A Damonic thaw on the horizon?

Open Thread: Yet another tribute video
Breaking News: Granderson grants another interview

As the Hot Stove League has worn on, Johnny Damon rumors have become the meme of the day. He sent a text message about playing for any team! He spoke to the Tigers! He didn’t speak to the Tigers! He had eggs for breakfast! If anything, the constant attention to Johnny Damon has highlighted the problems baseball coverage faces in a 24-hour online environment. At some point, the filter disappeared, and everything mundane Damon did became a major story.

Yet, as December became January, as Spring Training drew every closer, Damon remained both unemployed and seemingly off the Yankees’ radar. Brian Cashman had built his team as he saw fit, and if Johnny Damon didn’t feel he could meet the Yanks’ price, Cashman was prepared to move on. In fact, according to most reports, the Yanks hadn’t spoken to Damon for weeks.

Earlier this week, though, we saw the first signs of a thaw. Jerry Hairston, Jr. speculated that the Yanks weren’t moving on anyone else yet because they were waiting for Damon’s price to come down. While Cashman denied saying so directly, Hairston’s words rang if not true at least plausible. Even with shoddy defense, Damon can be a useful player in a power packed lineup for the Yanks.

And so, it is of little surprise that Damon and the Yanks are, according to Jon Heyman, back on speaking terms. Over at MLB Trade Rumors tonight, our very own Mike Axisa had the transcription from the MLB Network:

“He did meet or talk to the Yankees in the last couple of days. Still doesn’t look like a great chance of happening though believe it or not. They are talking, but the Yankees have these budgetary constraints. They’ve been telling other teams they have about $2 million to spend. I think for Damon they would probably go over that. I mean this is a guy who’s had 100 runs scored nine times and 24 home runs. Terrific player, but I would still say more likely Braves or Tigers, at this point.”

Who knows what that means? Heyman has long been a press mouthpiece, in a sense, for Scott Boras, and it’s quite reasonable to see Boras behind this quote. He’s trying to publicly engage the Yanks and push them to come up with the money for Damon. They could go a few million dollars over budget for Damon, and Boras wants that to happen soon.

Heyman mentions two possible destinations for Damon, but neither seem likely at this juncture. The Braves say they’re through spending. They’re not going to wipe out the cost savings from sending Javier Vazquez away by upping with Damon for few million. The Tigers too are believed to be at or near their budget limits. I wonder if Mariners, still in the hunt for a bat, could get involved, but so far, they’ve been quiet.

Right now, this rumor is still a low level one, but it’s one we’ve been expecting. If Damon is a Yankee come mid-February, no one will be that surprised. And if he’s not a Yankee, no one will be that surprised either.

Open Thread: Yet another tribute video
Breaking News: Granderson grants another interview
  • mike c

    Give him a deal already, incentives for another great year. Icing on the icing, 2010 will be a year we will never forget. Back to back, belly to belly

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

      Icing on the icing

      © tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a/ Archimedes Torquemada, 2010. All rights reserved.

  • JSquared

    I think the Yankees should worry about their Payroll after this coming year, but you can’t blame them for not wantign to overpay.

    • Bo

      They pay a AAA pitcher 5 mil a yr. And they are worried about a possible HOF who thrives under pressure???

      • Mr. Strawman

        Another fine post!

      • pete

        paying kei igawa informs not paying Damon. If they could change turn igawa’s paycheck into damon’s, I’m sure they’d gladly do it. But having poorly spent money attached to one player does not mean there is more money to spend for another player. It’s much closer to the opposite, actually.

  • MJ

    Call me crazy. But, I would rather have an outfield of defense with Gardner than Damon’s offense. It gives us a chance to see what we have with Gardner and if we would like to keep him long term, while also saving us some cash.

    The defense of Gardner, plus the added pitching of Vazquez should more than take care of the offensive differential between Gardner and Damon.

    Who really knows what kind of numbers Gardner could put up as the every day starter in LF. Maybe with time he would grow more comfortable and increase his averages like he has in the minors.

    • Salty Buggah

      No you’re not crazy. I agree with everything but signing Damon would be pretty cool and gives the Yanks a deeper team (not that I’m advocating for signing Damon. I’m good either way)

      • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

        He also provides another option if Nick Johnson goes down for any length of time.

    • Drew–Donate if you can

      I don’t think it’s crazy, I don;t agree with it though.


      anyway u slice it

      • pete

        while i can never be sure of the scale of things, i would have to disagree. in a vacuum, JD>BG, mayyybe JD>>BG. But on this team, considering the rest of the lineup and the payroll, and what gardner brings to the table defensively, BG=JD IMO

      • Slugger27

        damon 2009 WAR = 3.0 in 143 games
        gardner 2009 WAR = 2.1 in 108 games

        i, like most, think fangraphs WAR overvalues defense, but damon isnt >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>BG

        its probably more like: damon >>> BG

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


          Damon’s an upgrade worth pursuing, because he’s better than Gardner.

          He’s not LIGHT-YEARS better than Gardner, however. Not anymore.

          • The Three Amigos

            and it would be nice to to have insurance for NJ, as someone mentioned above.

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

              Oh, sure.

              I’m not against Damon, at the right price. That “right price”, however, is still dirt cheap and probably below what he’s willing to accept.

              • The Three Amigos

                Absolutely… I would go as high as Abreu’s deal last year, but not a penny more. Even then, it may still make more sense to sign a righty bat to platoon with Gardy.

              • aj

                I disagree I think he is light-years better than gardner offensively.

                • Zack

                  yes, but add the total package of offense and defense and JD is not light-years better

                • pete

                  and gardner’s speed brings him closer, too. At this point, Johnny for anyone other than the yanks will probably pull in a wRC+ of 115. Gardner can probably do 95. Considering the defense, the overall packages become much much much closer than you’re suggesting.

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

                  I disagree I think he is light-years better than gardner offensively.

                  Good thing I never stated that I was only speaking about the offensive half of the equation.

    • Bo

      You’re crazy.

      Why cant Gardner come off the bench everyday and play late inn defense?

      You know. The role hes best for.

      • pete

        So who’s going to play defense in those first 7 or 8 innings then? Or do they not count? Johnny is in all likelihood an upgrade over Gardner. But not a big enough one to merit the 1000% payroll increase, especially when what you’re doing is improving your ninth hitter. Would the lineup be a monster with JD? Yes. Would the lineup still be a monster without JD? also yes. Would the outfield defense be great with JD? No. Would the outfield defense be sick without JD? Yes. Would the yanks have payroll flexibility with JD? No. Would they without him? Yes. Do you see where I am going?

  • pete luciano

    Give Johnny a year with a team option. $5 million with a $6 million option and a $1 million buyout. Gives Johnny $6 million guaranteed, not bad, not humiliating, bat him 2nd and let’s win #28. I’ll bet in 2010 they pick up the option, let the brittle Johnson go, move Posada to DH, and get the best player in baseball, Joe Mauer to catch. Could you fathom Jeter, Damon, Mauer, Arod, Teixeira, Posada, Cano, Swisher, and Granderson.

    • Salty Buggah

      If the Yanks are hesitating on giving Damon $6 million so much this year, I doubt they’ll pick up that option (assuming a deal is done) for 2011.

    • JSquared

      No Jesus??!!

      • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

        Traded for Gary Matthews Jr.

        • JSquared


    • Salty Buggah

      Does anyone know what the majority opinion is for how long Mauer sticks at catcher? I know he’s had some back problems back there.

      As much as I want Mauer, if he isn’t expected to stick at catcher for almost all of his contact, which I assume will be 7-8 years long at least, I’m not sure the Yanks should sign him. We have Tex, potentially A-Rod (doubt it unless he is REALLY REALLY bad at 3B) and potentially Jesus to take up DH/1B for a while already so signing Mauer to a long-term might create problems down the road.

      Though to be honest, even with his concerns, I still want Mauer in pinstripes if not in a Twins uniform, which is where I think he should/will stay.

      • d-ness

        Let’s be serious,

        We are talking about a guy who consistently hits over .320. Sometimes, upwards of .350

        Who in their right mind would ever not want that hitter on their team. Say he moves to DH. That is exactly what you want a full time hitter to do. Get on base all the time. Forget Nick Johnson, who *might* be able to get on base at about 85% of Mauer’s clip. So why not?

        • JMK aka The Overshare’s Garden Apartment Complex

          First off, what Salty is saying that while he would love to have Mauer (as all Yankee fans would), he’ll probably stay in Minnesota, as he should. Frankly, it’s better for baseball that he stay in the Twin cities. Now, regarding your full-time hitter ideas—it’s not just about getting on base, it’s about producing runs.

          Career OBP:

          Joe Mauer: .408

          Nick Johnson: .402

          I’ll admit that Nick Johnson is probably a bit past his peak, while Mauer is just coming into his, but I wouldn’t count on him hitting in the .350s with an OBP in the .440s; it’s possible, but improbable. What gives Mauer such an advantage is not his great average and OBP, necessarily—it’s that he does it from a position where that sort of production is unbelievably rare and thus, valuable.

          As a DH, he’s probably looking at a ceiling of Edgar Martinez—one of the best DHs of all time. As a catcher, he’s looking at going down as potentially the best catcher of all time.

          Best catcher of all time>>>>>>>>>>>>Edgar Martinez production.

          • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

            Just want to point, I really couldn’t give a shit if it’s better for baseball that he stays in Minny (though I think he will). If he’s on the FA market, you sign him for whatever fucking price he names, slightly out of reason.

        • Slugger27

          i love how you say *might*…. as if johnson doesnt have a career 402 OBP in over 3000 PAs

    • Beamish

      Only if I could fathom a $230-$250 million payroll. Cliff Lee will be available next year too.

    • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

      Could you fathom Jeter, Damon, Mauer, Arod, Teixeira, Posada, Cano, Swisher, and Granderson.

      Nope because there’s very little chance of it happening.

      • andrew

        hm. but there is a chance, right? so… maybe try to fathom it, it might happen.

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

          Is our collective “fathoming” of it going to bring it into reality?

          I won’t hold my breath.

        • Slugger27

          fathoming IS kinda fun

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        Even if we DO sign Mauer, I’m not sure I’d even want to sign Damon. In fact, I probably wouldn’t.

    • Slugger27

      nick johnson hasnt had an at bat yet and youre already willing to write him off in 2011?

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

      Give Johnny a year


      with a team option.

      Fuck no.

    • Dan

      Why should we worry about Johnny’s ego by overpaying him and offeing an even higher salary in 2011? If we have a hole in our roster, we should only pay what its worth to fill it. We have adequately replaced Matsui with Johnson and have more than replaced Damon with Granderson. Gardner has adequately replaced Melky. So if there is a hole to fill, ironically it is to fill Gardner’s 2009 role and that is worth less than $2 million let alone giving Johnny $5 million plus.
      We had a four year contract with Johnny. He qadequately fulfilled his role and his paycheck showed up evey two weeks. Deal done, time to move on. If he wants the roster hole available he must be willing to take what the job pays, not what he wants. He no longer has the tools he had four years ago, cannot lead off, is only adequate at base running, a good but not great hitter, surprising power in his walk year, and totally inadequate defense with an arm not worth talking about.

  • mondoas

    This really needs to stop! I am so sick of hearing about Damon and where he may go. I wish the Yankees would give him a one year deal with an option. Why continue playing it like this? If Cashman thinks Johnson will fill Damon or Matsui’s shoes then he needs to rethink that quick. Lets see..It’s Jan 22 (I’m in AZ so it’s still the 22) so I bet Johnson is hurt by the 3rd week in May.

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

      If it were Jan 23 as it is here, would you bet Johnson to be hurt by the 4th week of May?

      • SamVa


    • Salty Buggah

      If Johnson+Granderson outproduce Damon+Matsui, will you eat a shoe live on the internet?

      • Jack

        Cooked or raw?

        • Salty Buggah

          Whatever mondoas wants

        • d-ness

          don’t be silly. He said live… so it has to be raw, right?

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

            Well, if we’re willing to sit around for an hour or so watching the shoe cook on the live stream… whatevs.

            • Guest

              “Whatevs” is possibly the dumbest thing I have heard. It sounds like a 12 year old girl. That and people who say “we” when addressing the team are my biggest pet peeves on this site. It’s HORRIBLE.

              • pete

                personally, I am a big fan of “whatevs”. It is specifically funny because it sounds like a 12 year old girl and perfectly defines the ridiculous extent to which cyberebonics have taken over the english language.

                • Guest

                  Fair point. Still seems like a pre-pubescent girl, but if it’s used in that context, then you’re right.

                  I still stand by my point of the “we.” “We” are not members of the team. “We” are just fans.

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

                  We are gonna KICK YOUR ASS, GUEST!

                • Guest

                  Whatevs man, I’m not afraid of you! And that is a really rude way to treat a guest!

              • yanksfan4ever

                I agree with you about the “we” crap.I also hate all this sabermetrics garbage.Johnny D is better than Gardner.Period.I know what I see.I don’t need a bunch of dumbass numbers to know who’s better.I wish they had traded Gardner instead of Melky.

    • pete

      most of NJ’s “injury-prone” label comes from the freak broken leg accident he suffered 2 years ago. Considering he’s doing nothing but DHing this year, I doubt he’s injured by mid-may.

      • Pasqua

        Eh. The hand issues of a few years ago give me pause, but he’s definitely worth the shot.

        • pete

          certainly, but matsui’s knees are scarier, and damon’s body always seems like it’s on the brink of collapse. Throw in the .795 OPS on the road despite a .330 BABIP, and NJ’s .402 CAREER obp, and probable 15+ HR power in YSIII, and Johnson’s clearly the best choice.

      • scoopemup

        Everyone forgets that he is a darn good fielding first baseman.Not that I hope to see him get any prolonged action there,but comes the time we need him,he could prove invauable.

      • Bo

        No. The injury prone label is attached because hes always injured. Doesnt matter why.

        • pete

          except he isn’t “always injured”. He had one major non-fluke injury that appears to have healed (he played a full season last year and got healthier as the year went on). The other injury was a broken leg that kept him out for over a year. He missed time in parts of 2 seasons with the wrist thing, and then again with the leg thing. The leg thing, however, is irrelevant to this discussion because it’s something that is no more likely to happen to him again than any other player. The wrist thing is relevant, but in that vein so are Hideki’s knees and so is pretty much every part of Johnny’s body (including his knees) that has been “banged up” over the years. The difference is that Johnny and Hideki are at the age where old chronic ailments turning into debilitating maladies is just around the corner, whereas NJ is not. Johnson is on the tail end of his prime, Damon and Matsui are on the tail ends of their careers. I’ll take the former.

          • http://WayneD WayneD

            It’s far more accurate to say Nick Johnson is “always injured” than to say he’s “had one major mom-fluke injury.

            Here’s his actual record, as posted on CBS sports:

            “He (Nick Johnson) has made nine trips to the disabled list for a sprained right wrist (2000), bruised left wrist (2002), broken right hand (2003), strained back (2004), broken cheekbone (2004), bruised right heel (2005), broken right leg (all of 2007), right wrist surgery (2008) and strained right hamstring (last season).

            Here’s the link for the above CBS story: http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/players/playerpage/127563/nick-johnson)

            I cannot fathom why so many Yankee fans are defending Johnson’s horrendous record of staying on the field. He is injury prone, and he is as high an injury risk (if not a higher injury risk higher) than Matsui based on his NINE trips to the DL.

            As I’ve noted before, if you assume a full season is at least 135 games played, Nick Johnson has played ONE FULL SEASON IN HIS CAREER (2008).

            Why do you guys keep defending this guys injury record like he’s your twin brother? His injury record speaks for itself: he’s a huge risk of not making it through the season.

            If you’re all huge Yankee fans, as I assume from your posts, you should be worried about this guys injury track record. If he goes down again (as usual), the Yankees are going to have to juggle their lineup and possible trade valuable prospects to replave him.

            Nine (9) trips to the DL in eight (8) years is not a fluke folks! That’s the definition of an injury prone player.

        • pete

          also, his hand injury was what 2006? And he had all that time with the broken leg to let the wrist/hand heal completely too? Chances are, the dude’s ok

    • steve (different one)

      i love posts like this, that treat every tweet/rumor/leak like it’s a direct communication from the Yankee FO and therefore we are “sick of” the Yankee FO “playing it” like this.

      in reality, the Yankee position has probably not changed since the last out of the World Series: Damon can come back if he meets the Yankees’ price. if he’s not, the Yankees are willing to part ways.

      it’s pretty simple.

      my guess the Yankees’ price is $5M. and judging by the fact that Damon has gotten a grand total of zero offers so far, i’d say the Yankees have his market just about pegged.

  • Jeffrey

    Let’s not forget that it is a perfect match – Damon is more valuable to the Yankees than to anyone else with his swing in Yankee Stadium. I think they will give him a contract with a low base and lots of easily obtained incentives in order to save face. Like Pettite last year.

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

      Damon is more valuable to the Yankees than to anyone else with his swing in Yankee Stadium.

      A statement repeated often this offseason but still not true.

      YS3 is far from the only stadium in the bigs with a friendly short right field porch that inflates lefty power. I’d say there’s more stadiums that fit Damon’s swing than stadiums that do not.

      • pete

        true it is overstated, but nevertheless, johnny OPS’d .795 on the road against .915 at home last year in what amounted to one of the best years of his career. Outside of the bronx or philly, I’d be wary of expecting more than an .800 OPS next year, and if the tigers are indeed interested, it could be closer to .750. Throw in his horrific defense, and it’s pretty fair to say that not a lot of teams are interested in him at anything close to his price. Given his age and defensive trends, it’s not unreasonable to predict that his production above league average may be almost wholly negated by his defense below average. He is a much more replaceable player than people are giving him (or not giving him?) credit for.

  • Hughesus Christo

    I want to see Gardner get his shot. Peace, Johnny. We don’t need 3/4 hitters, and I’m looking forward to having an excellent OF defense for the first time in… ever.

    • Hughesus Christo

      We don’t need nine 3/4 hitters*

    • Bo

      Didnt Gardner get a shot last yr??

      And was promptly dismissed in 2 weeks for Melky.

      • pete

        will this ever stop? Gardner was the starter out of the gate because he was hotter in ST and Girardi wanted to capitalize that. Neither was ever considered the main starter, it was always playing whoever was playing better at the time. Gardner was starting to overtake melky playing-time wise when he got injured. After that he obviously wasn’t going to return to full form because not only was he recovering from injury, but not playing for a month makes it almost impossible to jump in and start hitting MLB pitching, but since his defense and speed were enough and the rest of the lineup provided enough firepower, the team didn’t see any need to give him an extended rehab to bring him back up to game speed, hitting-wise. In the end, it’s just another example of boversimplification.

  • Mike J

    JUST SIGN HIM! Think of that lineup….

    Jeter, Damon, Tex, Arod, Posada, Cano, Johnson, Swisher and Granderson. My goodness….with Gardner coming in for defense in the 7th or 8th.

  • Dave

    God, I hate Heyman. Baseball should go after him for being Boras’s lacky. I am sure he is getting money for it. Hey Heyman! The Tiger, Braves, and Yankees don’t want your boy!

    Screw Heyman. Screw Boras. Screw Johnny Damon. All three of them.

    • Omar

      Do you have enough orifices to accommodate that?

    • Slugger27

      so wait, how do you feel about damon and boras?

  • pete

    i’m really not overly concerned with LF at the moment – i’d be more concerned about going significantly over budget than replacing gardner’s 2.5-3 WAR with Damon’s 3-3.5. Damon wa average everywhere outside of YSIII last year offensively, there’s no way he’s going to Comerica or Seattle. I still think Atlanta is trying to play the same game everyone thinks the yanks are playing. IMO, the yanks are “waiting” for his price to come down to around $3 million base w/ up to $2 million in incentives, which probably won’t happen, especially for the yanks. The braves, on the other hand, may be waiting until they can offer him $5 with $1-2 in incentives and have a good chance of not getting rejected. I wouldn’t be wholly surprised to see the yankees pick him up, but I would be wholly surprised to see the yanks go over $5 million to him, and i still don’t see him going to the yanks at that price. Once it becomes known that that’s his market, there’s no way nobody else nabs him. My money would be on Oakland or Atlanta, with the Rays and Orioles as darkhorses.

    • steve (different one)

      i think we need to be cautious about extrapolating Gardner’s WAR from last year to a full season. JMO.

      • pete

        yes, but wasn’t Gardner’s UZR/150 otherworldly last year? Like +27 in center. I think it’s relatively safe to assume that he’d put up at least +10 in left. As for his offense, I might be going out on a limb, but I honestly see his floor being somewhere in the .265/.335/.355 range. He has a surprisingly high contact rate when he actually does swing the bat, and if he does so more, considering his speed, he’ll get on base at a reasonable clip. Obviously there’s some projection and faith going in here, but I don’t think that it’s out of the question that gardner hits .275/.350/.375, and goes 45/50 in SBs, which would bring his wRC+ to about 105. And given what he did in an admittedly small sample in center last year, it’s also not out of the question to forsee a UZR in left of at least +15, with an outside shot at +20, or +10 with a shot at +15 in center (where his WAR value would go up a lot with a 105 wRC+). In either of those scenarios he’d be at least a 3 WAR player I think.

        I know that those projections are very optimistic and border on Gardner’s ceiling, but I just feel that, considering the strength of the rest of the roster, it would be well worth it to give him the opportunity. With gardner you have a player who probably won’t ever even come that close to a .400 SLG, might top out at 4 or 5 HRs, probably won’t ever hit all that close to .300, and probably won’t ever go much higher than a .350 OBP. Given all these limitations, it’s highly unlikely that Brett ever sees a payday over maybe 1.5 million in his post-arb prime. If in the next season he proves himself a viable outfield option in spite of that, then he’ll give the yankees tremendous payroll flexibility for a long time. They’ll always have the option of upgrading the outfield via free agency or trade, but Gardner’s the kind of player who could outperform his paycheck by $4 or 5 million every year. I just think that this year would make an excellent test-run for Brett the Jet.

        • steve (different one)

          first off, good post.

          just to clarify, i am not opposed to seeing what they have in Gardner. i am a little skeptical that he can put up a .350 OBP over a whole season, but that’s just my opinion and not really the basis of my post.

          my point was coming from the fact that i have read over and over this winter about how Gardner put up 2.2 WAR last year in 2/3 of a season, therefore he’s ~ a 3 WAR player. and i am cautious about that extrapolation b/c his WAR is mostly comprised of otherworldly defensive numbers based on an insufficient sample. i just think the jury is still out, that’s all.

          i see now that this isn’t really where you were coming from, and that you’ve put a lot of thought into it.

          • pete

            “i just think the jury is still out, that’s all.”

            completely agreed. That said, I’d like to give the jury a chance to come back, rather than issue a verdict upon arraignment, as many (though certainly fewer here than elsewhere) seem to be doing. Obviously, BG’s 2009 season does not mean conclusively that he will be a 3 WAR player next year. But BG’s ceiling is pretty squarely above 3 WAR, and while he’s not far from being a finished product, we still have yet to fully see what that finished product would do. All I’m advocating is that we do allow him to play out a season so that we do actually know what we have in him, rather than base our assumptions either on the much-to-small sample of ’09, or on the fact that he has a relatively low ceiling for a prospect. I just think that if not having an expensive CFer or LFer for the next 5 years allows us to get Matt Cain or Hanley Ramirez, it could be well worth it.

    • Bo

      Gardners WAR was sooooo good that he lost his job to Melky Cabrera in 2 weeks and never got it back.

      Stat guru Girardi didnt pick up on it??? Doubtful

      Theres a reason he didnt play a full yr

      • Mr. Strawman

        Well argued!

        I agree that the broken hand is irrelevant!

      • pete

        2 weeks worth of service doesn’t even aptly demonstrate what a players capabilities are, let alone give a reasonable sample from which to draw WAR numbers.

  • Andy K

    Sign him. We’re fans, who cares what they spend unless it effects the signing of someone else and in Damon’s case a few million here or there will mean nothing to the Yanks.

    • pete

      “a few million here or there will mean nothing to the yanks.”

      how could you possibly know that?

    • Slugger27

      all signings affect the signing of someone else…. the fact that we’re paying javier vasquez now is one of the main reasons we’re playing hardball with damon, because his salary affected someones else

      same with any other player

    • Zack

      “few million here or there will mean nothing to the Yanks.”

      Not true. If there is a hard budget, do you want to reach that on January 23rd and leave yourself no room for trades mid-season?

      • Bo

        Because its ever impacted them before?

        They dont have a high rated sports network?
        They didnt open a new stadium?
        They didnt win a WS last yr?

        I’ll believe in a hard budget when pigs fly.

        • Zack

          You dont have to believe them if you dont want to, but IF there is a hard budget I’d rather have that flexibility mid-season.

        • pete

          they also BUILT that stadium, spent over $200 million on MLB payroll, and nobody knows how much they’re spending on stadium maintenance, FO payroll, minor league payroll, IFA pools, draft pools, and scouting payroll. There undoubtedly IS a limit to which they can spend without losing money. We don’t know exactly how it’s divided, but everything so far suggests that this year’s MLB payroll budget has about $2 million left on it. If they had $8 million to spend, wouldn’t they have already gotten damon??

    • Andy K

      By watching them for 40 years.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Nostra-Artist

    Heyman has long been a press mouthpiece, in a sense, for Scott Boras, and it’s quite reasonable to see Boras behind this quote. He’s trying to publicly engage the Yanks and push them to come up with the money for Damon. They could go a few million dollars over budget for Damon, and Boras wants that to happen soon.

    Bingo, and another (I think more plausible) explanation is Boras wants to create the impression that the Yanks are involved, to get the Braves/Giants off the dime and make a serious offer. I still don’t think the Yankee position has changed one iota.

  • Pete C.

    The Yanks don’t need Damon, they really want Carl Crawford in left when he goes FA next year. This strategy worked for them with Sabathia, when they passed on Santana, they know Crawford’s agent will swing by the Bronx to have a chat at the end of this season, and everyone knows the Yanks will pay what it takes if they think he’s the guy.

    • Slugger27

      they really want Carl Crawford in left when he goes FA next year

      youre good buddies with cashman??

      • The Three Amigos

        Yes his name is Pete C. or Pete Cashman. Brian Cashman’s older brother.

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

          Brian: For 400 dollars, I got Jerry Garcia in a pouch, man!
          Thurgood: Who the hell told you that?
          Brian: The man who sold it to me, Barry Garcia.
          Thurgood: So who is that, Jerry Garcia’s brother?
          Brian: No, actually it was Andy Garcia’s brother.

    • steve (different one)

      don’t really see what Damon has to do with Crawford. if the Yankees had enough money left in their budget for Damon, i am POSITIVE they could have him on a 1 year deal for say, $8M. he’d sign that tomorrow.

    • pete

      I’m not sure I agree with the Crawford assessment that everyone’s made. He’s going to hit a big payday that will end up being a pretty crappy deal towards the end. He’s essentially a .350 OBP with great legs and mediocre power. Maybe 20 HRs at yankee stadium once or twice in his prime. His defense and speed will all decline, though, and if he’s making $18 million a year when he’s 35, I sure hope it won’t be with us.

      I know that Cash has said on multiple occasions that next year’s FA’s are better than this year’s, but I don’t think he’s ever specifically mentioned left fielders. People just see the hole there and assume that’s what he means. Personally I think Granderson will move to left and the yanks will stick with gardner in CF until either a good CFer becomes available through trade, or one becomes a FA. I dunno. I just always kindof assumed that Cash was talking about the pitchers and mauer when he referenced next year’s FA class.

    • Bo

      Because guys who are in their 30’s and defined by speed always age well.

      • steve (different one)

        says the guy arguing vehemently for Damon.

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

    If Rick Ankiel just got $3.2M or whatever…I highly doubt Damon is going to accept anything less than double that. IMO anyway.

    By the way, I thought Ankiel was a bad outfielder…all the analysts are talking about how incredible the Royals OF is now with Ankiel out there. Yes, I’m aware they don’t know what they’re talking about a lot of the time…but still.

    As for JD “The Mayor”, he will get more than $2M but less than $7M…for another team. I believe even if the Yankees match the price that another team offers Damon, he’ll go to the other team…not really out of spite…but sort of. And like Cashman has said in the past…nobody likes walking back through the gates making significantly less than they did the season before with the Yankees. Especially when everybody around them are still making ridiculous amounts of money.

    • Slugger27

      not really out of spite…but sort of

      it would be 100% out of spite

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

        Spite, or pride? There is a difference. Subtle, but it’s there.

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

      …all the analysts are talking about how incredible the Royals OF is now with Ankiel out there.

      Maybe they meant incredible in the literal sense.

      As in, “That is not a credible outfield”.

      • pete

        WELL done, sir.

      • aj

        I got caught up in watching the Royals this offseason. And I realized once I actually checked the roster…They stink.

      • Tom Zig

        Rick Ankiel
        Scott Posednik
        Jose Guillen
        A couple randoms
        David DeJesus

        I think you may be onto something

        • pete

          to be fair, Dejesus is a solid outfielder. Good fielder, average hitter. Could probably match JD’s overall production in left no problem.

  • pete

    Johnny probably isn’t worth more than about $4 million (regardless of what the idiots in KC paid for Ankiel), considering that in a “monster” walk year for him he put up an OPS+ of 115 on the road and is probably good for a -15 UZR in left. To the yankees his “value” goes up because he is a better hitter in yankee stadium than he should be anywhere else, and a bad-fielding, 120 OPS+ing LFer is worth more like $5m + incentives on this market, but the yankees’ need for him is so minor, and their competition so low, that to give him even that would be considerably overpaying from their standpoint.

    Of course, I could be underpinning JD’s determination to net a more favorable deal – he may simply refuse to play for less than $6 million or something like that. In all honesty, if I were Damon and I’d just won my 2nd world series and had more than enough money to last me the rest of my life, I’d probably rather just retire than take a pay cut. But that’s me, not Johnny, and he may have a much higher vested interest in garnering HOF consideration than I would. In the end, if he makes it known that he’d be willing to pla

    • pete

      y for $6 million but would not go lower, somebody would probably offer him $6 million. Personally, though, I think the yankees could match his overall production in LF with a Gardner/Reed Johnson platoon.

      • Bo

        Gardner couldnt put up Damons numbers in 6 yrs let alone 1.

        • pete

          Which numbers are we talking about? and how the hell can you know that anyway? yeah Damon probably hit more HRs last year than Gardner would hit in 6 years. And gardner in a full season would steal more bases than Damon will in the next 6. seriously you need to learn that defense is actually a part of the game too.

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

            Conversely, Damon couldn’t put up Gardner’s defensive numbers in 6 years, let alone one.

  • Rose

    What do you think happens first? Teams seek out Johnny Damon and make a low-ball offer? Or Johnny Damon (JD “The Mayor”) takes a big gulp and comes out with a new low price he’s willing to sign for.

    Are teams even making anymore offers to him right now? I understand teams are waiting for his price to come down…but if everybody is standing pat and nobody is talking to one another…what is the price for Johnny Damon and when does it come down? And come down from what?

  • NCpinstripes

    I am so sick of hearing about Johnny Damon. He had a good run here, but that run is over. We have a full-time DH in Nick Johnson, and we can’t afford to have Damon, with his ever decreasing range, and non-existent arm, patrolling LF the majority of the time again.

    I never thought he would finish his four year deal as strongly as he did, but I think we can all agree that the new Yankee Stadium had a lot to do with that. He simply put, is a severe defensive liability at this stage in his career, and without an open spot at DH, he simply doesn’t fit here anymore. Give me Gardner’s speed, defensive range, and his better arm (not by much, but it’s still better) than Damons, and lets go. Damon had his chance to come back, but he let Scott Boras price himself right out of NY.

  • ledavidisrael

    The way I feel about Damon is the way I felt about either Nady or Swish last season. I kept saying their were to many regulars for positions. But with injures we ended up needing them all.

    Swish could easily have another below avg season and grandy could continue to struggle against lefties and we can piece together more at bats for damon.

    It depends if damon is opposed to a best case scenario where he plays against lefties (for either and and can pinch hit late in games.

    He could still get at bats against tough righties for gardner and hit for granderson while gardner plays CF.

    Maybe he’d do this if he wanted to be apart of super team and still have his legs under him by the post season. (a lot of pride would have to be swallow’d)

    • steve (different one)

      wait, you want Damon to play the short side of a platoon with Brett Gardner? ok.

    • pete

      oh i don’t think anybody disagrees that we could find a place for damon on this team or that he’d bring value. It’s just questionable whether the value he’d bring would be worth his price, considering how much production the yanks can expect to get from the rest of their lineup, their rotation, their bullpen, and their improved defense. Johnny would be a great piece at $2-3 million, and a worthwhile one at $4-5. Beyond that, though, and the team is spending more than it can afford to spend on an upgrade that, while not at all insignificant in a vacuum, loses a great deal of its weight when viewed in the context of filling the “hole” that is the 90 OPS+ 9th hitter with great speed and defense.

    • Steve H

      Swish has been in the league 5 full seasons. He’s had one slightly below average season. He’s had one average season, and 3 well above average seasons. The odds of Swish having a below average season are not good at all, and remember, he was pisspoor at home last year. He was a beast on the road last year and is bound to improve at home. When considering Damon, there is no way any concern for Swish should come into he equation.

  • Bo

    Tired of hearing stats like WAR attributed to Gardner. He was a bench player. He also lost his job in 2 weeks to the great Melky. And if a numbers cruncher like Girardi didnt think he could start last yr why would this be in any different? They know what they have in Gardner. A good useful bench player. but hes not a starting caliber player.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      Fuck objective analysis! It’s for data-crunching nerds!

    • steve (different one)

      well, every report has the Yankees searching for a RH bat to complement Gardner.

      so you’re right, the Yankees don’t see him as an “everyday” player. yet.

      but could he hold down half a platoon? probably.

      if Damon can be had for the right price, i am all for that. but if he can’t, the Yankees will be ok with a Gardner/Reedocco Thamesdelligomestatison platoon.

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


        To quote Bo and then extrapolate on his point, since he failed to do so:

        “They know what they have in Gardner. A good useful bench player. but hes not a starting caliber player.”

        So, one good useful bench player (Gardner) + another good, useful bench player (Reed Johnson or the like) = one whole starting caliber player in the form of a two-man platoon.

        • pete


    • pete

      no, the yankees do not “know what they have in Gardner”. They simply want to account for the risk that handing him a starting spot entails by signing a reasonably priced RH bat to complement him. You can’t “know what [you] have” in a player who has rightfully made it to the majors without a couple full years at the MLB level under his belt. Period. You can project, but with Gardner it’s very difficult, because in the minors he continually improved and well out-performed projections his second year at every level. So while you don’t necessarily want to bank on that at the major league level, you also can’t rule it out. Gardner would be a viable starting option with an OBP at or above .340. He’d be a good option at .350. And he’d be a very very valuable outfielder if he were to top .360. He’s bested all of those by quite a bit at each level in the minors, why not wait and see if he comes anywhere close to his minor league numbers in the majors? you really have nothing to lose by letting him play. The rest of the lineup, along with the pitching staff, will easily carry his offense in the 9th spot if he sucks, and his defense will make the yanks OF one of the 5 or 6 best defensive OFs in the game.

  • NCpinstripes

    Sign a Reed Johnson type to have as a platoon/backup option, and give Gardner an extended look in LF. With the talent at the other positions, not to mention A-Rod being ready to go right out of the gate this year, we have enough firepower to let Gardner find his groove at the plate. If he can learn how to get a bunt down consistently, think of the infield hits he could get.

    We don’t need an All-Star at every position. Gardner deserves a shot at the job. Damon would be a one year stopgap at the most anyway. Go with a Gardner/Right-handed bat platoon, or better yet, let Gardner play every day and see what he’s got.

  • scooter

    The latest Jon Heyman twitter:

    Wonder how low, and how many days he has. If the Yankees do sign – say – Reed Johnson, who signs Johnny? Braves?

    Would seem like the Braves could almost name their price – are there any other teams out there at 1yr/6-7 mil?

  • Tantalus2010

    johnny is a nice boy. he plays well with others and is a good influence in the clubhouse. without johnny’s many contributions the yankees would never have gone all the way to the World Cup. how can he be expected to live on three million dollars a year? he is scrappy and gritty, too. i seen it with my own eyes.

    /johnny damon’s mom

    • pete

      random, but kinda funny. B-

  • pete luciano

    The Yanks need Damon. First of all Johnson is brittle, he’ll never play a whole season. Secondly, the order is far better with Damon in the 2 hole. It allows Johnson to bat 6th, not clog the basepaths at the top of the order, and Granderson to bat 9th between 2 rightys (Swisher and Jeter) that will protect the Yanks late in games when they want to switch Granderson around with a lefty because he can’t hit right handed. Gardner is far too unproven to play everyday, is a bad choice for a corner outfield position in NY and will most likely fall off the more he plays like all part time players. Damon needs to be signed, he’s cheap enough now. It’s tie to stop breaking his balls and Boras’s too. As much as I hate to say it it’s not smart to ake an eeny out of Boras. Cashman has already won this battle. Give Damon 1 yr $5-6 mil plus incentives.