Still out there, lingering in free agency, Johnny Damon remains available. Question is, do you and the Yankees want him back? At what cost?
At this point, Damon’s not necessary for the No. 2 spot in the lineup. Maybe you would prefer Damon over Nick Johnson – better speed and power vs. higher on-base percentage — but the Yankees clearly don’t need a No. 2 hitter the way they did a month ago. Also at this point, Damon would be a defensive downgrade in left field. Maybe it’s worth it for the offensive improvement, but his outfield defense is worth taking into account.
That said, adding Damon (whatever it meant for the batting order itself) would make this Yankees lineup pretty impressive. That’s also worth taking into account.
Part of the trick with Damon is that his market might not be set just yet. When Matt Holliday finally signs, Damon will become the top free agent outfielder. He might become the top available position player depending on your expectations for Adrian Beltre and Miguel Tejada. There’s some power in that, and Damon might not have to lower his contract expectations enough to fit within the Yankees budget.
I’ll be surprised if Damon ends up back in pinstripes. What about you? Is Damon out of the picture, or could he linger long enough for the Yankees to bring him back?