- Back in pinstripes again
Many fans have expressed their displeasure over the Yanks decision to go with Nick Johnson and cut ties with Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui in recent days. Jason Rosenberg over at IATMS goes point by point expressing the reasons he doesn’t like the deal, so I thought it was a good opportunity to answer each one of his concerns directly.
Here’s his thoughts with my replies:
1-I thought that Cashman wanted a player who is capable of playing the OF to man the DH spot. Otherwise, just sign Matsui. Like the Angels smartly did.
Answer-Matsui can’t play the OF. The Yanks tried to work him out there over and over again for the past few seasons and every time they did, his knee blew up. Nick Johnson can at least play 1 defensive position, Matsui can play zero.
2-Did Cashman panic when Matsui signed?
Answer-No, I’m sure Brian had a Plan A (Damon) Plan B (Matsui) and Plan C (Johnson). He simply reached his Plan C when Hideki signed and he saw Damon’s contract expectations were unreasonable in his view.
3-Heck, why not look at Vlad Guerrero? Xavier Nady? Nady would have been a nice DH and possible platoon for Grandy if his lefty woes got worse, not better. And possibly cheaper than Nick.
Answer-Guerrero is physically spent and Nady is coming off (his 2nd) Tommy John surgery. Nick Johnson’s a far better option than Guerrero or Nady.
4-Is this Cashman just trying to exert his will upon Damon and prove to all that he’s not going to be pushed over only because he has the biggest wallet?
Answer-Lets not make this personal, it’s a business decision.
5-If we’re to believe the contract terms, wouldn’t it have made infinitely more sense to re-sign Matsui? The difference is reportedly “only” $1M. Mice nuts to the Yanks.
Answer-You have to establish that one player is far better at this point of their career for the 1mm difference to make “ infinitely more sense“. That hasn’t happened, and I could credibly argue that the opposite is true.
Answer-Jason’s reference is to a small sample size in the World Series, but over the course of his 7 year Yankee career, Matsui is a .312/.391/.541 (.933 OPS) in the post season in 56 games. So chalk up one for Jason. The stuff about handling the DH role I don’t put much stock in. If anything Johnson’s fielding has declined so much that most teams think he’s better off being a DH at this point in his career.
7-Matsui’s Japanese-related advertising draws pays for his contract twice over, and then some. It’s about the money, right?
Answer-Sorry, but I don’t believe those numbers. Especially coming from a Japanese newspaper where you figure the source was close to Matsui, who was obviously a FA and trying to justify a big contract. Previous estimates had the Yanks earning 2-3 mil per year from Matsui’s deal. To use your term, mice nuts to the Yanks.
8-I wonder what Damon and Boras must be wondering right about now, besides “Oh, #$%^&*“. Aside from claiming there’s a mystery team ready to sign Damon to the same over-the-top contract that Bay’s “reportedly” about to receive. But Damon is apparently living well on Planet Boras.
Answer-There were reports that Johnny lost a lot of money in some Bank scam when the financial markets crashed, and he was even quoted as saying “I cant withdraw my money” at one point. So I don’t blame him for taking whatever he can get. Its likely his last deal, and he has an (allegedly) ex-stripper wife to keep in Armani G-strings.
9-I think Boras/Damon overplayed their hand. Though, there might be some goofy GM who thinks Damon is worth 3-4 years at $12-13 million per.
Answer-Damon won’t be the first client Scott Boras steers to a bad team for $, and won’t be the last.
10-Does the lower contractual amount free up more money to sign a guy like Sheets, as I have been lobbying for?
Answer-I think so, everyone from Girardi to Hal to Cash made it clear at the Curtis Granderson press conference that they’re in the market for another starting pitcher. We just have to see if Sheet’s demands are as crazy as Johnny’s were, which so far they are.
BTW-Make sure to check out Jason’s response below, he wanted to put his comments in proper context.