Forgive? I won't able to forgive both the Yankees and Johnny Damon if they were not able to come to terms. Everybody knows and even baseball critics agree that both parties need each other. The Yankees have said that they have only $ 4 million to spend for an outfielder and they said that they are even willing to let reserve outfielder Brett Gardner to start in left. Although this might a be a reasonable plan it is not a reinforced one.
The Yankees need more depth and batting power and they should not hesitate to look further. Johnny Damon is proven and the Yankees is his comfort zone. So here is my message to the Yankees administration and to Johnny Damon:
TO THE YANKEES:
My advice for Yankees specifically to GM Brian Cashman is to talk to the owners and management and add a little more for the budget. The budget for a left fielder is $ 4 million. Sure they can get a free agent like Reed Johnson or Jerry Hairston Jr. (good supporting guys) but are they capable of hitting consistently and playing in pressure games.
Johnny Damon is the guy for the Yankees. He loves hitting in the Yankee Stadium (20+ homers) and is a perfect compliment to Derek Jeter at the top of the order. With Damon on board and probably hitting in the 2nd hole, this will slide newly acquired Curtis Granderson to the 5th spot and Nick Johnson to the 8th or 9th hole. This means that the Yankees will have an imposing line-up maybe even better than the 2009 World Series Yankee line-up.
If you really think about it why should the Yankees be seriously strict with their $ 200 million salary budget for 2010 when they will still be penalized for exceeding the salary cap next season. Even if they spend an extra $ 10 million for a left fielder they would still make profit. I just don't really get it. They are the New York Yankees, and the defending champions of baseball. They don't win by being sticklers when it comes to the payroll. Hell, they aren't the New York Mets. They offered bad contracts to worse players in the past, but Damon is not one of them. Be a little more fair.
Give Johnny Damon an offer of $ 7-9 million for one year with an option of one year extension. Maybe two years if Damon still persist. But get it done.
TO JOHNNY DAMON:
Seriously, Damon should get the hell away from the Boras-ish demands and come to the Yankees, like Alex Rodriguez did back in 2007, and work this out with them, if he really intend to be a Yankee again.
Damon is 36 years old, has a weak arm, and is becoming to be a defensive liability in the outfield. He has leg problems and showed signs of wear and tear especially during Game 6 of the World Series where he strained his right calf in the 3rd inning. The DH position is where Damon will be placed sometime in the future. That limits his option to sign with a NL club since there is no DH.
NL clubs is concerned about his diminishing defensive skills while AL teams can't afford him. Teams like the Braves, Giants and Cubs that were interested in signing Damon has gone to other free agents and only the Yankees is the really serious team left. Damon has to realize that the Yankee stadium is his sanctuary. That short right field porch gives Damon a career high of 24 home runs in 2006 and in 2009. If he signs with other clubs his stats will go down.
Deep down, if Damon comes to the Yankees and say that he wants to do whatever it takes to be a Yankee, they will work something out for him. Damon did help them win a championship in November, and he is still one of the more popular players on the team.
So to Johnny Damon, swallow that pride, bypass Boras and sign with the Yankees. It's better to sign with a championship caliber team than with a losing ball club.