So now that the Yankees have decided to bring in Randy Winn as part of their outfield and leave Johnny Damon out in the cold what does that mean in terms of the lineup?
On the face of it, you would have to think that Winn will split time with Brett Gardner in left field, play a little right field to rest Nick Swisher and occasionally play some center field. Fan Graphs looks at what kind of production fans can expect from the 35-year-old.
On a different note, MLB.com Giants beat writer Chris Haft gives us a look at what kind of person Winn is.
Winn merits a final salute as he leaves San Francisco. The man was, and is, a complete professional. Winn delivered a consistent effort whether he was thriving or slumping, healthy or in pain. By driving himself to excel in all facets of the game -- he's an excellent baserunner and a polished, underrated outfielder -- Winn separated himself from the sorry plethora of ballplayers who almost seem to refuse to improve themselves.
The Yankees will quickly learn how lucky they are to have Winn in their midst. His professionalism will enhance the Yankees' aura as reigning World Champions. They'll cherish his ability to play all three outfield positions and his other diverse skills. On that club, any offense he provides will be a bonus.
Read Haft's piece. He had a lot of other impressive things to say about Winn. We won't be able to tell how all of General Manager Brian Cashman's moves will pan out until the season starts, but you do have to give Cashman credit for bringing in lots of players this off-season who are quality people. Curtis Granderson, Nick Johnson, Javier Vazquez and now Winn are all guys who should be a credit to the pinstripes with the way they carry themselves.
Of course, we can't get through this notebook without a couple of final Damon notes.
- John Harper of the New York Daily news says Cashman's ego might have prevented a Damon signing.
"First and foremost, it's obvious that Johnny Damon screwed up a good thing here by allowing Scott Boras to antagonize the Yankee front office with his contract demands even after GM Brian Cashman's warnings that he wasn't playing games with the agent.
Damon either let his own ego get in the way of a perfect situation with the Yankees or he paid a price for trusting Boras too much, but in any case he'll miss his old team more than it will miss him.
Still, that doesn't mean the Yankees won this standoff. You can make a case that both sides lost, and, indeed, you have to ask whether Cashman allowed some ego to get involved here as well.
Several baseball people say they believe Cashman became furious with Boras' negotiating tactics, with one person close to the situation saying he once heard the GM screaming at Boras via his cell phone."
- NESN figures that whoever ends up with Damon at this point will be getting one of the biggest bargains of the winter.
- MLB.com ranks Jesus Montero 19th on its top 50 prospects list. MLB.com says "No matter what position he plays, his bat will be special."
- Speaking of the Yankee farm system, I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. AOL Fanhouse ranks the Yankee farm system 15th among big-league teams. ESPN's Keith Law is not as impressed, placing the system 25th. These things are subjective, and as long as a few players come out of the system who wind up helping the Yankees I really don't give a hoot about the rankings.
- Joe Girardi says he is open to the idea of Granderson playing left field.