Let’s end this night with an unexpected notion brought to you by Ken Davidoff: The Yankees have talked to Johnny Damon about coming back to the Bronx.
The most obvious positive is that Damon might be the best combination of viable defensive outfielder and legitimate offensive contributor still on the market (depending on your opinion of Manny Ramirez at this point). Damon could play a role off the bench, getting time at designated hitter and left field.
The obvious negatives are that Damon bats left handed and would leave Nick Swisher as the only Yankees outfielder with recent experience in right. Of the team’s four outfielders, three would be lefties. They could land a super utility type to bat from the right side, but it seems easier to simply find a right-handed fourth outfielder.
It doesn’t seem to be a perfect fit for either the player or the team, but as Davidoff points out, the outfield free agent market has thinned since Matt Diaz and Bill Hall came off the board. I’d argue that Marcus Thames — despite his defensive flaws — makes much more sense for the Yankees, and it could be that the the Yankees and Damon are talking to one another only as a last resort for both parties.
If the Yankees don’t find a better fit, at least they’d have a known veteran to plug into the lineup. If Damon can’t find an everyday job, at least he’d have a familiar situation and a chance to win.