Via Buster Olney (ESPN), we learn that in “the early conversations between the Yankees and Johnny Damon’s side, there appears to be a very wide gulf between what the team is willing to pay and what Damon expects to get paid in this winter’s market.” In fact, Jon Heyman (SI) tweets that the Yankees and Damon are $34M apart, as the Yankees are only offering $18 over two years while Damon wants $52M over four ($13M per). Clearly, the two parties view the market from differing perspectives (the Yankees’ view is more realistic). Perhaps the Yankees would be best served waiting until January to get a deal done. Then again, they may not be able to prolong the patient approach for such an extended period, as there are other priorities on Brian Cashman’s ledger.
One of those priorities is finding a DH. According to Mark Feinsand of the Daily News, “if Damon is unwilling to take a two-year contract in the next two weeks or so, a source said the Yankees would likely turn their attention to Hideki Matsui, who is willing to accept a one-year deal to return to the Bronx.” If you’re the Yankees and you can have Matsui back for one-year, whether or not Damon wants to come back, you do that deal.