• Johnny Damon 2009

    Posted by on November 17th, 2008 · Comments (15)

    For the last six years, Johhny Damon’s been good for about 145 games played and an OPS around .800 (give or take some) each season. Yet, over the last two seasons, Damon has come up with sundry aches and pains that suggest “Caveat emptor!” on any further promise of 145 games with a decent OPS. Hey, it’s a drag getting old, right?

    Damon was a pretty big part of the Yankees offense in 2008. With Jason Giambi now being switched out for Nick Swisher, and with Bobby Abreu probably being switched out for Xaiver Nady, and with Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui coming off major injuries, if Johnny does come up short in 2009 – albeit due to health or something else – it’s going to be a big blow to the Yankees batting attack, in my opinion.

    Comments on Johnny Damon 2009

    1. aaron empty
      November 17th, 2008 | 9:28 am

      things are different today, i hear every mother say

    2. antone
      November 17th, 2008 | 9:41 am

      I agree…but I think you might see Damon getting time off every once in a while in favor of Gardner and possibly Melky at some point too..or maybe some days they will play Swisher in CF and put Matsui in LF(hopefully not)

    3. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      November 17th, 2008 | 10:01 am

      Its the risk Cashman ran by going four years for the guy. But there is one factor you didn’t mention – its time for a salary drive for the former Caveman. That might help make up for any lingering physical problems. I’d certainly say Caveat Emptor for the next team that signs him though.

    4. AndrewYF
      November 17th, 2008 | 11:41 am

      Having Damon for 2009 is better than not having Damon for 2009.

      Cashman’s much-maligned (even by me, for a couple of weeks when it was first announced) four-year deal to Damon could turn out to be a very nice contract when all is said and done.

    5. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      November 17th, 2008 | 11:59 am

      I think it would take another good year for that to happen. If Damon gets hurt, declines, or just proves he isn’t a regular CF anymore, then I’d say you’ve got a four year deal where he was good for two, not so good for two; if he isn’t a part of a championship team in 2009, is that a good signing? If he has a good year and the ledger 3/1 good years to bad, even without a championship, its a good signing.

      Still wouldn’t sign him for three more though. 😉

    6. antone
      November 17th, 2008 | 12:05 pm

      I already consider it a good signing, because he made it through 3 years without falling off the face of the earth and there really haven’t been any good CF and lets not forget leadoff options out there the past three years. Maybe they could have made a trade for someone, but I am happy with what the Yankees have gotten from Damon. I was worried about getting 4 seasons of .250-.270 average, but that has not been the case.

    7. antone
      November 17th, 2008 | 12:17 pm

      Here are all the top 25 OF’s in OPS with more than 400 games played over the last 3 seasons (since Damon signed with the Yankees):

      1 Manny Ramirez .990
      2 Matt Holliday .979
      3 Vladimir Guerrero .925
      4 Magglio Ordonez .910
      5 Carlos Beltran .909
      6 Brad Hawpe .902
      7 Carlos Lee .901
      8 Jermaine Dye .899
      9 Adam Dunn .897
      10 Alfonso Soriano .897
      11 Pat Burrell .889
      12 Grady Sizemore .879
      13 Jason Bay .859
      14 Nick Markakis .851
      15 Curtis Granderson .848
      16 Bobby Abreu .847
      17 Andre Ethier .846
      18 Raul Ibanez .846
      19 Alexis Rios .836
      20 Torii Hunter .826
      21 Xavier Nady .824
      22 Nick Swisher .817
      23 Vernon Wells .814
      24 Johnny Damon .810
      25 Aaron Rowand .803

      Only two leadoff hitters better than Damon: Sizemore & Granderson and the Yankees couldn’t get either one of those. I guess you could count Soriano too but they traded him away. Interesting to see Nady and Swisher just ahead of Damon on there. I guess it wouldn’t be a bad OF with those 3 if they all played to their top ability.

    8. Raf
      November 17th, 2008 | 12:26 pm

      FWIW, Jeter’s a capable leadoff hitter.

    9. antone
      November 17th, 2008 | 12:44 pm

      Capable but better in the 2 hole.

    10. Raf
      November 17th, 2008 | 12:57 pm

      FWIW, Jeter, career…

      Batting 1. .315-.389-.471
      Batting 2. .316-.386-.459

      Just about the same, with a bit of an increase in SLG. Even so, I would argue his production is negligible, as a leadoff hitter only leads off once per game.

    11. antone
      November 17th, 2008 | 1:22 pm

      This is true ..leadoff is somewhat overrated but still if you take Jeter out of the 2 hole you weaken the 2 hole and then you need a capable two hitter, which to me is the value of signing Damon…because you have two hitters in front of 3-4-5 who you know will get on base at decent clip. Chances are Cano would have been the 2 hitter if they never signed Damon.

    12. Raf
      November 17th, 2008 | 2:20 pm

      Interesting to look back at the players who’ve batted second in the order when Jeter was leading off; Cano, Bernie, Arod, Matsui, Womack (?!), among others…

      Anyway, I would suspect that if Damon’s no longer an option @ leadoff, that everyone would move up a spot in the batting order. I’d have no problem with Rodriguez batting 3rd.

    13. antone
      November 17th, 2008 | 3:33 pm

      I’d have no problem with Rodriguez batting 3rd.

      It’s not gonna matter where he hits if they don’t get him some protection he won’t see a pitch to hit all season.

    14. Raf
      November 17th, 2008 | 3:47 pm

      It’s not gonna matter where he hits if they don’t get him some protection he won’t see a pitch to hit all season.
      Barry Bonds had little “protection” during his career and he was able to post his numbers.

      All it will mean is that Rodriguez will put up sick OBP numbers…

    15. antone
      November 18th, 2008 | 10:22 am

      Barry Bonds had little “protection” during his career and he was able to post his numbers.

      All it will mean is that Rodriguez will put up sick OBP numbers…

      A-Rod is no Bonds…partly because Bonds was on roids…and who is going to drive in A-Rod once he gets on base?

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