Can Johnny Damon Fill Void Left by Curtis Granderson?

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Can Johnny Damon Fill Void Left by Curtis Granderson?
Bob Levey/Getty Images
Johnny Damon gets a hit against the Houston Astros, June 22, 2012.

Losing Curtis Granderson—one of the premiere players in all of baseball—in his first real at-bat of spring training last week will be problematic for New York.

Having to insert Brett Gardner into the everyday lineup could also prove troublesome. Gardner appeared in just 16 games last season for the Yankees, and is a career .266 hitter.

Alas, Johnny Damon to the rescue.

Seeking to fill the void left by Granderson, Damon came calling to the Yankees on Tuesday, sending a message to his former club.

“You guys know that I would have tons of interest to go to New York,” Damon said on New York 98.7 FM’s Michael Kay Show, courtesy of ESPN.com. “But I just don’t think they would be interested. I’m not exactly sure what happened over the years or something. They have had plenty of opportunities and I kept raising my hand, wanting to go back and, you know, hopefully it would be a perfect fit. It always had been. Have me for six weeks and then send me off on my merry way. That’s fine.”

Damon expressing interest in returning to the Bronx is intriguing. The Yankees should, at the very least, consider their former slugger as a viable option in center field.

At age 39, Damon would be a better fit than Gardner. Moreover, Damon is familiar with New York, and is comfortable hitting at Yankee Stadium. 

Despite being cut by Cleveland last season after just 64 games, Damon is a .284 career hitter. While with Tampa Bay in 2011, Damon cranked 16 home runs and tallied 73 RBI.

Though his short-lived stint with Cleveland faltered, Damon remains optimistic that he could be the answer the Yankees are looking for.

“Absolutely,” Damon said, courtesy of ESPN.com. “Losing a Curtis Granderson is a tough thing to swallow, but the way I hit at Yankee Stadium and the right field porch, I mean, it worked when I played for them.”

The fact of the matter is the Yankees are in dire need of a power hitter to replace Granderson for the first month or two of the season. Damon is just that, and would be a good candidate to provide some added pop to the lineup. 

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