LAS VEGAS -- Johnny Damon is thrilled to have CC Sabathia as his new Yankees teammate.
Reached at his home in Windermere, Fla. Damon said, "I'm shocked because I went to bed last night not hearing much and then I woke up and there were reports that he's a Yankee. I think that's great. We're out there rebuilding our team and we're going to get back into the playoffs. We needed to have a horse and now we have our horse."
Damon said of his own experience in facing Sabathia: "I think he's one of the premier guys in the game. He's one of the most durable guys. He can pitch deep into games. There's no down side to CC. He's a good guy on the team and he'll be a leader and a guy younger pitchers can look up to. He's kind of a throwback guy in that he likes to pitch pretty deep into the game. I think this is great."
Asked about whether he's been recruiting old Red Sox pal Derek Lowe to the Yankees, Damon said, "Haven't yet. That would be great to get Derek. He's another guy who can pitch big games. He always takes the ball. I'd love us to get him too."
Was he worried whether the Yankees would not get someone?
"Well, it's not easy to get guys to play in New York, so maybe signing CC helps us with other guys," Damon said.