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.