Damon Challenges Youth Movement

In the last year of a four-year deal, Johnny Damon has made no secret that he wants to come back to the Yankees next year.

Damon, now 35, surely can’t play left field for 150 games anymore and quite frankly, I’d prefer he didn’t patrol the field…ever. Realistically, I think the Yankees would consider bringing Damon back in some capacity since he’s still a productive hitter.  This year, his home run total is two shy of his career high and his .281 batting average is only seven points below his career average.  His OBP is right around his career average but, like every other 35 year old player, he doesn’t run as often as he has in the past – 8 stolen bases compared to 29 last year.  In fact, his 8 stolen bases are the lowest since his rookie year, when he stole 7 in 1995.

Johnny Damon is a much different player now than when he came to the Yankees.  He arrived in the Bronx as a speedy centerfielder and lead-off hitter and is now a liability in left field and is hitting in the two hole.  Since there is virtually no chance Hideki Matsui returns for 2010, I wouldn’t be totally opposed to seeing Damon return on a two-year deal to play a little left and a little DH.  Anything more than that, though, would be too much.

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