With the news that Yankees slugger Curtis Granderson will be out of action until May, various rumors began flying around as to how they could potentially replace his production. While Yankees fans have yet to hear general manager Brian Cashman "officially" rule out a trade for former Yankee and current Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano, the idea of bringing in another former Yankee has been ruled out.
After essentially self-promoting the idea of his return to the Bronx, Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com reports that pursuing a low-risk deal for free-agent outfielder Johnny Damon has been ruled out by Cashman,
“He's just not going to fit our needs," Cashman said. "It's the same reason we didn't bring him in last year. We need somebody who can play the outfield every day."
Damon, in addition to telling Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News of his desire to return if called upon, also echoed a similar sentiment on Monday while appearing on "The Michael Kay Show," which airs on ESPN Radio 98.7 FM,
“Have me for six weeks and send me on my merry way," Damon said.
Needless to say, Damon proved to be a productive member of the Yankees offense in his four-year stint in the Bronx, always ascertaining a high on-base percentage and adapting well to the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium. Moreover, his heady base-running came in handy on multiple occasions, none more prominent than in the 2009 World Series, when Damon pulled off a double-stolen base.
However, despite being part of the 2009 World Series championship team, Damon was not retained the following season as a free-agent and has yet to duplicate similar production since. Moreover, with eroding defense, it's hard to speculate how much value Damon would bring defensively, if any.
While Cashman has immense respect for Damon and his time in the Bronx, it appears the ship has sailed, and the Yankees will look to temporarily fill the void of Granderson with in-house options, such as veterans Juan Rivera and Matt Diaz, or perhaps a young guy, such as Melky Mesa.
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