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Johnny D arrives

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  November 7, 2007 10:32 AM

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ORLANDO -- Johnny Damon just pulled up to the hotel here at the GM Meetings in his brand new Ferrari. He said he met with new Yankees' manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman and received assurances that he would be the Yankee left fielder next season.

Damon has been the subject of trade rumors (to the White Sox) and understands he's not out of the woods yet, especially if someone blows the Yankees away. But he said he has a no trade clause to 18 teams but he wouldn't stand in the Yankees' way if they needed to deal him.

Damon lives in Orlando and came to the hotel on the invitation of Girardi, who wanted to meet with him. Damon wasn't in the best of shape when he came to spring training last year, and conditioning was a likely topic. The Yankees understand Damon's value at the top of the order.

Damon still held out hope that Alex Rodriguez would return to New York, but said he's been unable to reach A-Rod even though they share the same agent -- Scott Boras.

Damon, a huge part of Boston's '04 World Series team, watched some of the World Series.

"They were a great team all year," Damon said. "I think we were the only team that really played them tough."

Asked about old friend Kevin Youkilis winning a Gold Glove, he said, "I heard that. That's great for Youk. He's a former third baseman with that Jack Black body. Good for him."

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