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Yankees more likely to re-sign Damon than Matsui

Nov 20, 2009, 3:31 PM EDT

Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News has an update on the Yankees’ odds of re-signing Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui:

Multiple sources have indicated that the Yankees would like to bring Johnny Damon back on a two-year deal, but Hideki Matsui’s time in pinstripes is likely over as they would prefer to keep the DH slot open for Damon, Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada.

Should Damon bolt for a new team, however, Matsui could be brought back on a short-term deal to remain the Bombers’ DH, since Cashman has made it clear he no longer considers the World Series MVP to be an outfielder, even on a part-time basis.

Last week Scott Boras suggested that Damon is looking for a four-year deal, but like many things said by the hyperbole-fueled agent that has zero chance of happening. Damon hasn’t lost anything offensively and has played at least 140 games in 14 straight seasons, but he turned 36 years old earlier this month and has seen his range in the outfield diminish significantly to go along with his always horrendous throwing arm.
With that said, Feinsand speculates that the Yankees are unlikely to jump heavily into the mix for Matt Holliday or Jason Bay, and Damon is one of the best options among the second-tier outfielders in a weak crop of free agents. If not him and not Matsui, then the Yankees would be left to choose from other aging veterans like Vladimir Guerrero and Jermaine Dye. A two-year deal seems like a worthwhile fit for both sides.

  1. Brian - Nov 20, 2009 at 5:21 PM

    Seems foolish to me. Why re-sign Damon over Matsui? Matsui is the World Series MVP. He drove in six of their seven runs in the final game. Damon has no arm. Just let Matsui play the outfield if A-Rod needs to DH a day here and there. Posada can take a day off if he needs the rest. I can see it now. Just like with Abreu they’ll disrespect Matsui and he’ll go to another team and be great. As an Angel fan I’m glad they let Abreu go. Maybe we can get Matsui too.

  2. Jack L. - Nov 20, 2009 at 6:14 PM

    To my mind Matsui is the more valuable option. Girardi was correct when he said during the post WS interview that had Matsui played the full 2009 sched. he would have hit 30 homers and had 130 RBI’s. The choice is Damon’s weak arm or Matsui’s bad knees. The Yankees have Nady coming back to play OF. Then there’s Austin Jackson who hit .310 in AAA last season.

  3. Sarathy - Nov 20, 2009 at 6:27 PM

    If the Yankees did sign Damon, boy, would the market for Holliday and Bay plummet!

  4. Old Gator - Nov 20, 2009 at 11:15 PM

    Damon ought to go somehwere where they’ll let him grow his beard back, and Godzilla ought to stay in the Bronx. Damon’s legs look like they’re on the verge of becoming just as precarious as Matsui’s and, given that febrile tentacle that passes for a throwing arm on Damon, if he blew out his hamstring or a patellar tendon he’d be about as useful to the Borg out there as Stephen Hawking. Let’s face it, the question is who would you want as your DH given a choice between these two gimpy former outfielders? This should be a no-brainer for the Borg.

  5. jeff - Nov 20, 2009 at 11:23 PM

    Seriously – Matsui has knees worse than Dan Marino. Why not just leave that spot in the field open?

  6. scooter 2 - Nov 21, 2009 at 12:29 AM

    baseball is a truly thankless job.
    i started to feel that when boomer got the heave-ho after that perfect game.
    is matsui does not return, the sparkling entertainment aspect
    as well as his fantastic clutch bat goes out the window.
    bring that lovely man back!

  7. Mark - Nov 21, 2009 at 6:35 AM

    I don’t see why Matsui is more likely to be brought back if Damon bolts. If Damon leaves, the Yanks would still need to obtain another left fielder. And if they get Bay or Holliday, the argument for letting Matsui go still stands.
    That being said, Matsui is clutch. You have to go beyond his usual stats to measure his value. His numbers at Fenway, and against the Red Sox in general, are much higher than his average. And in pennant race or playoff situations, he always gives a good at-bat. You won’t see him swing at wild pitches like Ryan Howard did in the Series. I say sign him.

  8. SUE - Nov 21, 2009 at 6:46 PM


  9. nate - Nov 21, 2009 at 8:07 PM

    Obviously Abreu wasn’t a champion, as far as matsui goes thanks for the years!! We’ll take Vlad or resign Damon.

  10. joey netter - Nov 22, 2009 at 3:38 AM

    i totally agree matsui is the choice. the bat wins games and pound for pound in the clutch iit is a no brainer choice. i say grab bay right away..

  11. MS.DIVA - Nov 23, 2009 at 11:56 AM

    I hate that it has to come to that because MATUSI,Damon are good players both played good at the series.Too bad they couldn’t get rid of A-Rod.I wish they could keep both players especially Matusi since he was MVP.Johnny Damon didn’t play as much Matusi got the players to make base he even brought home runs so they shouldn’t turn they back on Matusi.

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