Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yankees "Winn", Damon Loses

Randy Winn is in. Johnny Damon is out.

The New York Yankees have signed free agent outfielder Randy Winn to a one-year contract worth $2 million. He will be the Yankees starting left fielder in 2010. This closes any possibility Damon will wear pinstripes this coming season.

So the Yankees outfield in 2010 is Winn in left, Curtis Granderson in center and Nick Swisher in right.

Winn has played for the San Francisco Giants since the middle of the 2005 season. In 2009, Winn hit only 2 home runs in nearly 600 plate appearances. Normally, Winn hits between 10 to 15 home runs a season. But the Yankees obtained Winn primarily for his glove. He did not commit an error in 2009. I'm astonished Winn has never won a Gold Glove. He also has decent speed on the bases and could help them at the bottom of their batting order.

As for where Damon ends up your guess is as good as mine. But my guess is that he stays in the AL and becomes a full time DH. With regard to his defensive skills, specifically his throwing arm, Ben Reiter of Sports Illustrated writes:

Now Damon is 36 years old, and even though the Yankees two years ago shifted him to left field from center, his arm has become a genuine liability. Opposing third base coaches now risk shredding their rotator cuffs, so enthusiastically do they windmill home runners from second on even sharply-hit singles to Damon. In an SI poll of 380 big leaguers published last July, 54 percent of respondents independently named Damon as possessing the "worst arm" of any outfielder -- a remarkable consensus, when you think about it.


Damon also needs to let go of the notion that a club would be willing to pay him $10 million a season. If he does sign somewhere he will be lucky to get half that amount. Those two stolen bases off Brad Lidge in the World Series haven't made quite the impression he had hoped.

No comments: