After the Yankees signed outfielder Randy Winn, effectively cutting ties with Johnny Damon for good, I put a poll up on the site asking our readers if they thought the Yankees would live to regret that decision.
With 287 entries it was our most successful poll to date and it was a very interesting one at that. The first 100 or so votes were nearly split down the middle, in fact it was exactly 51-49 at one point.
After the dust began to settle though and fans got some time to think about it the group thinking that the Yankees wouldn’t regret the move started pulling away. The final tally was 151, 52.6 percent, of voters think the Yankees will not regret the move. 136, 47.4 percent, think the Yankees will regret their choice.
It’s likely that everyone is pulling for the majority, even those who voted against them. While not everyone has complete faith in the the new guys, everyone will be pulling for them to turn out to be valuable replacements.
Myself, I voted for the option that the Yankees will not regret the move. While they ultimately failed in bringing Damon back, a fact I’m not very happy about, I think Cashman did a good job setting up the roster for 2010.
Along with Damon’s departure was the exit of Hideki Matsui. The two were a big part of the lineup last year, but at their age, both will be 36 by June, it wasn’t a safe bet to keep them.
Instead the Yankees got younger and replaced Damon with the 29-year-old Curtis Granderson. Granderson is not only younger, but at this point in their careers he’s also faster and a better defender than Damon. He might not quite hit for the same average as Damon, but he will come close and duplicate his power numbers.
Nick Johnson is essentially replacing Matsui, although he’ll likely be taking Damon’s spot in the lineup. Johnson has been known for two things in his career – getting on base and being injured. The Yankees are hoping that as a DH, he’s typically a first baseman, he’ll be able to maintain his health. That’s certainly no guarantee, but at 31 he’s a much safer bet than Matsui who’s missed over 200 games during his recent contract with bad knees that have never fully recovered.
Not bad replacements, but Cashman didn’t stop there. He also traded Melky Cabrera for pitcher Javier Vazquez. This is where Winn and Brett Gardner come in. They are essentially taking Melky’s place in the 9-spot in the lineup. This is why I, and probably the majority of the nearly 53 percent of readers who voted, have faith that the Yankees won’t regret signing Damon. As no. 9 hitters you could do much worse, Damon would have been purely a luxury.
So you’ve had a couple of weeks to cast your votes, now let your voice be heard. Let us know where you stand on this issue.