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Around the Yankee Galaxy, 1/25/10

-Still not sure if there's more than a shred of truth to the latest Johnny Damon rumors, or if we've simply run out of other things to talk about. My money is on Damon returning to the Yankees, but under similar circumstances to how A-Rod resigned after the '07 season - Boras must stay out of the negotiations, publicly at least. 

Cashman is adamant that Brett Gardner can be his left fielder and also that he's working on a limited budget.  Remember how he was adamant about Wilson Betimit at third base and Bubby Crosby in center?  The Yankees never have (and never should) make a decision like this based solely on money, because these are the kinds of decisions that separate the well-run teams from the poorly run or corporately managed ones.

-David Rohrer pinch hits over at LoHud with a post about, what else, Jose Molina vs. Jorge Posada.  Unless you've been living in a hole, you're probably aware of which side of the fence I fall on this subject.  But that's not to say I can't be swayed with a solid, stat-based argument, and Rohrer does a pretty good job of doing that.   Bottom line, even if you were choosing between starting Albert Pujols or Cody Ransom, the difference between the two is going to be slight over a single game.  

-The Hardball Times asks what makes a mediocre starter a good reliever?  Considering that we'll soon be debating which pitcher, Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, should start the season in the bullpen, somebody should do some research to see if either pitcher seems to be a better fit based on those criteria. 

-I hadn't realized this, but the Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets have some new company in the big spender category, and this doesn't include the most recent contract extension they inked.  Keep an eye on the Phillies, because if the Yankees make the World Series in 2010 or 2011, odds are that's who they'll be playing.