Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Johnny Damon to Yankees

The New York Yankees held a news conference Friday to introduce centerfielder Johnny Damon, who has signed a four-year contract worth a reported $52 million.

Damon spent the previous four years with the arch-rival Boston Red Sox and had been as well-known for his long hair and beard in addition to his All-Star caliber skills. He donned a Yankee pinstripe jersey in front of the assembled media and showed off his new clean-cut look.

"What do you guys think about this?" Damon asked while rubbing his chin. "I know it was a pretty big story. I am proud to be a New York Yankee and to follow in this long tradition that they do have."

Damon will be the newest in a long line of players to roam the hallowed grounds of center field in Yankee Stadium, following in the footsteps of Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and most-recently Bernie Williams....

The 32-year-old Damon, regarded as probably the best free-agent centerfielder and leadoff man on the market, hit .316 with 10 homers, 75 RBI, 117 runs scored and 18 stolen bases last season. He was offered salary arbitration by the Red Sox, but declined Monday night and said it wasn't just money that drove him to New York.

"There was a mystery team that was offering more years and more guaranteed money, but they could not guarantee winning like the New York Yankees can," Damon added. "That's the biggest reason why I'm here because we will win."

The deal came together on Tuesday and Damon intimated that Boston's offer just wasn't good enough.

"I knew I became a free agent after I got the three-year offer from Boston and I valued myself in a much better position, especially in that market," Damon stated. "When you have a [Yankee GM] Brian Cashman come after you...he came after me very positively and he put the Yankees in the forefront and did all the right things and that's why I stand in front of you today as a New York Yankee."

For his career, Damon has compiled a .290 average with 130 homers and 700 RBI, along with 281 steals and a .353 on-base percentage. In addition to his four years in Boston, he also played six years with the Kansas City Royals (1995-2000) and one with Oakland (2001).


Now the Yankees' centerfield woes have come to an end. Johnny Damon is a very offensive centerfielder with average defensive range. Johnny Damon will be a great addition to this already powerful Yankee lineup.

This signing also hurts the Red Sox, who are now left without a lead-off hitter. The Red Sox will now have to chase after other possible centerfielders, possibly Jeremy Reed (SeattleMariners), Magglio Ordonez (Detroit Tigers), or Nook Logan (Detroit Tigers). As for a new lead-off hitter, Damon was one of the best, so the Red Sox will have a lot of trouble replacing him.


  • I hear that the Red Sox might go for Miguel Tejada.

    By Blogger Matt A., at 9:36 AM  

  • Yes, they might now that they traded away Renteria. And Tejada wants to leave Baltimore, so that might happen. Hopefully not. :)

    By Blogger MVB, at 5:41 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home