Oh let me tell you about a Johnny Damon. Johnny Damon is not that good. Johnny Damon is mediocre defensively. He can catch, but in terms of his arm, well, your mom could probably throw the ball farther. He has a good history of scoring a lot of runs, but he has played for some pretty potent offenses in his time. He has a decent career on base percentage, but has NEVER been in the top ten during any season of his career. He is fast, but he has stolen less than 20 bases each of the last two years. He has some pop, but has cracked 20 homers once in his career. Once. One time in ten years. The one place he has excelled is scoring runs, but that is just a product of being up before guys like Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz in Boston, Giambi, Tejada, Chavez in Oakland and even Sweeney, Randa, and Dye in KC. All of whom are multiple 100+ RBI guys. (OK Randa only did it once, but I am making a point here) Anyone could score 100 runs leading off in front of lineups with that kind of potency. I can only assume Damon will score 120+ runs for the Yankees, so it could be a whole lot worse.
(Sidebar: Someone at my office bet me that Damon would hit 35 homers this season. I tried to let him off the hook, even showed him Damon’s career stats, but to no avail, he was adamant, so next September I will be pocketing a cool hundy)
The worst thing about Johnny Damon is that he does not address the significant pitching needs the Yankees have. I read today they signed Octavio Dotel who is coming off an injury. That is interesting. They have had some success in the past making moves like that, Jon Lieber being the last one. They have also had some mighty failures signing players coming off injury, see punk ass bitch, Kevin Brown. My point is, why spend 52 million over 4 years on a guy that isn’t a critical need. Even if you can’t find the pitching you need this year, why not save the money, muddle through with Bubba Crosby and someone you pick up at the trading deadline, and come out swinging on next year’s free agent pitching market. You wouldn’t be any worse off than you are now and you would have another 52 million in the bank for the future.