Since the Yankees signed outfielder Randy Winn there has been some confusion involved as many have tabbed him as the replacement for Johnny Damon . While it might be true that Winn’s signing was the end of Damon’s tenure in the Bronx, he will not be his replacement.
Realistically, Curtis Granderson is Damon’s replacement and Winn isn’t even Melky Cabrera ’s replacement, at least according to Joe Girardi . See, Girardi sees the Winn signing more for “depth” and “competition” than as a starter on the Yankees roster with Brett Gardner set to start in the outfield.
“I think he can be a good player for us,” Girardi said. “I know people have talked about Randy Winn replacing Johnny Damon, and that wasn’t why we signed Randy. We signed (him) so we’d have depth to make sure we have depth and make sure that we have competition. If someone gets hurt, we have enough people to fill the spot. (He’s) been an everyday player for a long time. We’re comfortable with him in that spot.”
That isn’t to say that Winn is going to be riding the bench all season long. Gardner is still young and will certainly struggle with consistency at times. That’s what Girardi means when he talks about competition.
There is also the issue of depth. I think part of the reason the Yankees targeted Winn over somebody like Reed Johnson is his versatility. Winn can and will play every outfield position for the Yankees including, but not necessarily as often, centerfield.
“The thing is, everyone’s going to play,” Girardi said. “That’s the bottom line. I believe that sometimes guys need days off. We had the situation last year where everybody thought we had too many outfielders and [Xavier] Nady got hurt [in April]. I don’t think we can have too much depth. Having four guys gives us good depth, and that’s important, because you never know what’s going to happen.”