The Yankees’ left field options got a bit thinner yesterday when the Red Sox signed Mike Cameron. It didn’t appear the Yanks were too concerned with Cameron, however, as Johnny Damon has attracted most of the attention lately. But there’s always the chance that Damon finds a multiyear deal elsewhere, leaving the Yanks with just a couple of options. One of them is Matt Holliday, though if the Cardinals really did offer him eight years and $128 million, I’m not sure the Yankees will top that. So who does that leave them?
One left fielder who hasn’t attracted much attention from Yankees fans is Jason Bay. He had a very good 2009 season and now, a free agent for the first time, he wants the security of a long-term contract. Could the Yankees be the team to provide that? It’s doubtful, but as they do with every possible target, they’ve reportedly reached out to Bay and his agent. No offer was made, and it’s not clear if they’re even interested in Bay, beyond leverage in dealing with Damon. But, as long as the Yankees have a left field vacancy and Jason Bay seeks employment as a left fielder, we’ll probably see the two names connected.
We heard over the weekend that Bay could make a decision soon, and is thought to have a five-year offer from one team. That will probably put the Yankees out of it. As Michael Silverman notes, “Reports early yesterday suggested the Red Sox had enough medical red flags to justify not going five years for the outfielder, who had shoulder surgery in 2003 and knee surgery in 2007.” If the Red Sox, a team that knows a lot about Bay, won’t give him five years, why would the Yankees?
The only chance the Yankees sign Bay is if they think that, while he’s not the ideal candidate, he is better than the alternatives. The choices now include:
1) Matt Holliday for eight years
2) Jason Bay for five years
3) Johnny Damon for three years
4) Melky Cabrera for one year
Which would you choose?