George A. King III of the NY Post is reporting that the Yankees and Nick Johnson are “moving toward a one-year deal for the left-handed hitter.” Other sources are concurring with these reports, so it looks like Johnson will very likely be the new DH for the oncoming season, effectively ending Johnny Damon‘s time in New York.
I personally had been encouraging the idea of Nick the Stick coming back to New York for a while, and I’m very glad that this is happening. Not only would Johnson be cheaper than Damon, but he is younger, and has the potential for greater offensive output.
Last year, after coming back from a serious injury, Johnson put up a .831 OPS. Last year, while playing in Yankee Stadium, Damon had a .854 OPS. There are several reasons that would suggest that Johnson would outperform Damon.
1) He will be a lefty in Yankee Stadium.
2) He missed most of 2008 with a torn ligament in his wrist. He dropped down to only 8 home runs last year, likely due to this. With him being another year stronger can only help him. Any lingering effects from this injury are likely gone. Don’t be surprised to see his power soar.
4) According to Wikipedia, his walk-up music is Taylor Swift. He must be pretty badass to do that.
So, if the Yankees reached a deal with Johnson that was worth 1-year and $6.5 million dollars, how would you feel?