• Report: Yanks About To Ink Nick Johnson

    Posted by on December 18th, 2009 · Comments (73)

    Looks like the Yankees were doing more than just kicking the tires on this one

    Via Yahoo Sports

    Say goodbye to Johnny Damon, Yankees fans. It looks like he and his three- to four-year contract demands will be walking the gangplank because the New York Yankees appear to be very close to signing Nick Johnson(notes) to be the full-time DH next season, according to New York Newsday.

    Yankees Manager Joe Girardi has also said throughout this off-season that he wouldn’t mind using some of his players (Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, etc.) as the DH on days when they are resting from playing in the field.

    Newsday reports that former Washington Nationals first baseman Johnson will get $5.5 million to swing his bat in the Bronx.

    So, the Yankees passed on Hideki Matusi because he would be limited to playing D.H., and has cranky knees, and then they go out and sign Nick Johnson for the same money, just about, that Matsui got with the Angels. Yes, the super brittle Nick Johnson who will basically only play D.H. in New York since Mark Teixeira hardly takes a day off….

    Make sense? Not to me.

    Then again, recently, Yankees G.M. Brian Cashman said his main focus this off-sason was “Pitching, pitching, pitching and then left field. Those are the obvious areas that we need to focus on.”

    And, since that time, the Yankees traded for Curtis Granderson and will reportedly sign Johnson. Pitching? Yes, they re-signed Andy Pettitte – but, that’s it. Meanwhile premium starting pitchers are changing teams all over the place.

    Bizarro, huh?

    Comments on Report: Yanks About To Ink Nick Johnson

    1. butchie22
      December 18th, 2009 | 2:58 pm

      Corey wrote:

      butchie22 wrote:
      also, I don’t think the Braves want him gone, they want Lowe gone.
      I think they’ll do what it takes to get a bat. Lowe has no trade value, so he wouldn’t fetch said bat.
      I agree with all of your other points Butch, I was just saying that Javy’s first half here was pretty good, that’s all. The man WAS an all star.

      HHAHAHAHHA! First Half all Star/Second Half No Star. Ummm, if push comes to shove the Tomahawk Choppers of Georgia can foist Lowe on a team that needs pitching. They need a bat BUT not at the expense of weakening their rotation though…. actually, .I don’t see them moving No Star even though he has more value. Mark my words, a team that needs a starter will get Lowe as debased as his work was last year ,he’ll be gone.

    2. butchie22
      December 18th, 2009 | 3:05 pm

      Raf wrote:

      butchie22 wrote:
      Atlanta, Montreal, and arizona are not even close to NYC in terms of fan passion, media scrutiny or vitriol.
      And is a load of hooey and isn’t particularly relevant. Vazquez had an off year in Chicago, it was because he had an off year, not because of some mystical ability to “handle pressure”
      Had the Diamondbacks been a bit more reasonable in their demands, maybe Schilling would’ve been traded to NY.

      It isn’t a load of hooey ,bit your bloody tongue,mate! When the No Star was pitching for crowds of 3000 and then pitches for a team that was selling out and had full capacity crowds ,that’s a game changer. Montreal didn’t even have a rdio contract near the end! He goes from one or two nespapers to a gazillion reporters asking him tough questions all the time. That’s a major difference…ask the legion of players who don’t make it here about how different NYC is as a market. You assertion of the mystical is absolutley absurd. Baseball is a very mental game, the game changes when you actually have heaps of pressure as opposed to being coddled by the crowd , media etc so on…

      With regards to Schilling, supposedly it was not entirely in the Snakes’ hands. If he wanted to come here THEN it might have happened. The Yanks were hell bent on Mr No star as was Boston. They got the goat and they got their Messiah………

    3. butchie22
      December 18th, 2009 | 3:13 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      YankCrank wrote:
      They replace a speed guy and a slow guy with another speed guy and slow guy.
      Except the old speed guy never got hurt and could bat at the top of the line-up whereas the new speed guy doesn’t get on base enough to bat there. And, the old slow guy was a power hitter whereas the new slow guy is not.

      I agree. CG AKA Mr Media Savvy is not a top of the order guy on a team like this and Nick” Chris Carlin’s Twin” Johnson has a great OBP but where’s the pop? with Damon and Matsui’s departure they’ve lost a considerable amount of clutchness,power and top of the order hitting in Damonic.Mr Media Savvy can hit homers and Chris Carlin’s Twin can get on base so it’s not like they diminished that much BUT they did a little bit….

    4. Corey
      December 18th, 2009 | 3:22 pm

      Ah, office secret santa has treated me well. Inaugural Season shot glasses and a yankee freezie pilsner glass. I can’t wait for opening day!

    5. butchie22
      December 18th, 2009 | 3:28 pm

      Corey wrote:

      Ah, office secret santa has treated me well. Inaugural Season shot glasses and a yankee freezie pilsner glass. I can’t wait for opening day!

      I hope you put those great gifts to good use! Now maybe if you can sneak some Jim Beam in a flask and some fat Aussie beer into the New Yankee Stadium Mall ! ; ) After you spend a princely sum on the tickets you might want to save money somewhere……

    6. Raf
      December 18th, 2009 | 3:38 pm

      butchie22 wrote:

      It isn’t a load of hooey ,bit your bloody tongue,mate! When the No Star was pitching for crowds of 3000 and then pitches for a team that was selling out and had full capacity crowds ,that’s a game changer.

      No, it isn’t. So what happened in 2004? Did he start sucking because he realized that he was pitching for the Yankees? Were the crowds smaller in the first 1/2? Were they selling less tickets? C’mon…

      Montreal didn’t even have a rdio contract near the end!

      What does that have to do with anything? The issue with tv/radio contracts is Loria dropping the ball.

      He goes from one or two nespapers to a gazillion reporters asking him tough questions all the time.

      Do you honestly believe that? Have you ever seen how these post game press conferences go? You don’t think Chicago’s not a major media market? That’s news to the people of Chicago…

      That’s a major difference…ask the legion of players who don’t make it here about how different NYC is as a market.

      Jeff Weaver failed in Seattle. Is it because he couldn’t handle the pressure of playing for the M’s? He couldn’t handle the pressure of playing in SoCal? He got shelled pitching there too.

      You assertion of the mystical is absolutley absurd. Baseball is a very mental game, the game changes when you actually have heaps of pressure as opposed to being coddled by the crowd , media etc so on…

      No, not quite, there are years and years of evidence to the contrary. Matter of fact, if that were the case, Kei Igawa would be a superstar given how rabid the Hanshin Tigers fanbase.

    7. YankCrank
      December 18th, 2009 | 4:03 pm

      According to Ken Davidoff, looks like Johnny and Boras lowered their demands to a two-year contract but refused to take a paycut from $13 a season. Yanks valued him at $7 million a season.

      I really think Johnny/Boras messed up big time here. Every free agent has the right to look for as much money as they feel they deserve, but in this market Johnny is going to have to take a paycut to play anywhere…and he should have taken a paycut to play for the Yankees.

      Then again, if some team pays him upwards of $13 million for multiple years i’ll gladly eat my words. But where we’re standing now, I hope Johnny will be happy playing elsewhere.

    8. MJ
      December 18th, 2009 | 4:36 pm

      @ YankCrank:
      What do you mean they valued him at $7M? I thought they had offered 2Y/$20M last weekend?

      I’d have just offered Damon arbitration and been willing to pay him $15M for one more season or gotten the draft picks. As it is, it looks as though Damon would’ve declined given that he wants at least a two year deal…

    9. Corey
      December 18th, 2009 | 4:41 pm

      MJ wrote:

      I’d have just offered Damon arbitration and been willing to pay him $15M for one more season or gotten the draft picks. As it is, it looks as though Damon would’ve declined given that he wants at least a two year deal…

      agreed:
      http://waswatching.com/2009/12/01/old-reliable-passes/#comment-245503

    10. YankCrank
      December 18th, 2009 | 5:06 pm

      @ MJ:

      I’m just going by what Ken Davidoff tweeted.

    11. butchie22
      December 18th, 2009 | 5:59 pm

      Raf wrote:

      butchie22 wrote:
      It isn’t a load of hooey ,bit your bloody tongue,mate! When the No Star was pitching for crowds of 3000 and then pitches for a team that was selling out and had full capacity crowds ,that’s a game changer.
      No, it isn’t. So what happened in 2004? Did he start sucking because he realized that he was pitching for the Yankees? Were the crowds smaller in the first 1/2? Were they selling less tickets? C’mon…
      Montreal didn’t even have a rdio contract near the end!
      What does that have to do with anything? The issue with tv/radio contracts is Loria dropping the ball.
      He goes from one or two nespapers to a gazillion reporters asking him tough questions all the time.
      Do you honestly believe that? Have you ever seen how these post game press conferences go? You don’t think Chicago’s not a major media market? That’s news to the people of Chicago…
      That’s a major difference…ask the legion of players who don’t make it here about how different NYC is as a market.
      Jeff Weaver failed in Seattle. Is it because he couldn’t handle the pressure of playing for the M’s? He couldn’t handle the pressure of playing in SoCal? He got shelled pitching there too.
      You assertion of the mystical is absolutley absurd. Baseball is a very mental game, the game changes when you actually have heaps of pressure as opposed to being coddled by the crowd , media etc so on…
      No, not quite, there are years and years of evidence to the contrary. Matter of fact, if that were the case, Kei Igawa would be a superstar given how rabid the Hanshin Tigers fanbase.

      The bottom line reagrding The NO STAR is that he couldn’t hack it here, you can’t explain it away with stats or anything tangibl, HE WAS A MESS IN THE SECOND HALF OF 2004! Do you remember how ‘great” JV was in game 7 of 2004? Absolutley shitastic! as a Yankee fan I bet you are effing proud of his steelar performance in that game,correct? Weaver? You are making me laugh now…I might spit out my coffee. Weaver couldn’t hack it here either,mate! He screwed up here because he has no pressure in Tigerville and came here and couldn’t hack it. I remeber one game that was televised on 9 and the crowd let him have it and he looked like his entire family just died! BTW.Seattle is down the road mate, he went to LA after the Yankees. Perhaps by the time he reached seattle his stuff diminished AND his psyche wasn’t right. But I’ll say this about weaver, he has a ring,though! He got one in the town where ballplayers love to play ,St Louis. when Tino first went there they were patient with him, even though he followed Steroid Brain McGuire. In Yankee Stadium, he was treated like an enemy player by many obnoxious Yankee fans!

      Igawa?HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAAH! That was a horrific example, he pitched in another bloody country,mate! Different league, different country, different traditions etc so on.The Japanese are so respectful and polite in the stands. The press doesn’t go for the jugular like they do in NYC. Not only did his stuff now translate , did you see his awkward body language on the mound. The guy looked perplexed to be here!

      Raf, keep on deluding yourself about how players are stats first THEN human beings second. To actually deny that fact is sheer insanity. And if you think anyone can pitch or play here bring headcases like Greinke, Milton Bradley OR Khalil Greene here …that would be rich! Even Cash Man admitted that there is a consideration on whether or not a player can play here in NY with the Yankees. It’s not a no pressure atmosphere like KC or Shittsburgh is , it’s a tough place to play. How did the obnoxious and animalistic Yankee fans treat Afraud for how many years? They booed at him, criticized him…do you think that helped his psyche? Rudy Giuliani had to come out and defend this effing guy for chrissakes from all the rubes that were savaging him almost every time he came up. Oh, but I forgot Arod is a stat off of Fangraphs not a person…..I say that with much too much sarcasm ,mate.

    12. butchie22
      December 18th, 2009 | 6:01 pm

      YankCrank wrote:

      According to Ken Davidoff, looks like Johnny and Boras lowered their demands to a two-year contract but refused to take a paycut from $13 a season. Yanks valued him at $7 million a season.
      I really think Johnny/Boras messed up big time here. Every free agent has the right to look for as much money as they feel they deserve, but in this market Johnny is going to have to take a paycut to play anywhere…and he should have taken a paycut to play for the Yankees.
      Then again, if some team pays him upwards of $13 million for multiple years i’ll gladly eat my words. But where we’re standing now, I hope Johnny will be happy playing elsewhere.

      \

      Crank, he wants two years for 22 mill. Yanks want to pay him 2 for 14 mill? Where do you guys think he ends up? The SF Giants? Just a hunch…………

    13. GDH
      December 18th, 2009 | 7:22 pm

      butchie22 wrote:

      It’s not a no pressure atmosphere like KC or Shittsburgh is

      Another instant classic. Thanks for that one butchie.

      I don’t see Damon in SF. Not for 2 years 22, although no pay cut would mean 2/26. Not in SF, that kind of money was already wisely spent on Barry Zito, and Edgar Renteria.

    14. Raf
      December 18th, 2009 | 7:52 pm

      butchie22 wrote:

      The bottom line reagrding The NO STAR is that he couldn’t hack it here, you can’t explain it away with stats or anything tangibl, HE WAS A MESS IN THE SECOND HALF OF 2004!

      Yes he was a mess in the second 1/2. THE STATS SHOW HE WAS A MESS. The stats also show that wasn’t the case the 1st 1/2 of the season. You never answered the question. Was he productive because pressure only applies to the 2nd 1/2 of the season? Better yet, does the “Z0MG PR3zzUR3” apply since the Red Sox didn’t see 1st place after June?

      Do you remember how ‘great” JV was in game 7 of 2004? Absolutley shitastic! as a Yankee fan I bet you are effing proud of his steelar performance in that game,correct?

      Not proud of his performance, not simple enough to have a couple of games OVERRIDE A 12 YEAR CAREER

      Weaver? You are making me laugh now…I might spit out my coffee. Weaver couldn’t hack it here either,mate! He screwed up here because he has no pressure in Tigerville and came here and couldn’t hack it.

      So how do you explain the bad years he had with other teams? He couldn’t handle the pressure in St Louis, Seattle or Anaheim?

      I remeber one game that was televised on 9 and the crowd let him have it and he looked like his entire family just died!

      You can’t be serious…

      BTW.Seattle is down the road mate, he went to LA after the Yankees. Perhaps by the time he reached seattle his stuff diminished AND his psyche wasn’t right.

      Weaver was lit up in LA as well. Guess he couldn’t handle the pressure and sunshine in California.

      But I’ll say this about weaver, he has a ring,though! He got one in the town where ballplayers love to play ,St Louis.

      Oh yeah, he sucked as a Cardinal too. 5.18 ERA woo-hoo! I think the pressure got to him out there too…

      Igawa?HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAAH! That was a horrific example, he pitched in another bloody country,mate! Different league, different country, different traditions etc so on.The Japanese are so respectful and polite in the stands.

      Obviously you are unfamiliar with the Hanshin Tigers and their fans.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNizL09ypzQ

      Not only did his stuff now translate , did you see his awkward body language on the mound. The guy looked perplexed to be here!

      Kinda like here?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GW0YtOxxmXk

      That’s in JAPAN, by the way

      Raf, keep on deluding yourself about how players are stats first THEN human beings second. To actually deny that fact is sheer insanity. And if you think anyone can pitch or play here bring headcases like Greinke, Milton Bradley OR Khalil Greene here …that would be rich!

      *facepalm*

      Even Cash Man admitted that there is a consideration on whether or not a player can play here in NY with the Yankees. It’s not a no pressure atmosphere like KC or Shittsburgh is , it’s a tough place to play.

      Doesn’t make Cashman correct, and players have sucked in KC and Shittsburgh. Guess players couldn’t handle the media pressure there either?

      How did the obnoxious and animalistic Yankee fans treat Afraud for how many years? They booed at him, criticized him…do you think that helped his psyche? Rudy Giuliani had to come out and defend this effing guy for chrissakes from all the rubes that were savaging him almost every time he came up. Oh, but I forgot Arod is a stat off of Fangraphs not a person…..

      Since you brought up Fangraphs

      WAR – Wins Above Replacement

      Alex Rodriguez
      09: 4.4
      08: 6
      07: 9.6
      06: 4.6
      05: 9.4
      04: 6.7
      03: 9
      02: 9.8

      Seems a clear pattern to me, Rodriguez can’t handle pressure in even numbered years…

      I say that with much too much sarcasm ,mate.

      No problem, doesn’t make you any less correct. I’ve already shown my work, let’s see yours…

    15. Raf
      December 18th, 2009 | 7:54 pm

      If Damon doesn’t sign with NY, Atlanta should be his next option.

    16. YankCrank
      December 18th, 2009 | 8:10 pm

      If The Sox deal Ellsbury in a package for another player it’ll always free up left field in Fenway

    17. YankCrank
      December 18th, 2009 | 10:04 pm

      Kepner just tweeted that late Thursday night Damon went to the Yanks and said he’d do 2 years $20 million but by then, Yanks had already agreed with Nick Johnson.

      I don’t know the validity to what these NY sportswriters are saying, but if Johnny came back to the Yanks at their terms last minute, why not sign him anyway?

      I know I spent most of the day arguing against signing Damon, but that’s only at his demand for 3 years and $13 mil per year. But if that report is true and he came all the way down to the Yanks terms, I wish they would have brought him back.

      Too bad.

    18. December 18th, 2009 | 10:11 pm

      @ YankCrank:

      Wasn’t the Yankees’ terms around $7 million per year?

      http://twitter.com/KenDavidoff/statuses/6806669427

    19. BOHAN
      December 19th, 2009 | 8:40 am

      MJ wrote:

      BOHAN wrote:
      cause jazy vasquez worked out in new york once already right????
      198 IP, 92 ERA+, 6.8 K/9, 1.28 WHIP. We’d be talking about a #3 starter, not the #1/#2 he was supposed to be in 2004. Different set of expectations altogether.
      If we suspend disbelief for a moment (since it’s doubtful that such a trade would ever occur), the Yanks picking up the remaining $11.5M on Vazquez’s contract to get a pitcher that is better than what he showed in 2004 would clearly be worthwhile. The Red Sox are paying Lackey $17M to be their #3 starter. We’d be paying $5.5M less with a reasonable expectation of fairly similar results.
      You may not like Vazquez and you may be one of those guys that buys the BS that he can’t pitch in New York but you can’t make a credible argument that a minimum of 200 league-average innings would be a bad thing for the Yanks to add to their rotation on a one-year basis.

      im not sayin he cant pitch in NYC im saying he cant pitch in the AL. his ERA in 4 yrs in the AL are 4.91 w/ NY and 4.84 3.74 4.67 with chicago. so its not just ny its the AL. its much easier to pitch the NL then it the AL so him coming back here just isnt a good diea.

    20. BOHAN
      December 19th, 2009 | 9:12 am

      butchie22 wrote:

      Raf wrote:
      butchie22 wrote:
      when Tino first went there they were patient with him, even though he followed Steroid Brain McGuire. In Yankee Stadium, he was treated like an enemy player by many obnoxious Yankee fans!

      when tino first got here he was booed a bit but it was because he wasnt producing one bit. once he started porducing he became loved and when he came back here when he was with stl he got a standing ovation. dude was loved here, he was actually my favorite player, and he will forever be loved here.

    21. MJ
      December 19th, 2009 | 3:00 pm

      BOHAN wrote:

      im not sayin he cant pitch in NYC im saying he cant pitch in the AL. his ERA in 4 yrs in the AL are 4.91 w/ NY and 4.84 3.74 4.67 with chicago. so its not just ny its the AL. its much easier to pitch the NL then it the AL so him coming back here just isnt a good diea.

      Each of those ERA’s was league average:

      2004 ERA+: 92
      2008 ERA+: 98
      2007 ERA+: 126
      2008 ERA+: 98

      That’s league average. No one’s arguing that the NL isn’t easier but if you re-read my comments the fact remains that 200 innings of league-average performance for $11.5M would be a very good investment.

    22. Evan3457
      December 19th, 2009 | 4:28 pm

      To repeat what I said in the prior thread:

      Nick Johnson doesn’t suck. He can hit some. He’ll do OK, if he can stay healthy.

      He’s a decent puzzle piece, but, except for salary, I don’t see how he fits into the Yankee puzzle better than Damon. He’s slow for a #2 man, although he’ll certainly be on base a lot. He’ll also set up a lot of RBI and GIDP for Tex and A-Rod.

      I could see batting him #5 or 6 against righties, and hoping he can take advantage of the short alley in right and right-center as Damon used to. His power’s a little short for #5.

      See what I mean? He’s a good piece, but he doesn’t…quite…fit.

      I don’t think I understand this signing. Certainty? Cost? I dunno.

    23. Evan3457
      December 19th, 2009 | 4:31 pm

      Not that I want to pay Damon more than $7-8 million for 1 year, with an option for another, and a small buyout for declining the option. That seems reasonable to me.

      Then, we can do Steve a favor…make the outfield Damon/Granderson/Melky/Gardner/Hoffman-Whosis, and trade Swisher for another good part or a prospect or two…Texas might need an outfielder, but probably not…the Royals in a deal for Gil Meche, if he’s healthy?

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