The New York Yankees now have a premium center fielder in Curtis Granderson. Defensively the Yankees' outfield is above average with the strong arms of Melky Cabrera and Nick Swisher and the speed and versatility of Granderson and bench player Brett Gardner.
Offensively the Yankees envisioned Granderson on the 2 hole against righties or will slide to the 5th, 6th, 7th hole against lefties. Granderson has home run power and speed. He once lead the majors in triples (23) in 2007. Granderson will spice things up in the coming 2010 season. But still the Yankees GM Brian Cashman is still not contented. Something is still missing. The Yankees need more power in their line-up.
Is Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui is the answer to that? Well if your looking for a power bat, this two sluggers are capable of doing so. In 2009 Damon hit 24 homers while World Series MVP Matsui had 28 home runs. They are premium type of players and are known to deliver in clutch situations which includes the post-season. They know their role in the Yankees organization. Damon fits perfectly in the 2 hole giving the Yankees a formidable 1-2 punch at the top of the line-up with Jeter playing lead-off.
Matsui played DH all season long and is normally placed in the 5 hole to give protection to A-Rod who bats clean-up. The Yankees made no secret that they still want this two amazing players however will it be practical to sign both of them.
The Yankees, even with the biggest payroll, is cost-cutting. Their budget says they can afford only one player. Will it be Damon or Matsui? Let's analyze.
According to the Yankees, Damon is their 1st choice because of his ability to still play the outfield (particularly in left). Damon still have some thread left in his old tires of his. He still runs well along the base paths and is still capable of stealing bases (Remember his amazing play in the World Series where he stole two bases in just one play).
Even with Curtis Granderson on board the Yankees still externalize Damon batting 2nd behind Derek Jeter. Their 1-2 punch is still considered one of the best in baseball plus Granderson's home run power and weakness against lefties is much suited on 5th, 6th and 7th hole. Damon will play DH most of the time next season but his versatility to play the outfield can give other positonal players like Posada, Jeter, Tex and A-Rod a half a day off.
Damon really loved the short right field porch at the Yankee Stadium. Damon homered a career high of 24 in 2006 and 2009 (both of them was done with the Yankees).
It seems like the Yankee Stadium was designed to Damon's desires and skills. Damon perfectly fits well in the Yankee Stadium. Both Damon and Yankees have express their desires to stay together.
However Scott Boras (Damon's agent) think otherwise. Boras is demanding an absurd $13 M, 4 year contract from the Yankees. Everybody knows that is exaggerated. No team will give Damon that kind of contract even with his great talent. Damon is 36 years old and is showing signs of diminishing speed and defensive skills. Damon's ridiculous demand on his contract will be a stumbling block for the Yankees to sign him.
The World Series MVP has everything going right for him. Winning his first World Series title outside of Japan and was rewarded the World Series MVP for his incredible performance. Matsui's face is almost everywhere. From TV guesting, newspaper and magazine, internet and radio interviews. Godzilla became an icon in New York.
The future however doesn't look good for Matsui. He is a free agent and might be gone if Damon signs with the Yankees. Matsui's shaky and unpredictable knees is the major factor why the Yankees choose Damon over him. Matsui can't play the outfield anymore and is more of a DH type of guy.
Matsui is still a force to reckon with offensive wise. When he is healthy, Matsui is capable of hitting .292, 25 homers, and 100+ RBI. Matsui is an RBI machine which could help the Yankees to be competitive all season long. He bats pretty well against right handed pitchers and has also showed some good signs against opposing left handed pitchers. Matsui is a patient hitter and use the field well. He is definitely a tough out.
The good thing about Matsui is he is willing to take a pay cut and take a 1 year deal with the Yankees. This is one factor the Yankees is strongly considering. The Yankees outfield is complete with the arrival of Granderson and Matsui fits well in their DH spot.
So who do you think the Yankees will pick? Will they go with the outfielder Johnny Damon or will they stick with their DH Hideki Matsui. If you're Brain Cashman who will you sign?
Posted On Saturday, December 12, 2009 at at 4:43 AM by Francis Isberto