Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated said that the Yankees still have room for another outfielder since Melky Cabrera was traded and would be willing to go as far as one-year and $6 million to get one. Heyman seems to think that if that’s the case, Johnny Damon‘s price could have dropped low enough that the two sides could potentially reach an agreement.
The Yankees never made Damon one offer until they were said to be “down the road” with Johnson. But it’s still remotely possible that they could have a chance for a do-over now that Melky Cabrera has been sent to Atlanta in the Javier Vazquez deal, a necessary and excellent trade. However, Yankees GM Brian Cashman, who casually threw out a figure of $14 million for two years after agent Scott Boras requested $20 million over two, is said to only want to do a one-year deal at this point and is believed to want to spend no more than $6 million. If they could stretch a bit, they might be able to resurrect the lineup top (1 through 4) that was one of the best things about the world champions. But if not, Damon could have a chance with the Giants, Mariners, Braves or Angels.
If Heyman is correct in assuming that Cashman is willing to offer Damon a one-year $6 million contract it does seem possible that the two sides could reach an agreement, but it does go directly against what Cash said this morning, that the Yankees are set with Brett Gardner in left. Although, as I pointed out earlier, the last time the Yankees signed Damon it was right after Cash said the Yankees would use Bubba Crosby in center.
It does seem like Cashman made the Gardner statement in part to get Damon to panic. If he really does want to stay with the Yankees and hears, and more importantly believes, that the Yankees are willing to use Gardner then he might buckle and accept a one-year deal. Then the Yankees would get what they were after all along, one more year of Damon on their terms.
So what do you think? Is Cashman in ninja-mode or is Heyman just dreaming?