Nick Johnson? Really? Why?

  1. I thought that Cashman wanted a player who is capable of playing the OF to man the DH spot. Otherwise, just sign Matsui. Like the Angels smartly did.
  2. Did Cashman panic when Matsui signed?
  3. Heck, why not look at Vlad Guerrero? Xavier Nady? Nady would have been a nice DH and possible platoon for Grandy if his lefty woes got worse, not better. And possibly cheaper than Nick.
  4. Is this Cashman just trying to exert his will upon Damon and prove to all that he’s not going to be pushed over only because he has the biggest wallet?
  5. If we’re to believe the contract terms, wouldn’t it have made infinitely more sense to re-sign Matsui? The difference is reportedly “only” $1M. Mice nuts to the Yanks.
  6. Matsui’s proven.
  7. Matsui’s Japanese-related advertising draws pays for his contract twice over, and then some. It’s about the money, right?
  8. I wonder what Damon and Boras must be wondering right about now, besides “Oh, #$%^&*“. Aside from claiming there’s a mystery team ready to sign Damon to the same over-the-top contract that Bay’s “reportedly” about to receive. But Damon is apparently living well on Planet Boras.
  9. I think Boras/Damon overplayed their hand. Though, there might be some goofy GM who thinks Damon is worth 3-4 years at $12-13 million per.
  10. Does the lower contractual amount free up more money to sign a guy like Sheets, as I have been lobbying for?

I don’t get it.

Nick Johnson has the potential to thrive hitting in the #2 spot behind Jeter, ahead of Teixeira and ARod. Sure, he’s not gonna run, but then again, Damon batted #2 in 2009 and stole only 12 bases. Was that because of Damon or because Girardi didn’t want to run himself out of an inning with the horses up behind Damon?

Johnson, assuming he can remain healthy, will be a nice fit for this team. He doesn’t have to play every game. Will he quickly adjust to playing only half the game, and after that, only 4-5 times a week instead of 6-7?

Like I said up top: I like Nick. I like what he could bring this team. I just don’t get why, if Cashman wanted a “pure” DH, he didn’t re-sign the one he had for the last seven years, the consummate professional, the one who is the reigning World Series MVP.

Some of Nick da Stick’s stats. Feel free to gaze longingly at the OBP column, too (of course, fee free to avert your eyes from his Games played column):

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB
2001 22 NYY AL 23 78 67 6 13 2 0 2 8 0 0 7 15 .194 .308 .313 .621 64 21 3 4 0 0 0
2002 23 NYY AL 129 441 378 56 92 15 0 15 58 1 3 48 98 .243 .347 .402 .749 99 152 11 12 3 0 5
2003 24 NYY AL 96 406 324 60 92 19 0 14 47 5 2 70 57 .284 .422 .472 .894 138 153 9 8 3 1 4
2004 25 MON NL 73 295 251 35 63 16 0 7 33 6 3 40 58 .251 .359 .398 .758 93 100 5 3 0 1 2
2005 26 WSN NL 131 547 453 66 131 35 3 15 74 3 8 80 87 .289 .408 .479 .887 137 217 15 12 0 2 8
2006 27 WSN NL 147 628 500 100 145 46 0 23 77 10 3 110 99 .290 .428 .520 .948 149 260 12 13 2 3 15
2008 29 WSN NL 38 147 109 15 24 8 0 5 20 0 0 33 25 .220 .415 .431 .846 124 47 2 4 0 1 4
2009 30 TOT NL 133 574 457 71 133 24 2 8 62 2 4 99 84 .291 .426 .405 .831 122 185 15 12 1 5 4
2009 30 WSN NL 98 424 353 47 104 16 2 6 44 2 2 63 66 .295 .408 .402 .810 117 142 11 6 0 2 3
2009 30 FLA NL 35 150 104 24 29 8 0 2 18 0 2 36 18 .279 .477 .413 .890 137 43 4 6 1 3 1
8 Seasons 770 3116 2539 409 693 165 5 89 379 27 23 487 523 .273 .402 .447 .849 125 1135 72 68 9 13 42
162 Game Avg. 162 656 534 86 146 35 1 19 80 6 5 102 110 .273 .402 .447 .849 125 239 15 14 2 3 9

And from Fangraphs.com, Nick’s “value” stats:

Season Team Batting Fielding Replacement Positional RAR WAR Dollars Salary
2002 Yankees 1.7 6.1 14.7 -11.4 11.1 1.1 $2.9 $0.2
2003 Yankees 23.0 -2.9 13.5 -8.4 25.1 2.5 $6.9 $0.4
2004 Expos 0.3 0.8 9.8 -5.6 5.3 0.5 $1.6 $1.3
2005 Nationals 26.5 10.9 18.2 -10.1 45.5 4.6 $15.5 $1.5
2006 Nationals 42.5 2.9 20.9 -11.3 55.1 5.3 $19.7 $3.2
2008 Nationals 5.4 2.3 4.9 -2.9 9.7 1.0 $4.3 $5.5
2009 Nationals/Marlins 20.8 -5.6 19.1 -10.3 24.1 2.4 $10.9 $5.5
2009 Nationals 11.9 -6.0 14.1 -7.6 12.5 1.2 $5.6 $5.5
2009 Marlins 8.9 0.5 5.0 -2.7 11.7 1.2 $5.3 $5.5
2010 Fans (36) 26.5 -0.4 18.7 -10.3 34.4 3.4 $15.5

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