Everybody is getting tired of the "Johnny Damon rumors". The Yankees have move elsewhere (when Damon still insisted with his high contract demand) by signing free agent Nick Johnson since Matsui couldn't wait much longer.
The Damon rumors was dead until the Yankees traded Melky Cabrera. Now the left field spot is open again and the Damon rumors started swirling in. Still nothing is happening.
I'm sure Damon still has value, his bat is still a hot property and is a shoo-in at the top of the order. But Damon has to be realistic with his weaknesses. He's getting old, has a weak arm, and his injuries will go up as the years goes by. Therefore Damon should be considerate and must lower his asking price especially if no one is biting to his 2 year $ 20 million demand.
Why can't he see that he will benefit a lot of he signs with the Yankees. His production especially his home runs stats will still be there (thanks to the Yankee Stadium). And he will get a chance of winning another World Series title.
Look what Damon did to the Yankees so far..... the Yankees lost the chance to sign Hideki Matsui, who most people say is a much better hitter and DH than new acquisition Nick Johnson. Because of the waiting game Matsui was forced to look for another team just to secure his job for the next season since at that time the Yankees 1st priority is signing Damon. It's a good thing Nick Johnson was still available or else things could have been worse.
Everyday the Yankees are losing options for a new left fielder..... Marlon Byrd signed with the Cubs, Mike Cameron went to Boston, and big names like Jason Bay and Matt Holliday signed with the Mets and the Cardinals respectively.
Sure the Yankees are waiting for Damon's value to plummet down to their likings but they make a risk of losing more free agent outfielders. Free agent Reed Johnson and Jonny Gomes, both the Yankees are interested in, are a practical choice but they won't be available soon. The Yankees must make a move to complete their roster and be ready for spring training.
The Yankees must make an ultimatum to Johnny Damon. Make an offer for one year with a basic salary of $6-7 million plus incentives.
And the Yankees should set a deadline for that offer.... let's say until the end of January. At the end of that month and Damon is still playing "hard to get" then the Yankees must move on and sign another outfielder.... a cheaper one.
Setting a deadline for Damon is critical for the Yankees in so many ways. For one Damon would be pressured and will be forced to sign with the Yankees knowing there's nobody out there that is willing to give him a better offer. And if Damon resist, there are still a lot of free agents available this month which the Yankees can grab to.
And lastly, Kevin Long (Yankees hitting coach) needs to prepare new acquisitions for batting practice to condition them for the upcoming season.
The Yankees are strict with their $ 200 million budget. They should also be strict with Johnny Damon. This should be the message of the Yankees for Damon:
"Sign before January 31 or else.........."
Posted On Friday, January 8, 2010 at at 4:01 AM by Francis Isberto