The Yankees are still in dire need of a left-fielder. Johnny Damon is in dire need of a job. Why can't they both just get along? In a recent text message exchange with Tyler Kepner, Damon said, "I'm sure things will work out somewhere."
That somewhere could be New York, but not for a long period of time. Damon will probably end up signing just a one-year contract with the team that chooses to make him an attractive offer. The Yankees only have about two million dollars left to spend this offseason, according to their front office representatives. The Yankees basically have room for one more player on the roster. One more player to play the outfield or to pitch.
The Yankees might be looking at a pitcher so that they will have a suitable end of the bullpen with Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes. Ben Sheets, Mark Mulder, Joel Pineiro, Pedro Martinez, Jarod Washburn, or a reunion with Chien-Ming Wang are all possibilities.
For the spot in left field, the Yankees could be looking at Damon, Rick Ankiel, Reed Johnson, or even Endy Chavez as options. Brett Gardner is the current left-fielder for Opening Day 2010 in Boston, but not too many fans are sold on the idea of having such a young guy play for the Yankees.
Kepner asked Damon whether a return to the Bronx has been ruled out. Damon replied to Kepner's text message saying, "I never say never anymore."
As of now the 2010 Opening Day Lineup might look a bit like this:
1. Derek Jeter - SS
2. Curtis Granderson - CF
3. Mark Teixeira - 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez - 3B
5. Jorge Posada - C
6. Nick Johnson - DH
7. Robinson Cano - 2B
8. Nick Swisher - RF
9. Brett Gardner - LF
It's all about 2011 and the free agent market. That year, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera will receive new contracts with the New York Yankees, without a doubt. Then, the Yankees will start to get their left field situation settled by taking a good look at Carl Crawford and Manny Ramirez for left field. Cliff Lee hits the market also, while Pettitte and Vazquez could be coming off the books. It is too early to start discussing the 2011 free agents, but by now everyone must have an idea about the Yankees' approach to Carl Crawford next year.
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