I said in my prior post that it wouldn’t be a bad idea, but with the Yankees now using Jorge Posada as the full time DH, there seems to be even less room for Damon to get playing time. His non-crippling platoon split is definitely helpful, as he could spell Brett Gardner or Curtis Granderson (as the MLBTR article says), but the fact that he’s a left-handed bat doesn’t help his case. His poor defense of the last two years doesn’t help, either. He’s also limited by the lack of ability to play center field anymore.
Being left handed is Damon’s biggest asset, as it plays best to the park (see: 2009) and he can always get more plate appearances that way. However, with each outfielder batting left handed or being a switch hitter, Damon’s at a bit of a loss. Still, a bench outfielder who can play against right handers is something the Yankees will need.
Damon isn’t entirely helpless against LHP, so signing another bench OF may not be necessary. However, if someone (Scott Hairston, please!) was signed in tandem with Damon, the Yankees would have a formidable outfield bench. I’m not entirely on board with this (possible) plan, but I wouldn’t be horribly opposed to it if, of course, the price was right.
I know some people out there will be screaming that the Yankees shouldn’t worry about the bench right now and should be working harder to sure up the starting rotation. I’m more than willing to bet that they are doing that. While the possible money spent on Damon could go to help the rotation, what is out there that’s worth paying for? Not a lot. In closing, though, I should say that if Johnny Damon wants more than $2MM guaranteed (which I’m sure he’ll want), the Yankees should just move on.
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