On Damon, budgets and Gardner's D

  1. Ownership believes there is no reason to have a payroll over $200 million anymore. I’m OK with this. Could Hal call down from on high and give Cashman the authority to spend another $10 million to land Holliday? I’m sure it’s possible, but I don’t think it’s likely. Guessing next year’s free agent class, including their own uber-stars (Jeter, Mariano), will require another spike in spending.
  2. Damon is still a very good player and will probably get a better offer somewhere else, though I don’t know where. He sure is a very good player. However, if I were part of another team, I’d look at his 2009 home/road splits and notice that his power spike was largely due to the new Yankee Stadium, particularly early in the season. There might be some team who thinks Damon’s skills will translate to their team, but I think it’s going to be a stretch, particularly for any team with a spacious LF. But as the old saying goes: “All it takes is one (idiot)
    Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
    Home 73 68 318 272 56 76 18 0 17 42 6 0 43 44 .279 .382 .533 .915 145 3 2 1 0 1 5 .280 114 136
    Away 70 65 308 278 51 79 18 3 7 40 6 0 28 54 .284 .349 .446 .795 124 6 0 1 1 0 3 .330 87 117
    Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
    1H 81 75 357 312 62 86 19 3 16 50 8 0 41 61 .276 .362 .510 .872 159 5 2 1 1 0 5 .297 103 131
    2H 62 58 269 238 45 69 17 0 8 32 4 0 30 37 .290 .369 .462 .832 110 4 0 1 0 1 3 .316 96 121

  3. Knowing Damon, I don’t think the idea of begging for a job has any appeal to him whatsoever, no matter how much he loves the Yankees. Damon + Boras = It’s About The Money, Stupid. Now, if Damon truly wants to remain in pinstripes, he needs to take control of this runaway train himself and instruct Boras to get him back on the Yanks. The window remains cracked open, but barely. It might be closed by the end of the week (or next).
  4. The Yankees may really want to try Gardner every day, because he is so much better defensively. We like Gardner. We’re OK with Gardner as we’re big believers in defense as well as recognizing we don’t need 20+ home runs out of the 1-9 batting slots. Here’s Kepner’s quick take on Gardner:

In any case, the speedy Gardner has a lot to offer on his own. He had a solid on-base percentage of .345 – better than the league average – and teams like the Cubs, the Padres, the White Sox and the Royals have all tried to trade for him this off-season. Imagine Gardner batting ninth and getting on base in front of Jeter. That’s a pretty good hit-and-run combination, no?

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