Parting with Johnny Damon

From Jon Heyman (SI):

The Yankees have interest in bringing back Johnny Damon — “We need him,” A-Rod said — but could well get competition from at least the White Sox and Giants. The Cardinals, Braves and Red Sox are among other teams looking for a corner outfielder, though it’s hard to imagine him going back to Boston. Before these playoffs, the Yankees were believed willing to go for two years and $16 million for Damon. But that was before his solo double steal in Game 4.

First, Heyman’s implied assertion that the Yankees would be willing to increase their offer of $16 million over 2 years based on Damon’s “double steal” in Game 4 is one of the more laughable things I’ve read this week. Because of an intelligent play in the World Series, the Yankees should completely negate financial responsibility as well as Damon’s age and defensive deficiencies, and offer him more money. That makes sense, sure.

Furthermore, a deal of $16 million over a 2-year period seems rather perplexing when you consider that Damon was the recipient of an offensive boost in 2009, courtesy, not of any particular performance enhancing drug, but of the new Yankee Stadium (every homer he hit was to right field and he only hit 7 on the road, compared to 17 at home). Therefore, it seems strange for the Yankees to expect a similarly effective offensive year in 2010, especially since the Stadium might play differently a year from now. Add in his defensive decline and you have to wonder if Damon is a wise investment.

Via FanGraphs, we learn that Damon was worth $12.5 million this year, but if an offensive downturn is expected along with a continued defensive spiral, then can you expect Damon to earn $8 million per over the next two seasons? Maybe, however, would it be worth it to sign such a player? I don’t think so, not when there are more options available to the Yankees—options that are offensive and defensive assets—via free agency or trade.

19 thoughts on “Parting with Johnny Damon

  1. Well you know my stance on Damon he shouldn’t be brought back at all for either DH or LF roles no matter how little he is willing to take. His offensive numbers are only going to go down from here and his defense is already so bad it takes away from his offense making it almost a non plus. We need to sign someone to be a leftfielder who can actually hold back runs instead of giving them up like Damon does, with that said you could sign a guy like Cameron to a 1 year deal for 6 million or less and even if he hit .250 on the nose with only 20 HRs his above average D in LF would make him more valuable to the team than Damon this year. You can brinf Matsui back to DH and have Cameron play LF and you would have a decent enough lineup but a significantly improved defense! Your biggest weakness (Damon in LF) goes from a negative to a positive with Cameron’s abiltity to track down balls and his arm is much stronger than Damon’s, you add him to Gardner in CF and Melky becomes the 4th outfielder and defensive replacement for Swisher and you have a much improved outfield next year from this one.

  2. Johmmy is one of the good people in the league, and plays when hurt etc. It was pointed out last year his defense was going down hill but, some others thought otherwise. This year it has been worse yet, going by that decline in one year…can we see him improving, not much chance.
    I would expect them to make an offer to Matsui for DH. I don’t agree with going for Cameron, there are other better players out there to pick from. In Yankee stadium we need a LF’er that is a CF type player. Money is not something that will stop the Yanks…if it’s the right player. The only thing that may stop the team for going after the best player that fits is loosing out on the one guy they really want, then money will apply.

  3. I prefer Damon to Matsui. He is just more likely to stay healthy, and gives more flexibility in that he can play the field a bit.

  4. I prefer letting them both go and trading for Adam Dunn.Both getting too long in the tooth.

  5. How much longer until we have AJax? Sign him for one year. Give him Abreu money.

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