Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Damon's a Yankee

So between going to bed last night and waking up this morning, the New York Yankees and Scott Boras got together and agreed on a deal that would see Johnny Damon rove around CF in the house that Ruth built for the next four years.

Whilst I think 4yr/$52m is too much money, I am actually very pleased with this deal. It isn't stupid years, for the next four years Damon will be an above average CF and for the next couple he is probably in the top two or three in the league. His range is above average and although his arm stunk last year, my colleague when discussing Damon with me earlier in the off season said that he had shoulder trouble and would be good to go for 2006 and look a lot better in the field.

Whilst Damon will most likely bat lead-off, I wouldn't be overse to him batting in the #9 hole leaving Jeter at the top of the order but that is unlikely to happen. So this move edges us towards this line-up for the 2006 season.

Damon, CF, L
Jeter, SS, R
Giambi, 1b, L
A-Rod, SS, R
Sheffield, 3b, R
Matsui, LF, L
Posada, C, S,
Cano, 2b, L
Phillips, DH, R

Whilst this move makes sense for the Yankees, it also weakens our #1 rivals in both lead-off and in CF. I would now expect Jeremy Reed to wind up roaming CF next season.

You have to give Cash props for this deal. He steadfastly stated that four years was his limit and stuck to it like glue. Boras wanted seven, then six, then five with an option, then five, but then when it came down to it he needed two teams in the hunt and when the Yankees offered 4yr/$52m and said it was on the table until close of play Tuesday then it forced the agents hand. If the Yankees were out then it seriously weakened his hand so they took the offer and ran.

So to summarize, nice move by the Yankees, they do not, I repeat do not give up the #21 pick in the 2006 player draft, they've added range and offense to CF and when you consider Bernie's arm last year then they've even added arm strength and when you factor in that YS swing that Damon has then you have to actually like this deal, you really do.

4 threw a strike:

At 2:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do the Yanks not give up the draft pick? Or are you saying that the #21 pick was the pick you got from the Phillies?

Clearly I will have more to say about this when I get the chance, but this is a nice pick up by the Yankees, Damon isn't great, but he is good.

The more interesting thing for me is the mindset of Damon - from his "I would never play for the Yankees", to "give me the cold hard cash" in less than 6 months...

Once again, no password, so...

Neil H

At 3:28 pm, Blogger Marc C. Santos said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 3:37 pm, Blogger Marc C. Santos said...

As a Red Sox fan, I am a bit sick. I woke up this morning, turned on Sportscenter, and caught the program in the middle of a retrospective piece on great Yankee centerfielders. Having recently read Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink, on the power of intuition, I new something was up. I didn't want to believe. Despite my desire, the piece concluded, of course, with Johnny. As a Yankee. Despite the rumors, despite his turning down arbitration, I never thought this would happen.

Statistically, Damon is not worth 13 million a season--he's a 32 year old outfielder with declining speed and a sub-par arm. As a lead-off hitter, he offers a flashy batting average but a mediocre on-base percentage. Considering that Vlad get ten million a season, and I believe Beltran gets 14, Johnny is clearly not a 13 million dollar man.

Despite his "averageness", Damon was the figurehead of the first championship team in 86 years. To say he was beloved is an understatement. At least he will trim the beard and lose the hair--those will remain symbols of his magical tenure with Boston. Beyond losing a leadoff hitter and centerfielder, today the Red Sox lost an icon.

I still am not sure who to be mad at--Red Sox GMs for disrespecting Damon by looking at other shortstops (they did not do this to V-tek last season), Damon for greedily betraying the Red Sox faithful, or Steinbrenner for being Steinbrenner. My bet is the two new GMs (who I lovingly refer to as "Tweedle Dee" and "Tweedle Dum") will get slayed for this by the Boston media. Put simply, they don't have the ethos to play hardball with a guy like Damon. Not a good way to begin joint tenure.

At 12:51 am, Blogger Marc C. Santos said...

As reported on the Red Sox website:

"There's more than one way to skin a cat," Cherington said. "The Red Sox have won in the past without a prototypical leadoff hitter. Other teams have won in the past without a prototypical leadoff hitter. The Red Sox are going to have a very good team in 2006. We don't know exactly what it's going to look like yet.

We have won? When? Unless this guy did some research into the 19-teens, I don't want to hear about how the Red Sox won without a leadoff hitter.


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