The Yankees waited until Jan. 26 to sign Andy Pettitte last season, making him wait, wait and wait a little more before they agreed to an incentive-laden $5 million deal.
Could the same timetable hold true for Johnny Damon?
The Yankees have have a certain amount of money to spend on an outfielder — how much isn’t certain — and Damon remains unsigned. There are indications some sort of resolution will come this week.
The left fielder at the moment is Brett Gardner. While he has potential, Damon hit .282 last season with 24 homers, 81 RBI and 107 runs scored. He then was 18 of 64 in the postseason with nine RBI in 15 games.
Damon’s swing is perfect for the right-field porch at Yankee Stadium and he makes perfect sense for them. The Yankees also make good sense for Damon, who enjoys living in New York and eats up the baseball-is-life atmosphere in the Northeast.
There are two obstacles: Damon and agent Scott Boras don’t want to settle for what looks like a bargain-basement deal and the Yankees enjoy the perception that they’re being responsible with their payroll.
This is an important thing for Red Sox fans to keep an eye on. The Yankees are a better team with Damon in the lineup and hitting second. If he goes elsewhere, it would be a blow to them.