45.

  31. Cameron says:

    1 Year similar price – why not resign Matsui?

    • aj says:

      I have NO idea why! Unless Cashman just fell off the boat during negotiations, it makes no sense.

    • Charlie says:

      yea, ya know what i really dont know. people are gonna say his knees or whatever but johnson’s just as big of an injury risk. i would have preferred godzilla because the fact of the matter is, sui has a better bat than johnson

      • mr yankee says:

        I disagree Johnsondoes not strike out hits lefties well can play some first base. Also he will benefit from Yankee Stadium. I think thekey is he is a tough at bat with a great eye, he falls right into the offensive philosophy.

        • Charlie says:

          god your grammar is atrocious. is it that hard to form sentences?

          But anyway, Matsui also hits lefties well and benefited/would continue to benefit from YS. Johnson being able to play 1B is useless because we have this guy named Mark Teixeira. He does have a great eye and fits with the yanks lineup. I was just saying that matsui has a better bat from what i can gather. And their price tags were the same.

      • Johnson has had a lot of injuries, but he’s not the same kind of risk as Matsui. Matsui’s knees will be a concern for the rest of his career, it’s an ongoing condition and not an injury he’ll get over. Johnson, on the other hand, isn’t going to be breaking his leg anytime soon in a freak accident behind first base, since he won’t be playing first base. Could he get hit by a pitch or pull a muscle while running? Of course, but anyone might do that.

    • 1 Year similar price – why not resign Matsui?

      Nick Johnson, 2008-2009, wRC+
      129, 130

      Hideki Matsui 2008-2009, wRC+:
      114, 133

      Nick may be a better bat, all things considered.

      Moreover, though, Nick wasn’t signed to replace Matsui. He was signed to replace Johnny Damon.

      Curtis Granderson is our replacement for Matsui. He’s the #5/#6 hole power bat who combines with Posada to protect ARod. Nick is the OBP guy who replaces Damon in the #2 hole to get on base and be a table-setter.

      • Evil Empire says:

        Despite NJ’s injury list, he might also be the safer bet. Bad knees are a ticking timebomb, and once they’re gone, a player is DONE.

    • Lanny says:

      You got to assume that they did not think Matsui could even stay healthy at DH.

  32. aj says:

    Ugh he better be healthy..

  33. vin says:

    Damn, my post got eaten…

    Quick recap:

    Nick Johnson and Nick Swisher were both 2nd in their respective leagues in terms of pitches/pa.

    Every Yankee projected to be in the lineup next year was better than the AL average for p/pa (except Cano, of course) in 2009. Melky was higher than guys like Jeter and Tex. Damon was something like 14th (AL) last year in p/pa. Posada didn’t qualify (not enough plate appearances), but he would’ve been top 30.

    It really was an impressive list.

  34. Mike bk says:

    “Newsday’s Ken Davidoff agrees that the Yankees and Johnson are engaged in “serious discussions,” but notes that Johnson has yet to take a physical.”

  35. Charlie says:

    oooh there’s suggested articles now. when’d that happen?

    • Johan Iz My Brohan says:

      Mo thought RAB sucked, so he demanded this be done, or else he would have used his godly cutter to slice Ben, Joe, and Mike’s throats.

  36. I’ll be pretty psyched if the Yanks sign Nick Johnson for one year. I fully admit that I’m probably not totally objective on this one since I’m a big NJ fan, but I think this is a good move. This guy doesn’t know how to not get on base, and you’ve gotta love the one-year commitment.

    And for the people who care about such things… This guy coming back to the Yankees on a 1-year deal to fill the primary DH role has to make you feel good about the guy wanting to be a Yankee and wanting to win. I think he could get a more lucrative deal elsewhere and get the opportunity to play 1B.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:


    • I’m with you.

      Like I’ve said again and again this offseason, the best possible solution once Granderson came on board was for us to sign someone to be the last bat in the offense on a one year deal.

      Whether that person was Nick Johnson, Cameron, Delgado, Thome, Vlad, Dye, etc. etc., even Damon, it didn’t really matter. They’re all productive bats in their own right.

      Having the one year deal allows us to free up the DH spot again next offseason and re-evaluate who needs it. (Namely, Jorge Posada).

      Quality offense now + roster flexibility later = PUSSYTUBING

  37. JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

    Here’s a funny one, regarding Damon, via MLBTR, via The Seattle Times:

    I heard from someone who works around the Mariners that after Bill Bavasi was fired in 2008, and the Mariners were searching for a new general manager, Damon actually was telling people he would be interested in the job. This person insisted that Damon seemed dead serious, even though he was still an active player.

    That’s just straight-up funny. Well, it seems like the M’s are full speed ahead on FAs this off season. I’m not sure how well he fits in there, though. Damon playing in LF at Saefco could be REALLY dicey. If he platoon DH’d and played LF part time, maybe it could work, but that’s a lot of cash, horrid defense and a weird platoon-type situation.

  38. Love the Nick Johnson move.

    Now….the rest of my Melchrishanakwanza list.

    1. Ben Sheets
    2. Aroldis
    3. Cyclops Mateo
    4. Digital Camera
    5. A healthy Jesus middle finger.

  39. pete says:

    Using basic, self-projected, semi-conservative stats for offense and defense, here’s what i am seeing next year:
    Jeter: 120 OPS+, 0 UZR,
    Johnson: 125 OPS+, 0 UZR,
    Tex: 140 OPS+, 0 UZR (with good D exterior to UZR)
    A-Rod: 145 OPS+, -5 UZR (assuming some bounceback from hip injury)
    Posada: 125 OPS+, -whatever on D
    Cano: 125 OPS+, -5 UZR (being conservative – you never know with cano)
    Granderson: 115 OPS+ (assuming some bounceback, stadium boost), +10 UZR
    Swisher: 120 OPS+, 0 UZR
    Melkner: 95 OPS+, +5 UZR

    That gives the lineup as a whole an OPS+ of 123.3, and approximately average defense overall. Fuck. Ing. Sweet.

    • vin says:

      Just like last year, the only thing that could prevent this team from making a deep run into the playoffs is a multitude of significant injuries.

      They have more than enough talent to win it all.

  40. Salty Buggah says:

    Awesome. He’s not a type A (is type B) guy. So, hopefully he stays healthy and maybe can be a type A next year and can get us some draft picks.

  41. cj says:

    Hal steinbrenner said the Yanks are not done making moves “they are looking into TRADES” any ideas??

  42. nathan says:

    I know there are reports out there connecting Mark DeRosa with Yanks..

    is the NJ deal make the MDR more likely… hope not.. he is not worth 3/18M

  43. Spaceman.Spiff says:

    1 Jeter, R
    2 Nick Johnson, L
    3 Teix, S
    4 A-Rod, R
    after this, nothing is set in stone. Let performance determine how these guys are ordered.
    5 Posada, S
    6 Cano, L
    7 Swisher, S
    8 Granderson, L
    9 Melky, S

    • nathan says:

      Posada can drive u nuts.. Matsui was so good at #5.. we are gonna miss him.. he was the best at getting those runs in… get ready for some stranded runners…

      • dudes says:

        i hope you don’t just look at stranded runners as a counting stat next year, as you will be extremely disappointed.

        johnson/tex/a-rod get on base >>>> most other 2/3/4 hitters so who ever hits #5 will naturally strand more runners in this line up.

        by the same token, this person will also have many, many rbi chances too.

  44. cj says:

    are they reallly gonna pay nick johnson the the same offer matsui wanted?? really?!!

  45. cj says:

    I would rather see the Yanks get cheap OPB and HR from Cust, with a trade hopping list that includes Conor Jackson, Chase Headley, and Alberto Callapso…
    pitching…Capps and Duchsherer

    Yanks get younger, add flexibility, cut cost

  46. cj says:

    I dont hate the idea of Nick Johnson but NO WAY he’s worth more than WS MVP Godzilla for one year

    • Nick Johnson, 2009 wRC+: 130
      Hideki Matsui, 2009 wRC+: 133

      He probably is worth more, yeah.

      Also, please use the reply button.

      • And Matsui is going into his age 36 season while Johnson is going into his age 31 season.

        It’s hard to look forward and not backwards, but for 2010 Johnson is probably an upgrade over Matsui. We shall see how it plays out. At the very least I don’t think we have evidence that the decision-making process that has led the Yanks to seemingly prefer Johnson over Matsui for next year is flawed. Johnson’s numbers compare favorably to Matsui’s, he’s 5 years younger than Matsui, and he has functioning knees.

        • Salty Buggah says:

          +1 and we can say that his SLG should go up a bit in YSIII too

        • Agreed on all counts, but again, it seems paradoxical but I don’t think the question should be “is Johnson and upgrade over Matsui”, because the team could view it as strictly a Johnson-Damon discussion and a separate Granderson-Matsui discussion.

          We’re swapping a #2 hitting outfielder for a #2 hitting DH, and making a corresponding swap of a #5/#6 hitting DH for a #5/#6 hitting outfielder.

          GRANDERSON is our Matsui upgrade, and Johnson is our DAMON upgrade.


          • Yeah, that’s semantics though. You could just as easily say that the ’09 outfield of Damon/Gardbrera/Swisher is being replaced by a ’10 outfield of Granderson/Gardbrera/Swisher and the ’09 DH, Matsui, is being replaced by the ’10 DH, Johnson. People look at it this way because they see Granderson as being the guy brought in to play the Damon role and Johnson brought in to play the Matsui role.

            Either way, it doesn’t really matter, does it?

            • Meh, here’s the decision tree as I see it:

              A) We’re letting our LF Johnny Damon and our DH Hideki Matsui walk. They’re too old and too expensive to retain.

              B) We thus have four roles to fill with two players. Those roles are two offensive roles and two positional roles. They are, in order of importance:
              Role #1 – defense-plus outfielder
              Role #2 – #2 hitter to be a table-setter
              Role #3 – #5/#6 hitter to protect ARod and lengthen the lineup
              Role #4 – A DH, preferably one who can play another position to ensure flexibility

              C) We’ve found Curtis Granderson on the trade market. He now fills two of the four roles we needed to fill. He fills Role #1 and Role #3.

              D) We now need to add a second position player. The priority, based on what we still need, is a #2 hole hitter. DHs or corner outfielders with good #2 hitter capabilities should be prioritized over hitters who are not high OBP guys.

              E) Nick Johnson fills our needs well. He doesn’t play the field, but his skills as a tablesetter are unmatched.

              … aaaaaaaaaaaaand, SCENE.

          • Mike HC says:

            I don’t think the Yanks are really looking at it like that. I just think they saw a blank canvas, not putting any additional weight on their own free agents, and built the rest of the team irregardless of last years team.

            • sciorsci says:

              Of course they’re seeing it like that. They have to build the roster with an eye toward what roles need to be filled. I think TSJC’s analysis of the situation is spot on.

    • Will says:

      have they mentioned a contract for him yet?
      the amount i mean.

    • John says:

      the thing is I don’t think Matsui can improve in any way in 2010. He can only be worse, unlike Johnson who can easily improve in 2010, especially hr-wise.

      • This. Matsui’s 2009 was not only probably his high-point, it was also kind of a surprise that he even did that well. Remember the injuries this guy has suffered (and still deals with, as they drained his knees numerous times in 2009) and what the outlook looked like for him in 2009, and I think his 2009 season was an incredibly pleasant surprise but probably not something he’ll ever come close to duplicating for the rest of his career.

  47. Moshe Mandel says:

    Damon’s a better fit, but I’m fine with Johnson. Great OBP fits perfectly at #2.

  48. cj says:

    my trade proposal…Gardner and a b prospect to KC for Alberto Callpso INF Util…thoughts??

  49. Faiaz says:

    Well boys, we have come a long way from the 04-08 “drought.” 56% of the starting lineup will be homegrown with the addition of Nick Johnson. 60% of the rotation is also homegrown… until we get Sheets. Aww the poor guys that blab about how we buy all our players should start looking for another issue to blab about.

    • nathan says:

      theres a new theme… even if we homegrow them.. only we can buy them off the FA… which is what we shud do… but the claim is that other teams cant buy their players off of FA.. got into a bg spat with an Angels fan once on this topic

  50. cj says:

    Cust can play LF RF albeit sometimes ugly but he’s won’t cost much 2 years 6 mil tops…in Yankee Stadium…30 hr 100 bb lock… Cust is a poor man’s Nick Swisher for a fraction of the price…matter of fact I wouldnt minde bringing him in with Nick Johnson…imagine how many pitches they would see between swish, NJ, Cust…starters wouldnt make it out of 6th

  51. cj says:

    who is the east coast Mystery team in Holliday race….Yanks? (hope) 6 years * 16 is worth it for him

  52. Mike HC says:

    It has got to be less than Matsui’s deal right? Or was the Matsui thing more of a “I’m not coming back to the Yanks on a huge paycut” kinda thing? Cashman obviously has a plan. I always liked Johnson and happy to see him rejoin the team.

  53. Gleb says:

    I like this lineup personally.


  54. Gleb says:

    I also believe the small contract size indicates they want to squeeze in a high risk high reward pitcher into the budget.


    Looks great to me.

  55. Brooklyn Ed says:

    should we expect a presser for Johnson on Monday?

  56. Mike Pop says:

    I like it, I like it alot.

  57. Mac says:

    5.5 Million for 1 year. Great move.

    Thanks for the four years Johnny!

  58. Johan Iz My Brohan says:

    According to NJs Wiki:

    Walk Up Music
    His current walk up music is Teardrops On My Guitar by Taylor Swift.

    I will not allow Taylor Swift to be heard in YSIII, the only way I would allow that is if they get rid of Cotton Eye’d Joe and the YMCA shit first. (the two lamest songs ever).

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

      “Our Song” is better anyway. I’d personally like to hear “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha, but I’m weird.

  59. Salty Buggah says:

    I absolutely fuckin love this deal if that is true. Great price for a OBP monster DH. It leaves a lot of payroll room too. Cashman is great

    • vin says:

      I’m not sure how anyone can honestly criticize Cashman. Ever since he’s seized control he’s made good trades, FA acquisitions, and drafted pretty well.

      He stood pat after 2007 (Hawkins was the only real addition to the team), so he could go big after 2008, and is now retooling after 2009.

      No GM is perfect (Farnsworth acquistion was baffling), but Cash does a very good job.

  60. JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

    $5.5 is freakin’ steal. I’m absolutely shocked. I figured he’d command at least $7 million, probably closer to $8 mil.

    I wonder how much we have left over in payroll. $14 million?

    • lebigyank says:

      we are probably done with half of that left off

      • Lanny says:

        If Matsui got 6.5 why would Johnson get 8?

        • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

          Your reply fail aside, Johnson is younger and can play a position (albeit 1B). Even with his injury risks, they’re not knees-having-fluid-drained serious. Knees go, player’s done.

          He should also see some power return as his wrist is close to fully healed. These are the primary reasons I’d expected him to either get a multi-year deal or at least have a higher base this season.

  61. Taintstick says:

    Cashmoney earns his check with moves like this. Dude had a .477 OBP hitting in front of Hanley last year. Proper.

    • Yeah, he should actually be MORE patient in this lineup, given the hitters he’s surrounded by in the lineup and in the clubhouse. Patience and power is the Yankee mantra, so he fits right in.

  62. Klemy says:

    I’ve always liked Nick and Iw as sad to see him go. He was my favorite player to yell out his name during a game, “Nick JOHNSON!” Welcome home…

  63. YankFanDave says:

    This deal definitely makes sense. Without Pavano and Nady on board, the Yanks need their designated DL guy and there is absolutely none better then Nick Johnson.

  64. Lanny says:

    They def needed another bat and NJ has a solid bat when healthy. Which hasnt been often. Looks like Damon is a goner and we are def going to miss his bat in the 2 hole. Dont discount handling NY pressure and succeeding. Will not be easy to replace him or Matsui.

    Maybe this move means they go after DeRosa to play a little LF/DH/3b.

    • BigBlueAL says:

      Johnson did come up with the Yankees so he knows about playing in NY, also started virtually every game during the 2003 postseason so he has played in the postseason in NY.

  65. So cheap, I’m amazed. Surely he got better deals offered, but no complaints from me.

    Time for Gene Monahan to stock up on the calcium to try and help those brittle bones. ;)

  66. With all the broken bones Nick has had, what do you say we take up a collection and send him a year’s supply of milk and calcium supplements for this Christmas?

  67. BigBlueAL says:

    Watching Nick Johnson in his time with the Marlins last season reminded me how tough an out he is. Like seeing Nick the Stick back in pinstripes.

    Still think Yankees have something else up their sleeves….

    • I was sad when we traded him away (way back when) for Vasquez.

      and yes, Cash has made clear he’s still in the market for a pitcher. But I think the Sox have a move or two up their sleeves as well.

      • scooter says:

        Same – but I really thought Javy was going to work out

        I gotta think NJ could have gotten a two-year deal from the Giants. Obviously he wanted to return to NY (and as others already pointed out, sign for a year, build value and go back into free agency next year)

        Sign Chapman, get Duchsherer, and call it a solid offseason?

        • Sign Chapman, get Duchsherer Ben Sheets, and call it a solid offseason?


          • Mike Pop says:

            I’d rather have Duchsherer. Swing man, allows both Phil and Joba to start the season in the rotation and he provides quality out of the bullpen.

            Ben Sheets could possibly stunt Phil or Joba’s development.

            • This is where people put the cart before the horse. It’s the big leagues, Phil and Joba are here to help the Yanks win, first and foremost. Both of them would be the first to tell you that. They are here to serve the team, not the other way around. Developing them is a tertiary consideration. If Ben Sheets helps the Yanks win more games in 2010, then he’s the right choice. We’re not the Royals, and were not rebuilding.

              • Mike Pop says:

                Yankees fans are so spoiled.

                They don’t need an all star at every position. They do need to get younger. They need the younger players to get better, we know they can relieve. We don’t know that they can be successful MLB starters. We believe they can, because of what they have shown us. We want those fuckers to become great pitchers because they will provide great value.

                They will never ever become great MLB pitchers if never given the opportunity. We’ve been preaching for three years now that they need to start, this is the perfect time. Coming off a WS year, these guys are another year older and have more experience. They need to be given every opportunity, how many more years are the Yankees going to put it off? Next year, do we say sign MAtt Cain, sign Cliff Lee, etc.

                We want these guys to become great pitchers and as the years go by and they don’t achieve that goal, they’re losing their value.

                • Mike Pop says:

                  Plus, Ben Sheets will have been out of the game over a year. I think it will take some time for him to get back to his standards. Now those could be better numbers than Joba or Hughes, but give the young kids a shot. They deserve it.

                  Yes, there is the injury argument – more than just 5 starters start all the games, but I want these guys to get as many innings as possible. It’s for the good of the organization to see what they are, and what they can become.

                  It’s also more fun for us, the fan, to see them develop. One of the most interesting things of the 2010 season for myself.

                • 2008 says hello. You may be willing to miss the playoffs for the benefit of Joba and Phil, but I’m glad the Yanks aren’t. Whoever performs keeps their spot in the rotation, the other goes to the bullpen and provides value there.

                  Also, I’m not even convinced you’d even be benefiting them. Keeping their innings down before age 25 is a good thing, which studies show should lead to more durability down the road. And learning the big leagues and hitters tendencies in short stints out of the bullpen can help a pitcher like Phil Hughes develop, not hinder him.

                  David Cone says working out of the bullpen was essential to his development as a pitcher, and he was one of the smartest around.

                • Mike Pop says:

                  Career major league innings for Phil Hughes prior to 2008:


                  for Kennedy:


                  Career major league innings for Phil Hughes going into 2010:


                  for Joba:


                  Not to mention Joba’s upside is much higher than that of IPK’s. They are older, more innings, more experienced.

                  They have both worked in the bullpen plenty up to this point. In my opinion, it’s time for them to start. They have earned it, unlike 2008 with Phil and IPK.

                  I believe you learn more pitching in the rotation, going through lineups 2-3 times rather than just having to fool a hitter once. That way, you work on your secondary pitches, durability, blah blah…

                  Could they learn more in the bullpen? Sure. Could they learn more in the rotation than they would learn in the bullpen? Definitely.

                  This team is winning 100-104 games currently constructed. This team is not missing the playoffs because of Joba and Hughes starting. This benefits the team more in the long run, which is another reason why I am in favor of it.

                • SF Yanks says:

                  Agreed. I love nothing more than watching Hughes and Joba start ballgames and I hope I can watch them pitch the rest of their damn careers as Yankee starters.

      • Moshe Mandel says:

        Unless it’s Gonzalez, the Sox have no room for any moves if they want to stay under the luxury tax.

        • All depends on how you calculate it. I’m still waiting for an explanation for Spiers 12 mil ’40 man’ and ‘Benefits’ categories. AD took a swipe at it last night, but I’m still not sure. If anyone knows, please fill me in.

  68. Hey ZZ says:

    All I know is that with Jetes, NJ, and Tex 1, 2, and 3, Arod is going to have a RIDICULOUS amount of RBIs next season.

  69. Jordan - Gardner for CF 2010 says:

    Cashmoney does it again. Unbelievable. Bye Johnny.

  70. Hey ZZ says:

    Hideki Matsui

    2006: 51 GP
    2007: 143
    2008: 93
    2010: 142

    Chances he stays healthy next season: not likely

    Chances he stays healthy next season while playing the OF once or twice a week: .000014%

  71. YankFanDave says:

    Yeah Nick Johnson will score tons of runs as he has over his career: -averages 51 runs scored when he plays
    -averages 45 runs scored if you count year he didn’t play at all
    -1 whole season of 100 runs scored.

    Guys, DL machines do not score runs. OK, this is a case of group amnesia, or group fantasy exotic stat envy.

    Back to reality: Games played year before last–35; games played year before that–none.

    The only way this deal makes sense is if the Yanks sign another big bat, preferably Holliday. Then maybe the risk is worth taking on.

    • Runs are a function of team offense, using them on an individual level is ridiculous. How many runs did the Nationals score as a whole when he had 66 in 2005?

      639, that means he was >10% of their runs scored which means that he gets on base to score runs a lot.

      • YankFanDave says:

        The point was quite simple and irrefutable — if you are on the DL you cannot score runs.

        • Yes, and? Playing at DH should hopefully keep him healthier much like it kept Hideki and his no-knees pretty healthy.

          The reason he missed 2007 was because he broke his femur in a particularly nasty way crashing into Austin Kearns in the outfield. The likelihood of that happening again is remote.

          2008 is another story (he tore a ligament) and more worrisome but since it wasn’t a huge issue in 2009, it really shouldn’t be one in 2010.

    • Stryker says:

      this deal makes sense as it stands. the yankees don’t need another big bat – with granderson they’re essentially replacing matsui’s production and upgrading the outfield defense. with johnson they’re filling the DH spot left open by matsui’s departure and replacing damon’s on base skills. both granderson and johnson’s monetary commitments combined don’t equal what they would have had to (over)pay to retain damon.

      sure, there’s risk – johnson’s got a glass jaw. but johnson won’t be seeing a lot of time in the field which should hopefully keep him healthy.

    • vin says:

      Some of the injuries are definitely worrisome – back and torn tendon in wrist, but the following are flukes that caused him to miss significant time:

      2004 – broken cheekbone by a ball hit to him at 1st
      2006 – collided with Austin Kearns and broke his femur
      2007 – recovering from broken femur

    • Zack says:

      “Games played year before last–35; games played year before that–none”

      It’s called a broken leg on a freak play on defense

      • YankFanDave says:

        9 year career, 770 games played equals 85.55 games played per season. Let’s be kind and only count the years he actually played that’s 96.25 games played when he actually plays. Big improvement (excuse the sarcasm.) This guy is the king of fluke, freak and ordinary injury. If you can count on his OBP, why are we not counting on the other highly predictable metric he has consistently had in his career–games missed, days on DL.

  72. lebigyank says:

    Holy bargain Batman indeed

  73. Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

    This is a great deal for a couple reasons:

    1. 1 year, 5.5 million. What a bargain, only 1 year of risk.
    2. Our lineup is so good that even where he to get hurt and we had to slot Miranda in at DH, we’re STILL probably the best lineup in baseball.

  74. ecksodia says:

    I think this move makes Cashman look like a genius halfway into the season. I don’t think it was that big of a steal, but we have DH covered so we can go after Sheets/Chapman, or both (still holding out hope for Damon’s return, though).

    • YankFanDave says:

      Now that logic makes sense. Put the deal in context where the risk opens other opportunity.

      • ecksodia says:

        Can’t wait to see it pay off. I’ve always loved Matsui, but I’m pretty sure Cashman wouldn’t let Matsui walk for 6.5 million, and get a replacement for about a million less if he didn’t think it was counting on Matsui’s knees holding up for another full season (even at DH), as opposed to hoping the younger Nick Johnson being healthy for a whole year.

        Also, by not committing too much money, I think that leaves them the possibility of signing (not very likely, but still)/trading for someone mid season if a couple of things don’t work out.

  75. Doug says:

    gotta love these P/PA (years w 500+ PAs):
    2005 – 4.11
    2006 – 4.29
    2009 – 4.38

  76. Drew says:

    My biggest concern in losing JD wasn’t necessarily replacing his offense, it was replacing his spot in the lineup. The fact that we lost(will lose) our 2 hitter killed me. Now, Johnson squeezes right in there. ha.

    Now it’s just a matter of who hits fifth. I say C-Grand or Robbie.

    Jete R
    NJ L
    Teixy S
    Al R
    CG L
    Jorge S
    Swish S
    Robbie L
    Melky S

  77. JeffG says:

    If one could dream and we pulled Sheets at a reasonable price 7+incentives and Stein-heads weren’t being cheap – last minute move while insane Damon is bitched slapped into reality like Abreau year and signs (8mil):

    1 Jeter (R)
    2 Johnson (L)
    3 Tex (S)
    4 A-Rod (R)
    5 Damon (L)
    6 Posada (S)
    7 Granderson (L)
    8 Cano (L)
    9 Swisher (S)

    - That would be pretty scary, hard to imagine a better offense than we had last year…

    • Drew says:

      I think that if we sign JD, NJ will be flopped down to the bottom end of the lineup.

      • vin says:

        I agree. Damon is the better hitter, and should therefore get more AB’s. Of course if Nick develops some power at the stadium, then I’d be open to the switch. Johnny’s speed is a bit of a plus in the 2 hole, also (but not necessarily a dealbreaker).

        I would like to see:

        Jeter r
        Damon l
        Tex s
        Alex r
        Posada s
        Cano l (equal platoon splits)
        Granderson l (ugly platoon splits)
        Johnson l (reverse platoon splits)
        Swisher s (equal platoon splits)

        I wouldn’t mind switching Curtis and Nick, but then the slow-footed Johnson is clogging the bases ahead of Granderson. Preventing one of the 8 and 9 hitters from reaching base would be nearly impossible.

        • Hey ZZ says:

          If they bring Damon back also, NJ and Swisher at the bottom of the lineup could be lethal. Pitcher is fully exhausted after facing NJ and Swisher taking every pitch that is not the in zone and you now have the pleasure of facing Jeter.

    • MattG says:

      No chance Damon is back now.

      Well, unless he suddenly decides he’ll take a one-year deal, ergo no chance.

  78. Gleb says:


    for the second time.

  79. larryf says:

    Newsflash: Yanks have added “excessive arm hair” to the list of no no’s along with facial hair and “idiot Red Sox hair”. NJ will have laser performed during his physical…..

    Gardner sees increased late game pinch running opportunities increasing his value (476K per year)….happy about NJ acquisition

    NJ scouts out Yanks in 2010 for his buddy Adam Dunn for 2011

  80. nycornerstones says:


  81. Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

    Haha, right now LoHud is freaking out. Idiots.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      Have to post this. Dumbest comment on LoHud, ever:

      “I don’t believe in booing players ever (unless they are on the Red Sox), but I’m not above booing a GM. If Cash signs Nick Johnson, I’m going to boo him every time I see his face on TV or if someone even mentions his name.”

      • Hey ZZ says:

        It is interesting. Pretty much everyone on here seems to love this signing. Most people over there seem to hate it.

      • steve (different one) says:

        i don’t get it, how could anyone hate this? it’s awesome

      • radnom says:

        This made me burst out laughing. Nice.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

        But wait, there’s more. Laura’s response (I’m not even responding to her on LoHud):

        “Join the club [This in response to somebody saying they wished Cash signed Matsui).

        From the previous thread. Wait ’til is over thinks it’s ridiculous that I would want to boo Cashman. That’s his/her opinion. I would boo Cash because I don’t like lying and IMO, if he signs Nick Johnson, he lied to Matsui’s agent. He said that he couldn’t talk about signing a DH until he got a SP and a LF. Well, now we hear that he’s close to signing Nick Johnson, who is nothing more than a DH. Last I checked, he hadn’t signed a SP or a LF yet. That my friends is lying.

        Matsui is a very proud and professional man. If the Yankees wanted no part of him for whatever reason (which seems to be the case), how about telling him that? I have a feeling that Matsui would have respected the truth over a bold faced lie.”

      • ecksodia says:

        Wow. It’s as if the signing is a long term deal for a player in his mid 30′s that clogs up payroll, and not a one year deal to fill up a short term need.

        Are these the same fans who complain when the Sox sign someone like Penny/Smoltz, and say “Oh no, Cashman should do the same thing Theo is doing and do some low risk, high upside signings!”?

        IMHO the deal itself was good on principle; but of course if it doesn’t work out, Cashman is an idiot.

  82. nycornerstones says:


  83. MattG says:

    News Flash: Playing DH isn’t actually a day off. Thanks to having a real DH, Posada and Rodriguez can take real days off.

  84. nycornerstones says:


  85. The Evil Empire says:

    Am I the only one that thinks our offense fot 2010 is better than 2009?

    Johnson + Granderson > Damon + Matsui

    • The Evil Empire says:

      offense for 2010*

    • MattG says:

      2010 Johnson + 2010 Granderson > 2009 Damon + 2009 Matsui

      2010 Johnson + 2010 Granderson >>>>> 2010 Damon + 2010 Matsui

      I am so glad the Yankees didn’t just return Matsui and Damon, and expect them to do what they did in 2009 again. Not. Gonna. Happen.

      What’s really amazing is I was racking my brain trying to come up with better, affordable alternatives, but I just didn’t see any. Cashman has really done a wonderful job.

      • steve (different one) says:

        i agree with your second equations, but i’m not sure about the first one. let’s not forget how good those 2 were last year

        • MattG says:

          2009 Damon >>> 2009 Granderson
          2009 Johnson > 2009 Matsui*

          *its real close, but the NL East ain’t no picnic either, Miami’s a tough place to hit, & NJ did it while palying the field

      • Jobamania says:

        The past few seasons have REALLY shown why Cashman is one of the best GMs in the game. Sure he has the money, but choosing who to spend it on is extremely important. He always has a gameplan and he never lets the fanbase down. He has a done an extremely good job at pricing players and steering away from the older ones.

    • Chris says:

      The defense should be better too.

      The only thing to consider in the overall offense is that you’re likely to see some regression in the aging players (Jeter and Posada in particular).

      • radnom says:

        Yeah, most players really had “best case scenario” years last year.

        Except Arod.

        A full year of healthy Arod should offset that regression.

        • Jobamania says:

          also, cano with RISP should hopefully improve. There was just no reason for him to have such low numbers in those situations.

        • Drew says:

          Swish had a great year but he was bad at home. He may be in line for an overall improvement.
          Cano was absolutely terrible with fish on the pond. He’s going to improve.
          Melky age 25 should be better than Melky age 24.
          Teix sucked in April then rebounded, he’ll probably be about the same though.
          Jorge will be the same, maybe a slight decline, same with Jetes.
          Al will do what he does, be the best player in the game(imo).
          With the addition of NJ and C-Grand I think there is room for improvement overall compared to last year.

  86. Jobamania says:

    Via Tyler Kepner:

    Johnny Damon on Yankees: “It’s part of baseball. Teams try to make moves in hopes to improve their club. I wish them all the best.”

    Johnny Damon on Nick Johnson deal: “I’m glad Nick gets to come back to a great organization. He will love the guys and the new stadium.”

    Hopefully he realizes he priced himself straight out of New York. So long Damon, its been nice.

  87. Jobamania says:

    The only negative to this signing is that if we lose Nick Johnson, thats our #2 hitter on the shelf. It would be a huge blow to the offense.

  88. Jake H says:

    Sam at LoHub doesn’t like the deal. I would say this. Career OPS + Nicky Johnson 125, Matsui 124. NJ also 4 years younger

  89. NYQ says:

    Someone PLEASE expalin the positives of this deal.
    Lets face it people: Matsui or Damon>>>>>NJ.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

      Did you even read any of the comments on this thread?

      • NYQ says:

        Not all 500.. if that is what you are asking.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

          Well you anted an explanation, it’s all written here. If you put in a little effort, you could figure out the benefits of the deal w/o too much trouble.

          • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:


            • NYQ says:

              I wasn’t trying to say I was lazy it is just that aren’t the two proven vets of Matsui and Damon better than Nick Johnson. OK he walks but taking two such important staples out of a CHAMPIONSHIP team is, in my opinion, ridiculous.

              • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                You’re not trying to say you’re lazy, yet you want us to explain the benefits of tis deal when we already wrote it. You just want us to rewrite it.

                Look it up, we’ve already answered this concern several times.

                • NYQ says:

                  What I MEANT was HOW do these explanations make sense.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

                  “I don’t think it’s too much more complicated than this.

                  Cash didn’t want Matsui back because he was older and had bad knees.

                  He picked johnson because he was younger and that youth made him think Johnson would be more productive next year.

                  Both are injury risks so let’s go with the younger guy.

                  I think that’s the sum total of it.”

                  I posted this at 10:20. It’s now 10:31.

                  Just read the comments, dude.

                • Doug says:

                  once damon overpriced himself, johnson is the best fit for the 2-hole.

                  and by the way, his OPS+ is better than both damon’s and matsui’s

                • Wilcymoore27 says:

                  I’m with NYQ on this. I like Nick Johnson, don’t have any problem at all with the acquisition. But it mitigates damage from the loss of Matsui and possibly Damon; it doesn’t actually make the Yanks better than they were this year. Losing Matsui and Damon (if indeed Damon doesn’t come back) undoubtedly means the Yanks are a weaker offensive team.

                  I’m not completely sold on Posada as the #5 hitter. I admire Jorge, but you have to wonder if one of these years his offensive production isn’t going to start dropping. And Granderson at #6 has some weaknesses, notably his vulnerability to lefties and the drop in his BA and OBP last year. My point is that Matsui was a superior #5 hitter, and provided far better protection for A-Rod.

                  Maybe Cano can have a break-out year in 2010 … with more power he might actually be the Yanks’ best #5 hitter. But I’m not banking on it.

                • AndrewYF says:

                  You can’t just say Damon and Matsui are going to repeat their numbers next year. You have to project to 2010, and it’s a lot easier for players who are 29 and 32 to have productive seasons than players who are both 36.

              • Doug says:

                damon’s not twice as good as johnson and that’s the salary we’d have to pay him. and for multiple years.

                johnson for 1/5.5 > damon for 3/30+ or even 2/20+ imo

        • Hey ZZ says:

          So instead of reading all 500 comments yourself you would rather someone else try to summarize them all for you?

    • Nick Johnson is probably a better hitter than either Damon or Matsui.



    • Someone PLEASE expalin the positives of this deal.
      Lets face it people: Matsui or Damon>>>>>NJ.

      Let me explain.

      … No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

      Buttercup is marrying Humperdinck in a little less than half an hour. So, all we have to do is get in, break up the wedding, steal the princess, and make our escape… after I kill Count Rugen.

  90. nycornerstones says:

    if anything nj is due for an injury free year he could have his best year

  91. JobaWockeeZ says:

    Wait I forgot.
    Confidence level: Over 9000
    The only concern I had with this team was a lack of a DH.
    I love Cashman.

  92. Alllllriiiiiiiight.


    1. Jeter
    2. Johnson
    3. Tex
    4. Nails
    5. Posada
    6. Granderson
    7. Cano
    8. Swisher
    9. Cabrera


  93. Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

    The great CB of LoHud’s take:

    “I don’t think it’s too much more complicated than this.

    Cash didn’t want Matsui back because he was older and had bad knees.

    He picked johnson because he was younger and that youth made him think Johnson would be more productive next year.

    Both are injury risks so let’s go with the younger guy.

    I think that’s the sum total of it.”

    I agree completely.

  94. TJ says:

    Great move for the Yankees.

    On another note how exactly is Nick Johnson a “base-clogger” in Buster Olney’s words when he’ll be hitting in front of Tex and A-Rod?

  95. Hey ZZ says:

    So with the rotating DH nonsense out of the way can we take anything Cashman says serious or did that go out the window when he said Bubba Crosby was going to be our starting CF?

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Meaning he was BS’ing about Joba and Hughes so he can get some fans to STFU?

      Hmm I like how Cashman thinks…

      • Hey ZZ says:

        What did he say about Joba and Hughes?

      • That’s a good point for everyone who’s upset about what he said about Joba/Hughes. We have no idea what these guys are really thinking or planning, and what they say to the media during the offseason is very rarely the unvarnished truth.

        • JobaWockeeZ says:

          Nope we have no idea about their plans at all. We only know that Cashman “views both of them as starters” so eventually they’re both going to have to start.

          We just have to wait and see but in Cashman we trust. Hopefully what he said is high on the bull meter but we know they’re both going to get that starting opportunity.

      • pete says:

        see: Girardi, re: bruney as “setup” man, circa early 2009.
        Cash and Co have smartly realized that the media is so dumb that telling them what they want to hear regardless of its bearing on reality buys them enough time before they realize that what is happening is not what the grownups said would happen that the actually be able to unfold over a large enough sample to prove itself right.

  96. Charlie says:

    its becoming apparent that the yankees should have offered damon arbitration. there was no way he was accepting a one year deal with boras. and yes, i know i’m looking in hindsight, but still

    • Doug says:

      yanks obviously thought there was a chance he’d accept a $15M one-year deal. and boras notwithstanding, he may have

      • ecksodia says:

        I initially thought that overpaying 3~5 million for one year of Damon was a good thing. I mean, stats aside, he’ll probably be motivated to perform and try to get one last contract. If he refused, we still would have had the option of trying to sign him for less money per year over two years. And if he refused, we get two draft picks.

        • Doug says:

          i hear ya. i personally would’ve offered him. but i can see the rational of not; i.e.; just don’t want the risk of paying a guy $5M than he’s worth

          • ecksodia says:

            Point taken as well. As silly as it may sound to other people, the Yankees can make use of “just” 5 million dollars smartly, too. They probably thought that it was too much for a 36 year old outfielder. True, he’s been durable throughout his career, but combined with other factors (other needs, payroll limitations, other potentially cheaper options on the market), I can see why they didn’t offer him.

            • But the most important consideration the Yankees had to make wasn’t whether the potential arbitration award would be higher than they felt comfortable paying Damon, it was whether Damon would decide, within one week, to accept a one year deal instead of hitting the FA market and seeking a multi-year offer.

              I agree with you, I’m sure they did think that paying Damon $13M-$15M for 2010 wasn’t an attractive option. But that’s not the most important factor in making the decision to offer or decline to offer arbitration. If you think a guy is going to be awarded too much money in arbitration but think he’ll decline the arbitration offer, you make the offer and pocket the first round pick and the compensation round pick.

              • ecksodia says:

                That’s true, very true. I think I should’ve mentioned that first before stating the other secondary factors in deciding whether to offer a player arbitration. I thought that at first, they weren’t offering arb immediately because they found it difficult to gauge what Damon would do. So they looked at other factors – I could be wrong, but it’s definitely not out of the realm of possibility that this was how it went down.

                • Oh for sure they decided they weren’t sure enough that he would decline that they felt comfortable making the offer, and their conclusion that the award would have been too high was a factor in their decision-making process. I just think they’re too conservative with these decisions. They shouldn’t have been so scared of the potential award that they allowed that fear to outweigh the probability that Damon would decline the offer. I think that probability was pretty high and they should have realized that. This is a guy with a track-record of looking for years/money – let’s not forget he came to the Yankees in the first place because they offered an extra year and some extra money over what the Sox offered him. He left a team with which he was very popular, the guy was practically a folk hero, over a matter of money. Add to that the fact that he’s coming off of a career year and his agent is Scott Boras and this is probably his last shot at a multi-year contract, and I’d argue that writing was on the wall… This was a guy the Yankees should have realized was not going to accept an arbitration offer.

                • ecksodia says:

                  Definitely agree on that. I strongly believe he would not have accepted arbitration.

                  If the market for him collapses, and he gets two equal offers (one of them from the Yankees) he may not want come to the Yankees out of pride. But if he realizes it’s just business, then he’ll see that with his bat in the lineup, the Yankees are going to have a very good chance to repeat as World Series champions.

                  I guess we’ll just have to see how the rest of the off season plays out.

        • ecksodia says:

          The second “if he refused” should have been “if he doesn’t want to resign”. Haha.

    • lebigyank says:

      oh god yeah (slaps forehead)

    • Yup. Hop on the bandwagon, I’ll be driving it until Cashman learns to read players’ intentions and gets himself some compensation draft picks. It would have been a risk, but it’s always a risk. You can’t get the draft picks if you don’t take a chance here and there, and Damon is one of those times when he should have taken the chance. There was no way he was going to decide, within ONE WEEK, to accept an arbitration-based one-year deal.

  97. Ryan says:

    I’d still rather have Godzilla.

  98. Bryan says:

    going to miss damon, but i think this is a great signing. Guy proved he can play in ny, hes a good guy from what i recall and if he stays healthy (which you can say for damon as well) he is a good offensive talent and is a great bargain at 1 year 5.5. He also is motivated to play well because he will be a free agent next season. One more point that makes a lot of sense (hat tip tyler kepner at nyt) one year commitment on the cheap, leaves a lot of options open for next year for that free agent class. I personally would love to see carl crawford as our next big time left fielder

  99. pete says:

    It might be time for another Brian Cashman appreciation thread soon…

    5.5 mil for NJ = steal
    Curtis Granderson for Austin Jackson and Ian Kennedy = very good deal
    Not taking the bait on the overpriced and overaged Damon and Matsui = smart
    Not taking the bait/jumping the gun and overpaying/overcommitting to Holliday = smart
    Not bothering with Lackey = smart
    Not ransacking the farm system for a 32 year old and soon to be very expensive Roy Halladay = smart

    People make the argument that with his budget anyone could be a good GM, but it is precisely the moves that Cash DOESN’T make that define his brilliance, and would likely be the pitfalls of other GMs who could very well see “big budget” as “limitless budget” and pay heavily for it in the future. Cashman is proving himself to be VERY good at building around the stars. Being the yankees does make it easier to sign big-name free agents, but recognizing the difference between CC/AJ/Teix and Lackey and Holliday, plus recognizing that neither Halladay nor Santana were worth trading for, takes intelligence and perspective. In Cash I trust.

    • sleepykarl says:

      Yankees GM can be tough too. If I remember, a lot of the late 90′s early 00′s big free agent bust where due to the Boss’ demands, despite Cash being against it. The recoil of the bust comes down on him.

  100. sleepykarl says:

    “I am with you on this if it is true. I do not understand this signing at all. I use to go into panic attacks in close games when Matsui came to the plate. I tell you the biggest problem I have with Johnson is that he clogs up the bases with his speed. In the Yankees lineup, I think he has to bat in the back of the lineup.”

    Red Sox fan on MLBTR

    It’s such a hassle when a guy is on base 40% of the time.

  101. d-ness says:

    I like this Johnson signing slightly. I think DeRosa would have been a better match, as he really is the most versatile player we could sign. If you can rotate a guy around to almost all fields and also play him in the infield, or use him to light a fire under Cano’s ass so he doesn’t slack, you are talking about a solid acquisition. More power, comparable OBP, and not the same injury history. Nick Johnson seems like a handcuff in the lineup. And honestly, I think I like Cougar (Granderson) better higher than slot…all OBP issues aside, his speed is far superior to Johnson

    I heard the whispers of a possible Matt Kemp trade recently. I LOVE this idea. We woudn’t need Crawford or Holliday if that were the case. He is young, and I don’t know if our prospects would match up with LA’s needs, but they could save some mulah… Lets do it Cash money

  102. Mac1 says:

    Its a nice signing until Beckett hits him on the wrist in his first AB on April 4th and puts him on the DL for the season. That 5.5 mil won’t look like such a bargain then (that is if he actually makes it out of spring training healthy).

    Would have rather seen the Yanks go with a RH DH like Dye or Vlad to protect A-Rod.

    I get the Yanks don’t want to give Damon more than 2 – that’s fine and I’m glad they are getting younger, but NJ isn’t the right bat to replace Damon in the two hole.

  103. cheddar says:

    I’m very happy about this. Especially if the savings are put toward bolstering the pitching staff, either now or for the future (Chapman).

    On a semi-related note, I had a dream last night that the Yanks were holding a press conference for the NJ signing, and Andy Williams burst onto the podium singing “Matty Hollidays, toooo yoooouuu!” He was then carted off by Levine and a few other suits while Waldman remarked, “Oh my goodness, goodness gracious!”

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.