Results tagged ‘ Johnny Damon ’
Johnny Damon wants to be back in Yankees pinstripes this year. The Yankees? They’re not so gung-ho about the idea, apparently, tossing more attention in Raul Ibanez’s direction. Damon tells CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman that he can’t figure out why.
“I think it’s a perfect fit,” Damon said of the Yankees by phone. “But for some reason you have the year I had, especially with a team that has trouble scoring, and you can’t even get a call to continue playing.”
Damon has yet to receive an offer from any club. The Yankees do want a left-handed bat to help out in the DH role, but they’re thought to be waiting to see how A.J. Burnett’s situation will be resolved before further pursuing anything. They’ve also been reported to only be looking in the $1-2 million range for that vacancy.
As for the Burnett discussions, everything we’ve heard to this point is that there’s optimism a deal can be completed with the Pirates before the end of the weekend. That continues to be the case.
In a conference call with reporters discussing the Michael Pineda trade on Monday, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that he’d be more inclined to trade from his pitching depth to acquire a designated hitter than to sign one on the open free agent market.
When the Yankees officially announce the signing of right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, they’ll have seven starters vying for five spots. CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Pineda, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett and Freddy Garcia are also in that mix.
“Maybe I use our excess pitching to find a bat,” Cashman said. “That’s a possibility. … We stretched the payroll to get [Kuroda] done, so I’m not sure what we have financially. I think we’ll look at the trade market first and foremost and see where that takes us.”
Among the DH options out there, the Yankees have reportedly heard from Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Vladimir Guerrero and Raul Ibanez, but are not thought to consider any of them an urgent priority.
“I think [the free agent market] would be secondary,” Cashman said. “Not that any of those players aren’t quality, but I do think it’s probably in our interest to first and foremost see what’s available in the trade market, because we have excess starter. There should be a demand and an interest at the various levels in our starting pitching that might prove beneficial.”
If the season started today, the Yankees would likely go with Andruw Jones as their DH, though they are curious about Minor League slugger Jorge Vazquez.
The Yankees didn’t need any reminders of what Johnny Damon was capable of with a bat in his hands, but they got one anyway on Monday when he took Sergio Mitre out to right field in the fifth inning.
Johnny Damon stepped into the batter’s box at George M. Steinbrenner Field this afternoon in the first inning, preparing to hit against Damaso Marte, and heard a warm round of cheers coming from the stands.
He then stepped out of the box and tipped his batting helmet to the crowd, earning a standing ovation. Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez also clapped for Damon, who then squirted a single past Robinson Cano’s dive and received another round of applause.
The Yankees started Marte instead of Andy Pettitte because of the very real threat of rain heading this way. Instead of Max Scherzer, the Tigers gave the ball to Minor Leaguer Jon Kibler.
Curtis Granderson got to exchange hugs and pleasantries with his old Tigers teammates yesterday, and Johnny Damon quipped about his old Yankees buddies secretly missing him as New York and Detroit met for the first time this spring.
It was all feel-good in the sunshine, except for Joba Chamberlain, who may be slipping a touch in the race to be the Yankees’ No. 5 starter. Perhaps Chamberlain is still battling the after-effects of a nasty case of the flu, which he spoke about after the game, but in any event the numbers didn’t look pretty in our writeup:
Chamberlain’s Spring Training ERA sits at 27.00 after he gave up six
runs on five hits and three walks over 2 1/3 innings on Wednesday, but Hughes stepped in and allowed a solo home run among three hits, striking out two and walking none over 2 2/3 innings.
Just for comparison, the New York Post declared that Joba will be facing the biggest Spring Training game of his young career when he faces the Astros on Tuesday.
The positive spin from the Yankees’ perspective is that there is still time for Chamberlain, Hughes and even the other competitors to make their ultimate impression. Girardi said early in camp that he wanted to have a fifth starter picked out by about March 25 or so, making this the official two-week warning for the races.
- Love this quote from Granderson -”On my iPhone, one of my bookmarks is still the Tigers’ Web site. There’s no reason for me to delete it.” I need to ask him if he’s reading Yankees.com too.