New York Yankees

Yankees Sign Randy Winn, Johnny Damon Saga Finally Ends

PHOENIX - SEPTEMBER 23:  Randy Winn #2 of the San Francisco Giants warms up on deck during the major league baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 23, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
GregCorrespondent IJanuary 27, 2010

Joel Sherman of the New York Post broke the news that the Yankees have agreed to a one-year deal with outfielder Randy Winn, who played for the San Francisco Giants over the past four-and-a-half seasons.

It is a bit of a surprising move, considering the Yankees outfield needs.

Winn is a switch-hitter who has shown no discernible platoon split over the course of his career. It was widely believed that the Yankees were looking to add an outfielder who mashes lefty pitching because of Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner's issues with left- handers.

Winn put together a poor offensive season in 2009, hitting .262/.318/.353. Given the fact that Winn is no spring chicken—he'll be 35 at the start of 2010—that is a bit troubling. 

Also, since Winn's offense was very strong in 2007 and 2008, it is fair to assume a bit of a rebound. How much is up for debate, though.

The CHONE projection system doesn't think he'll rebound and predicts that Winn will put up a well below average .259/.317/.364 line in 2010.

While there are certainly questions surrounding Winn's bat, there is no debate regarding his defense: He has played more games in center field than in any other position throughout his career and has always been regarded as a good fielder.

Playing the corner outfield, Winn has been superb.

His UZRs over the past four seasons have been 5.3, 0.9, 17.0, and 13.8, starting with his 2005 season. Weighing Jeff Zimmerman's UZR projections for right and left field, I project Winn to post a UZR/150 of around 10 runs above average in 2010 while playing a corner outfield position.

Winn doesn't stand out, but he figures to be slightly below league average, which is what you'd expect from a fourth outfielder. He doesn't offer the platoon splits of an Eric Byrnes or Reed Johnson, but adds decent depth to the Yankees' bench.

Another thing this means for the Yankees is that their saga with Johnny Damon has come to an end. After hearing rumors and pleas regarding Damon for some time, it appears quite definitive that he will not be returning to the Yankees.

The options are dwindling for Damon, and it remains to be seen where he'll end up, and for what money.

Depending on the price, he could be a very good addition for a team. If they fall out of contention, he'll be a valuable trade chip at the deadline. If not, he could be a type-A free agent at the end of the season and net his team two draft picks.

It appears that the Yankees budget is real, and that they are sticking to it. This Yankees team appears to be set for 2010, and all we can do at this point is just wait until pitchers and catchers report.

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