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.

    • jai Nitai

      Forget Cameron. How about Chone Figgins. He is fast, younger, a decent corner outfielder(with a good arm), and in an emergency could play a dynamic 3rd base. In a word flexable with one less yankee nemisis.

      • He also went limp in the postseason against both Boston and the Yankees and couldn’t hit for shit that whole time, not to mention he has barley played corner outfield and hasn’t done so in a few years so you really don’t knwo if he can play LF at this point… Plus he really isn’t that young he is going to be 32 next year which is only 5 years younger than Cameron and Chone would take a 5-6 year deal. Not to mention he has publicly said he wants to stay with the Angels and can’t imagine himself playing anywhere else.

        I was on the Chone bus for a while but his postseason tipped the scale, it made the fact that he hasn’t played outfield in a while even more glaring because he might not hit in a new spot as he didn’t hit in the playoffs.

        Cameron is really one of the best short term solutions and there really are no long term solutions in the FA market that hit this team, you would have to make a trade to do that and I don’t know how much those guys will cost Vs what we are willing to give up (IE no Montero). You get Cameron for 1 year maybe a club option (I doubt it) and let him play in LF for a year until a better solution presents it’s self and in the meantime you actually upgrade the LF position for less money.

  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.

    • Who cares if he is a good guy? Playing when hurt isn’t a good thing and in fact it hurts teams and a lot of time is done so the player can reach bonuses ion his contract even when it would be better for him to sit, look at Andy last year.

      Cameron is a centerfielder and you would be asking him to play LF so he would be a CF type playing LF, how then is he not a good choice? Have you even stopped to look at the FA market? Have you even thought about what else is out there?

      Also who else are these better cheaper players out there? This is the worst free agent class in many years and the only good outfielders are Cameron and Holliday and he costs way to much while Cameron is a 1 year contract and would be more than capable of providing enough offense for his defense to make him a more valuable player than Damon was this year.

      Money will certainly apply, they won’t to cut payroll and with Cameron you not only cut payroll you become a better team, even though he is going to be 37 next he is 100X better than Damon in LF, he still has a live arm, good legs and he always hustles on D. With him in LF and Gardner in LF and Melky on the bench as the 4th outfielder and defensive replacement for Swisher at times we would have a much improved outfield.

      Jeter, SS
      Cano, 2B
      Tex, 1B
      Arod, 3B
      Posada, C
      Matsui, DH
      Swisher, RF
      Cameron, LF
      Gardner, CF

      Bench
      Hinske? Pena, Frankie and Melky
      —————————————
      Left fielders

      Garret Anderson (38) – Type B
      Marlon Anderson (36)
      Jason Bay (31) – Type A
      Emil Brown (35)
      Marlon Byrd (32) – Type B
      Carl Crawford (28) – $10MM club option with a $1.25MM buyout – Type B
      Johnny Damon (36) – Type A
      David Dellucci (36)
      Cliff Floyd (37)
      Matt Holliday (30) – Type A
      Reed Johnson (33)
      Greg Norton (37)
      Wily Mo Pena (28)
      Manny Ramirez (38) – $20MM player option – Type A
      Dave Roberts (38)
      Gary Sheffield (41)
      Fernando Tatis (35) – Type B
      Randy Winn (36) – Type B

      Center fielders

      Rick Ankiel (30)
      Rocco Baldelli (28)
      Marlon Byrd (32) – Type B
      Mike Cameron (37) – Type B
      Endy Chavez (32)
      Coco Crisp (30) – $8MM club option with a $500K buyout
      Darin Erstad (36)
      Ryan Freel (34)
      Jerry Hairston Jr. (34) – Type B
      Reed Johnson (33)
      Andruw Jones (33)
      Mark Kotsay (34)
      Corey Patterson (30)
      Scott Podsednik (34)
      DeWayne Wise (32)

      Right fielders

      Bobby Abreu (36) – Type A
      Jermaine Dye (36) – $12MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout – Type A
      Brian Giles (39) – Type B
      Vladimir Guerrero (35) – Type A
      Eric Hinske (32)
      Geoff Jenkins (35)
      Austin Kearns (30) – $10MM club option with a $1MM buyout
      Jason Michaels (34)
      Xavier Nady (31) – Type B
      Randy Winn (36) – Type B

      Pick one…

      • Marlon Byrd
        Mike Cameron
        Xavier Nady

        Are the only outfielders who you would think could play everyday at LF (and I’m not sure if Nady can or not after his TJ surgery) and out of those guys I would rather go with Cameron because you know what you are getting and you know he can play D and hit with power, his D being the best part of his game still.

        • The best name on the trade list is Delmon Young because he does have a strong arm and the skills it takes to win gold gloves in the outfield and his hitting started to come in strong towards the end of the season but how much would the Twins want to get rid of someone who they basically traded Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett for?

          • No one wants Cameron for 1 year but no one can come up with a legit better answer… Just maybes in Chone or overpaying for Holliday.

          • All I am saying is you could sign Matsui to a 1 year contract to DH and Cameron to a 1 year contract and then after next season you can sign Adam Dunn to DH and Jason Werth to play outfield.

  3. Moshe Mandel

    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.

    • Matsui says next year he can play the field and would even be willing to play some 1B to help get himself more playing time, he has more power to all fields and can actually hit in other parks but Yankee stadium. You have to separate Damon being a good guy from the fact he isn’t the same bat as Matsui.

  4. leftylarry

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

    • Dunn is a DH because he isn’t much of ab upgrade in the field, however it would cost an arm and a leg to trade for him and he is just going to be a FA next season anyway so you could just sign him then. Have Matsui DH this year and next get Dunn.

    • If the Yankees could nab Dunn from the Nationals via trade, I would consider it. Then again, he’s a free agent after next season, so it’s probably best to just wait it out.

      • Plus considering that besides Zimmerman they have no real names to draw crowds and since Strausberg won’t be ready until at least middle of the season or the following year they would ask for a pretty penny to pry Dunn away from their hands.

        However once he is a FA I would love to sign Dunn as a DH… His power with the short porch in Yankee stadium he might hit 50 HRs.

  5. the other Steve S.

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

    • I should think A-Jax will be ready for Sept. call-ups and play in 2011. If he improves his hitting and routes to the ball he could be up before Sept. There are a couple other guys down on the farm that are as impressive (if not more so) as he is but, they are a couple years away from Yankee stadium.

    • Yeah Austin should be a Sept call up for sure! His patients needs some improvement before he’s ready though, that’s why I like Cameron on a 1 year deal because he can stop gap Jackson (or a potential free agent) for 2011 season but at least for the time being you would have good defense in LF.

      Ranger are you saying there are some outfielders in the system who may be more impressive? I agree we have some better players possibly in the system but to me outfield is our weakest area.

  6. […] The other Chris H Reply: November 3rd, 2009 at 22:42. Marlon Byrd Mike Cameron Xavier Nady. Are the only outfielders who you would think could play everyday at LF (and I’m not sure if Nady can or not after his TJ surgery) and out of …Click Here […]

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