Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Curtis Granderson Blockbuster Fallout: Will the Yankees Re-Sign Johnny Damon?

How does the Yankees acquisition of Curtis Granderson effect Johnny Damon's status with the Yankees?

On many levels, the Granderson acquisition has little to do with whether or not the Yankees actually decide to bring back Damon. Granderson brings with him a great deal of versatility as he can hit at the top of the order or in the middle of the lineup. If I'm Joe Girardi, I'd feel very good about hitting Granderson behind Alex Rodriguez against right handed pitchers.

So if the Yankees still want to bring Damon back, they can. Damon is still the perfect #2 hitter for the Yankees given his speed, ability to get on base, knack for scoring runs, and power at the new Yankee Stadium. Someone tell me how this lineup is not the true "murderers row and Cano"

1. Jeter
2. Damon
3. Teixeira
4. Rodriguez
5. Granderson
6. Posada
7. Cano
8. Swisher
9. Melky/Gardner/etc.

This deal gives the Yankees the ability to use Damon as their primary designated hitter and the freedom to plug Melky or Gardner in at left field. Given how much Damon has struggled throwing the ball, that's a definite plus.

The Granderson deal does however change the Yankees' sense of urgency when dealing with Damon. They can now afford to hold tight on their position with Damon and give him a contract that does not exceed a year or two. This mitigates the risk that Yankees will get burned on the back end of this deal like they have before when signing older players.

In the end, if Damon signs with the Yankees, their is no reason to think that this team won't be the favorite in the AL. However, if Damon doesn't sign with the Yankees, I still think there is no reason to think that the Yankees won't be the favorites in the AL. On paper, they are that good.

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