December 21, 2005

Johnny Be Good?

Posted in Baseball at 3:18 pm by antonello

Damon signed on up for the 4-year, $52 mil “deck of cards” deal, apparently very popular in this year’s Yankee front office (see Matsui, Hideki). I would have preferred a shorter deal at a higher yearly salary, a la Furcal. At the end of this contract, Damon will be 35, undoubtedly more useless in the field than he is now. That smacks me as familiar. But why?

Clearly Damon wasn’t going to for less than 4, though, and the Yankees did need a centerfielder. The first two years will be great – I see a drop-off in year 3, a millstone come year 4. So it goes. I am much more comfortable now that Bubba won’t be the first option. The first third of the lineup looks stronger, faster and more productive. (ed note: Damon will lead off, because he’s a “traditional” lead-off hitter, but when our untraditional lead-off hitter, Ole Boy Derek, has a .386 OBP, I’d go on unorthodox any day.)

Cliff Corcoran over at Bronx Banter makes a some pretty good points in favor of Johnny D – a potential power spike, pretty good defense (until last year), and taking him away from the Red Sox. As do Larry Mahken and SG at Replacement Level Yankees Weblog.
But Damon’ll have to do a bunch to wipe that grand slam he crushed off Javy Vazquez in Game 7, ’04.

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