NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Johnny Damon has made it clear that in light of Curtis Granderson’s injury that will sideline him for 10 weeks, he wants return to the Bronx and join the Yankees.
Better stop dreaming, Johnny, because it doesn’t appear as if a reunion is in the cards.
“It’s just not something we’re going to pursue,” general manager Brian Cashman said on Tuesday.
The two-time All-Star played with the Bronx Bombers from 2006–2009, winning a World Series with the club in the final year of his contract.
But at age 39, he’s far from the player that he once was. And the Yankees don’t need to get any older.
“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.”
A heavy fan favorite during his time in the Bronx, Damon was always a subpar outfielder, but his strength was at the plate.
His offensive capabilities seem to have diminished, however, as Damon hit just .222 with four home runs and 19 RBIs in 64 games for the Indians in 2012.
The 18-year veteran has offered to play for the league minimum salary, but even that doesn’t appear to appeal to Cashman.
“We’re going to evaluate what we have in camp,” Cashman said. “I’m not looking outside at this stage. My first response, always, to a loss, is to make sure we don’t have what we need right here in front of us.”
What the Yankees have in camp are non-roster invitees Juan Rivera and Matt Diaz and minor leaguers Melky Mesam, Zoilo Almonte and Ronnier Mustelier.
“Listen, I love Johnny Damon,” Cashman said. “He was a great Yankee, (he) has a World Series ring to show for it, and it was a good marriage while we had it. But that was a while ago.”
In his four years with the Yankees — primarily hitting in the leadoff spot ahead of Derek Jeter — Damon batted .285 with 77 home runs and 93 stolen bases. He shined on the big stage, hitting .364 in the 2009 World Series against the Phillies.
If Damon is willing to take the league minimum, should the Yankees sign him? Or is Cashman making the right decision? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…