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Report: Yankees sign Johnson to DH

Dec 17, 2009, 7:32 PM EDT

According to Newsday’s Ken Davidoff, free agent Nick Johnson will return to where he began his career and sign a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Yankees.
It seems like quite a bargain, though Johnson isn’t necessarily any better of a bet for the Yankees than Hideki Matsui would have been. Johnson can still play the field pretty well, but the Yankees won’t need him there and will make him a full-time DH instead. The signing goes against the reasoning used against re-signing Matsui: the Yankees wanted to go with a revolving door at DH to give their older regulars more time off. However, Johnson will do some sitting against left-handers and he’s likely to miss some time over the course of the year.
For fantasy purposes, Johnson just went from fringe property to potential stud. The Yankees wanted him largely because of his annual .400 OBP, but he could also be good for 20 homers with the short porch in right field in Yankee Stadium and he’s a significantly better bet to stay healthy as a DH. If the Yankees fail to re-sign Johnny Damon, Johnson would be a better option in the two-hole in the lineup than fellow newcomer Curtis Granderson. No, he doesn’t have much speed, but the Yankees don’t need their No. 2 hitter stealing bases with Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez up anyway.

  1. Jonny5 - Dec 18, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    “Uh no, not at 3+ years and $13M per year. If you look at a group of Damon/Matsui/Melky compared to this new group of Granderson/Johnson/Melky, they got better defensively, the offense is a wash, and they saved money.”
    They did not save money. “Godzilla” was free!!! Hey Craig posted this here before, lemme see………. Ok here it is….
    http://bases.nbcsports.com/2009/11/of-course-the-yankees-are-going-to-re-sign-hideki-matsui-he-pays-for-himself.html.php

  2. Markfd - Dec 18, 2009 at 10:32 AM

    Welcome home Nicky J! This is a great deal, the #2 spot in the lineup is key and with Nick on base, albeit he is slow as molasses, the Yanks are well on their way to #28!!!

  3. Deese Knutts - Dec 18, 2009 at 11:01 AM

    Yankees? C’mon! Why don’t you drop the silliness, grow up, and realize the problem with baseball isn’t the Yankees- it’s the owners who are making money hand over fist, but find that actually returning some of that cash into the organization lowers their profit margins, so it’s easier to just blame the Yankees for their inability to compete rather than explain why they’re not doing everything they possibly can to make the product- that average fans are giving their hard-earned money for- the best that it can be. They love that people like you are actually buying their cries of poverty and are laughing at you from the decks of their yachts.

  4. Dr. Phil - Dec 18, 2009 at 11:01 AM

    You are babbling. Get help.

  5. mick-7-1961 - Dec 18, 2009 at 11:23 AM

    Good to see Nick back. His on-base percentage (especially w/the amount of walks he draws) will create havoc for the opposition.

  6. Ladyfan - Dec 18, 2009 at 11:45 AM

    Wow, this is my entertainment for the day! nothing like reading a blog that has nothing at all to do with anyone but the Yankees, and watching you “great” Yankee fans tear each other up. Yankees c’mon, you want a little cheese with that whine? Church of the Perpetually Outrages, I’m nervous because you actually made sense to me today. Dr. Phil, you have a condescension problem . . . get help.

  7. YANKEES1996 - Dec 18, 2009 at 11:51 AM

    I’m glad to have Nick Johnson back on the team but I think it was a mistake to sign a player who is going to primarily fill the DH role. If that was the plan I would have rather seen them pay the 5.5 million to GODZILLA. We don’t have a shortage of players to rotate through the DH spot.

  8. mick-7-1961 - Dec 18, 2009 at 11:57 AM

    I realize it’s frustrating, Ladyfan…I mean, 27 World Championships…all that glory. We do tend to ramble and complain a bit, but hey, that’s what championship fans sometimes do.

  9. Eat a Peach - Dec 18, 2009 at 11:57 AM

    Look at it this way – they lost some power, and 1/2 million, but they gained 2 knees in the deal. Godzilla appears to be aging in dog-years at the moment.

  10. Roley - Dec 18, 2009 at 12:19 PM

    i don’t remember a it’s not fair clause in life…get over it, if you don’t like it watch another sport…but wait, Baseball actually has the most competitive balance…in the last 10 years…the yanks and red sox have combined for 4 titles….in football the last ten years Pats & Steelers have combined for 5 championships..in the NBA the Lackers & Spurs have won 7 of 10 championships…in 62 years the Celtics & Lakers have combined for 31 of 62 Total Championships…Looks like if you want competitive balance you are going to have to stick with Baseball…

  11. NYguy - Dec 18, 2009 at 12:30 PM

    “Wow, this is my entertainment for the day! nothing like reading a blog that has nothing at all to do with anyone but the Yankees, and watching you “great” Yankee fans tear each other up. Yankees c’mon, you want a little cheese with that whine? Church of the Perpetually Outrages, I’m nervous because you actually made sense to me today. Dr. Phil, you have a condescension problem . . . get help.”
    You may be a fan, but you are no lady.

  12. Mark - Dec 18, 2009 at 12:38 PM

    I liked Johnson when he was with the Nationals but man, he got hurt if someone looked at him funny. Rays of light, a light breeze, stepping on uneven ground…anything seemed to take Nick out of the game. Perhaps DHing him will help but it strikes me as quite a gamble. Given his last couple of years in DC, I would think maybe a half million would be a more realistic offer for this year, boosting it to a couple mil next year if he actually plays out the season and his OBP doesn’t suffer. Good luck!

  13. TigerS Boy ToY - Dec 18, 2009 at 12:38 PM

    You left out a little piece of info, who is your team, don’t be ashame, be brave AND ADMIT WHO YOUR LOSER TEAM IS……….
    Your post is RIDICULOUS at best and does not even warrant a reply
    but I will, I’am a BORN AND RAISED NEW YORKER WHO IS PROUD YANKEES FAN, SHOULD I BE A PITTSBURG PIRATE FAN OR A WASHINGTON NATIONAL FAN, NOT ON YOUR LIFE.MAN UP AND ROOT FOR A GOOD TEAM…….
    I GAVE UP ON THE KNICKS, JETS AND METS AND I SHOULD FOR SOME CRAZY REASON APOLOGIZE BECAUSE THE YANKEES ARE WINNERS…….DUDE, GET REAL.
    MERRY X-MAS TO ALL YANKEES FANS

  14. TigerS Boy ToY - Dec 18, 2009 at 12:43 PM

    AS YOGI WOULD SAY THE YANKEES PAY CASH, WHICH
    IS JUST AS GOOD AS MONEY ……………
    WHAT DOES YOUR TEAM PAY IT’S PLAYERS, JELLY BEANS OR LEMON HEADS ?
    MAN GO JUMP ROPE, THIS IS BASEBALL………..

  15. bill - Dec 18, 2009 at 12:47 PM

    what bad y7ears would that be. They were in the playoffs every year he was there.

  16. TigerS Boy ToY - Dec 18, 2009 at 12:50 PM

    HE WILL TIE UP THE DH SPOT WHICH GIRADI WANTS TO ROTATE THE OLDER GUYS INTO EVERY SO OFTEN, GODZILLA CAN’T FIELD OR CASH DOESN’T THINK SO. THEY HAVE FOUR OUTFIELDERS WITH SPEED AND THEY CAN COVER ALL THE GROUND AND SWISH CAN PLAY FIRST TOO, TEX CAN DH OR JETES OR A-ROD, SO MANY MORE POSSIBILITIES AND JOHNNY DAMON MAY HAVE PRICED HIMSELF OUT OF NEW YORK, HE GOT INJURED IN GAME SIX, BAD WHEELS LIKE GODZILLA.TOO MUCH SCOTT BORAS KOOL AID, TOO BAD.

  17. TigerS Boy ToY - Dec 18, 2009 at 12:52 PM

    I DIDN’T GET THAT EITHER

  18. Joebob - Dec 18, 2009 at 12:54 PM

    what planet are you from?
    you are whining about the weak pitching staff that just dominated the regular season and won the WS…
    they are currently a stronger team than they were just 2 months ago…

  19. Ladyfan - Dec 18, 2009 at 1:08 PM

    LOL! oh not at ALL frustrating Mick . . .you guys go for it . . . it’s fun to read! I’m sure if the Red Sox had done something important enough to blog about, we Sox fans would be in there duking it out, much to YOUR amusement!
    NYguy, no offense taken, considering the source. We have the class, you have the crass.
    It’s all in fun, and it gives us something to do in between baseball seasons. Once the season starts, all bets are off and nothing we had to say matters . . . .hmmm . . come to think of it, nothing we have to say matters now, either, it’s not our call. Don’t we wish it was! now THAT would be awesome!

  20. Dr. Phil - Dec 18, 2009 at 1:16 PM

    Thanks for the laugh! I almost lost my hot sauce! I will go ahead and send you a bill for our session.

  21. mick-7-1961 - Dec 18, 2009 at 1:23 PM

    I live in the Pacific NW, ladyfan and have been a fan of Jason Bay’s since he played for or Zags at Gonzaga…what’s the talk around Boston of losing Bay?

  22. LAYERCAKE - Dec 18, 2009 at 1:57 PM

    Much to dissect//discuss…
    I don’t care to comment too much, aside from adding two more cents, w. respect to the opinion[s] that the NYY did indeed, improve their club, tho I hate to see Coke go… & Yes, I do believe the Yankees must add more who pitch. As it relates to both relief, & those who start, the system is a fine source, as Coke/Hughes/Chamberlian can attest to, nevermind others such as Mark Melencon [sp?] & others I suspect…
    I’m dying to kno, thoughts about Aroldis Chapman? I’m as absolutely positive as a plain schmuck can be that he is prime time… & Yes, references to Contreras are noted, tho my preference is to name one man w. the 1st name Orlando…
    The NYY must sign A. Chapman, w. an eye on a mid-season debut. Any thoughts on this action?, information on status??

  23. LayerCake - Dec 18, 2009 at 2:09 PM

    Mick, nice wk. breaking out Gonzaga Zags!
    As it appears above, via my prayers pertaining to Chapman, I am a fan of the NYY, tho that being said, let me add that I believe Bay is way overrated, too expensive, & altho Jason gave the Sox a nice return on the clown that preceded him, I suspect Bay is en route to the Mets, & if that happens, I’d be counting my lucky stars as a Sox fan, as I am as a NYY fan, knowing that the organization chose to stay clear of JB.
    Note:
    J. Bay is a perfect fit for the Mets; just the type of imperfect free agent that team typically purchases… The Mets are fast getting to be a real joke, & a shame too, for their young core, & others such as Santana, Frankie, etc…
    Do the Sox have a OF in the system? Marlon Byrd acceptable? & if you seek sum hi-profile action, why not Holliday? tho he too, is overpriced & overrated, tho sumwhat less-so then Bay…

  24. mike - Dec 18, 2009 at 3:43 PM

    Nick Johnson too good for the Mets?? What is wrong with the Mets GM Omar???Delgado or Murphy are not answers for the Mets First baseman problems. Do the Mets really care about their fans? I guess not.

  25. geek - Dec 18, 2009 at 9:15 PM

    Nick Johnson made sense. No quite the great hitting specialist as Matsui, but more mobile, younger, healthier, less costly and a 1 year deal. His numbers are better than average and he fits into the DH nicely. Matsui was too much a luxury for a limited role and Scott Boris played the Dammon deal poorly and Dammon will sign with someone. Will it be a real contender or will he have as much fun, no.
    The Yankees are smart controlling their salary and yes (no pun) that does matter. Next years crop of fee agents is highly attractive and will be expensive ( Jetter and Mo included). The deals so far have been smart. I suspect the pitching risks will be addressed.

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