New York Yankees: Did Bombers Make Right Move in Passing on Johnny Damon?

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IFebruary 27, 2013

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 31:  Johnny Damon #18 of the New York Yankees looks on during batting practice before playing against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Three of the 2009 MLB World Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 31, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Johnny Damon made his public plea to come back to the Yankees on Monday.

In the wake of Curtis Granderson's broken forearm, which will sideline the outfielder for 10 weeks, the 39-year-old veteran was willing to take a minimum deal to come back to the Bronx.

Unfortunately for Damon, Yankees GM Brian Cashman isn't interested in his services for a second time, according to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York:

"He's just not going to fit our needs," Cashman said. "It's the same reason we didn't bring him in last year. We need somebody who can play the outfield every day."

That leaves Damon still on the free-agent market looking for work. Damon last played with the Cleveland Indians in 2012, but was cut during the season after just 64 games and batting just .222.

In the story I had reported on Monday about Damon looking to come back to the Yankees, 70 percent of the people who took the survey felt that Damon would actually come back to the Yankees to take Granderson's spot.

It's a little surprising, especially since Damon said he was willing to take very little money to play and would even accept being released if there was no more room for him on the team.

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Did the Yankees make the right move in telling Damon "no thanks" for 2013?

As much as I hate to say it, Cashman likely made the right decision.

For one, they already have two veteran options in camp who can still play the outfield in Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera. Plus, both Diaz and Rivera are right-handed bats, which benefit the Yankees need at the major league level.

Damon isn't really much of an outfielder anymore and would be best suited to be a DH, and the Yankees already have a left-handed DH in Travis Hafner.

Another thing is that the Yankees have a chance to see what they have in their young prospects, in particular Melky Mesa, Ronnier Mustelier and Zoilo Almonte.

Mustelier has looked rather impressive at spring training for the Yankees, especially at the plate, with the ball jumping off his bat when he gets a hit.

Speaking while with the team in Clearwater, Florida on Tuesday, WFAN's Sweeny Murti told Mike Francesa (also of WFAN) that he feels that with the early injury to Granderson, both Rivera and Diaz could make the team. 

As popular as Damon is, and as much as some of us would have liked to seen him back for one more go-around with the team, Cashman made the right choice for now.

However, if any other injuries occur to the outfielders (like Brett Gardner and his elbow from last season), keeping Damon's number on speed dial wouldn't be a bad idea for the Bombers.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.

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