From Pete Caldera:
Out in the Bronx, there is no cause to add a slugging left fielder to the Yankees’ lineup.
“Our team is, for the most part, set,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday by phone from his office at Yankee Stadium……..
“We have a left fielder,” Cashman said, adding, “We do like Brett Gardner.”
“With the money we had to spend, we chose to spend it in those spots,” Cashman said. “We’re just playing with the bench right now.”
Still, the Yankees have room for another outfielder – preferably a right-handed bat; Cashman acknowledged that he’s searching for a right-handed hitter.
Cashman has mislead the fans about potential signings before (Johnny Damon’s 2005 dealings with the Yankees come to mind), but the combination of the Yankees stated budget and Cashman’s quotes suggests that Johnny Damon’s tenure in the Bronx is over. Scott Boras seems to agree, as Bryan Hoch provides the following soundbite:
And in the instance of Johnny Damon it was just a situation where, you know, for whatever reason he really wasn’t given an opportunity to return to the Yankees and, you know, he’ll have to just move forward.”
Taking all of this information together, it seems that the Yankees have moved on, and will target players such as Xavier Nady, Reed Johnson, Marcus Thames, Johnny Gomes, or Rocco Baldelli to spell Gardner in left field against tough lefties. This is an unfortunate conclusion to Johnny Damon’s tenure in pinstripes, one that could probably be avoided with a creative offer similar to the one Adrian Beltre garnered from the Red Sox. Alas, it appears that it is not to be, and JD will be manning the outfield for another club in 2010.
Photo Courtesy Of The Daily News