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I didn't post this story by Jack Curry when I first saw it on the NY Times' Bats Blog because I'm not really interested in sensationalism.

But as the Santana trade has shaken down I have to wonder...

In fact, with the Yankees' position players scheduled to report to Tampa in about three weeks, Damon acknowledged that he is 12 pounds over the team's prescribed weight for him. Damon did not sound like he expected to shed a dozen pounds, either.

"I tried running," Damon said. "I ran for three days and I gained five pounds. Go figure. That was the end of that."

While Damon, who is listed at 205 pounds in the Yankees' media guide, did not say how much he weighs, he thinks the extra weight is necessary to help get him through a draining season.

"Last year, I lost weight and I felt so weak," Damon said.

Brian Cashman has shown a willingness to pick his battles. He let Torre keep Miguel Cairo on the roster. He traded away Torre's favorite toy (Proctor) rather than dictate to the manager how the pen should be used (that would come later when Joba arrived).

Damon arrived to camp out of shape in 2007 and it led to a disastrous first month and a mediocre season. Apparently, he hasn't learned his lesson.

Obviously, the Yanks didn't want to part with Phil Hughes to get Santana. But they obviously needed Melky Cabrera more than the Twins wanted him.

We know the non-deal revolved around the pieces that would travel to Minnesota with Phil Franchise. At different points this winter Alan Horne and Jeff Marquez held up the deal, but Melky was a constant part of the trade.

Go ahead and knock Slappy all you want (there are grounds to do so), but the Yankees need him to play centerfield because they obviously can't count on Johnny Damon to be ready to play.