Johnny Damon made one of the best plays of the postseason last year with his double steal. Damon had a great Yankees career. That career must end. Damon could ruin future flexibility for the Yankees, if the Yankees sign him. Sure, Damon has a great bat, but he also has a terrible arm. Sure Damon can still run, but he is getting old. No matter what the price tag is, no matter how much the fans want him or he wants them, the Yankees should NOT sign Johnny Damon.
Damon would have to play the outfield for almost all of the games during the regular season and hopefully the postseason. Damon would be a liability in the field and an asset with the bat. Which is more important at this point? The liability in the field, and in the Yankees future flexibility.
Look at it this way, if the Yankees sign Damon to a two-year deal, they can move him to DH and not sign Nick Johnson next year, right? Wrong. With Jesus Montero rapidly approaching the MLB, the Yankees may need a Montero-Posada catcher-DH platoon next season. So, Damon can play left-field no problem, correct? Wrong. If the Yankees let Damon, who would most likely get even worse at fielding by that point, play left-field, they would be eliminating any chance of the Yankees signing Jayson Werth, Carl Crawford, or even Brad Hawpe to play left-field in 2011.
If the Yankees sign Damon to a one-year deal, which he would never accept, there is no problem, correct? Wrong once again. The Yankees would be halting the progress of Brett Gardner and even without realizing it, Jesus Montero. Sure, Montero does not play left-field, but lets say Nick Johnson gets injured. Jesus Montero could be called up to be the DH, or the Yankees could go with a fill-in type player.
Overall, if the Yankees sign Johnny Damon all he could be is a liability. What is the upside of signing Damon? A big bat at every spot in the line-up? Is that really necessary? The Yankees do not need Johnny Damon and should not sign Johnny Damon. Reed Johnson and Brett Gardner would be a perfect platoon.