Damon in New York? Only on Yanks’ terms

With the Curtis Granderson trade now complete, the Yankees have taken
away some of the urgency to force a deal to retain left fielder Johnny
Damon. General manager Brian Cashman might still take him back, viewing
him as a good fit to bat second again and bump Granderson down in the
lineup, but it would have to be on the Yankees’ financial terms.

Cashman
is more secure knowing he has an outfield with four players who can
potentially play all three positions, even though Nick Swisher is
really more of a corner outfielder. But while Scott Boras held court on
the second floor of the Marriott and talked up the virtues of having
Damon in the lineup to move Granderson – and his strikeouts – lower in
the order, Cashman sounded a lot like someone who wouldn’t overspend to
bring Damon back.

“We’re not a finished product,” Cashman
said. “We have areas of need. … I have a certain amount of dollars I
can spend and I’ve got to be careful how I do my next few moves here.
They could be none, they could be a few small ones, I don’t know yet.
We’ve done some heavy lifting so far.”

The Yankees still need a
designated hitter, but the market is ripe for picking one of those.
Cashman wouldn’t say it, but he could even potentially play Damon
against Hideki Matsui and offer a certain dollar amount to the first
person who wants to be back in the Bronx.

“You can turn left,
you can turn right, you can look up and down and you’ve got a DH
begging for a job,” Cashman said. “The DH market, you’ve got
opportunity there. You should be able to take advantage of that if
you’re a club.”

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