As it stands right now, Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui's contracts are due to expire at the end of this season.
The Yankees have a big decision to make in the offseason, that being to re-sign one, both, or neither.
New York has Melky Cabrera, Nick Swisher, and Brett Gardner signed for next season, and they could man the three outfield spots if need be. Cabrera seems to be the center fielder of the future, and Gardner and Swisher have been solid in the limited at bats they have seen.
What should the Yankees do in regards to Damon and Matsui? The two of them are putting up the following numbers this season:
Damon - .289, 22 HR, 67 RBI, 83 R
Matsui - .269, 19 HR, 58 RBI, 41 R
Damon is on pace for a career high in HRs, and has formed a great back-to-back pairing with Mark Teixeira.
While Matsui's average is falling, he is still averaging a HR every 16 AB, so the power is still there.
Should the Yankees pursue Matt Holliday or Jason Bay? Do they think Gardner and Swisher are good enough to play the corner outfield spots full-time?
In my opinion, they should definitely re-sign Damon. He is extremely popular with the fans, is having a great year, and though he will be 36 by the start of next season, he is hitting for power and plays a decent enough outfield. Re-signing Damon would allow Swisher to DH when needed and play outfield when Damon or Cabrera needs a rest.
Should they re-sign Matsui? That depends on if they plan on giving Gardner or Swisher more playing time, and who will be doing the designated hitting. Matsui is a tailor-made DH now, so they could re-sign him and have him be the full-time DH, with Gardner, Swisher, and Damon sharing right and left field.
Should the Yankees win the World Series, I think it will be hard to let two of the more popular players walk, especially after the year Damon is having. They could re-sign both of them for the cost of what Holliday will want.
The lineup is producing as is and the Yankees have the most wins in the majors, so why fix it if it isn't broke? I think they should re-sign the two of them, hope they produce next year like they are this year, and continue to use Swisher and Gardner like they are now.
A two or three-year deal seems fair for Damon, and a one or two-year deal for Matsui seems fair as well.
Feel free to add comments and give your opinion on the topic. Thank you for the read.