On the one hand, I want to give Cash credit for at least adding an outfielder with Major League experience and All-Star credentials as a replacement to Damon. On the other hand, when that outfielder is Randy Winn, a guy who hasn't been a major contributor to a team since his All-Star year of 2002, and at 35 (turning 36 during the season) is just as old as Johnny Damon and far less productive, I can't help but feel like that magical $2 million could have been better spent by being donated to Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation.
The Yankees were looking for a potential starting left fielder, and at worst a 4th outfielder who could hit right-handed with some power and split time with Brett Gardner in the outfield depending on matchups or if there was a lefty on the mound that day. What they got was a dude who put up a whooping .262/.318/.353 line at the plate last year, has NO power whatsoever, and can't hit lefties to save himself.
The only positive thing about Winn is that he's an above-average outfielder. But that also happens to be Gardner's greatest strength and Gardner's offensive numbers (.270/.345/.379) were better than Winn's last season and project to improve thisyear as he is younger and has less experience than Winn. Winn is nothing more than a glorified late-game defensive replacement, but when your outfield consists of Swish, C-Grand, and Gardner, where is the glaring weakness that Winn needs to replace?
And what does that say to Gardner when the Yankees are basically telling him "We don't trust you to be good enough next year to be an everyday player so we're bringing in an older, slower, less productive version of you who hits lefties worse than you to platoon with you?" If this is some kind of secret motivational tactic for Gardner to prove himself, it's insanely misguided. You want to motivate Gardner and get him to play well? Have Joe call him tomorrow and say "Hey, Gardy, you're my starting centerfielder next year." Instilling a little confidence in somebody never hurt, right?
For Cashman, signing Winn today for $2 mil when Damon was still out there, still with no other serious suitors, and still with a pretty damn good 2-year, $14 million deal potentially on the table is the equivalent of asking an ugly chick who has a reputation of not putting out to the Senior Prom when the hot chick in your class who you've had a crush on since 5th grade and who is known for giving amazing, coma-inducing blowjobs, who you asked out a few weeks ago but told you she wanted to hold out and see if the captain of the basketball team asked her instead but now she just found out him and his ex are back together and going to the prom together, still doesn't have a date and still doesn't have any other guys asking her out.
Now you can take the ugly chick out and who knows? Maybe you'll have a good time and maybe you'll get lucky. But if you just went back and asked the hottie out again and she said yes, then you KNOW you're going to have a good time and you know your potential for "postseason success" is much higher. Sure, you'll have to spend a little more money on a nicer tux and probably take her out to a much fancier restaurant beforehand. But at the end of the night, when you're laying (standing) in bed (in the locker room) next to her (next to the team), covered in sweat and strawberry-flavored body butter (covered in sweat and champagne), holding her left ass cheek in your hand (holding the World Series tropy in your hand), you'll know it was worth it.
And if that ugly chick comparison isn't bad enough, here's a nice little tidbit of info on Randy Winn via Buster Olney's story of the signing on ESPN.com:
Winn... has played 1,601 career games without a postseason appearance. That's the longest drought by an active major league player.
Nothing like adding a little loser spice to your World Series-caliber soup to really fuck up the recipe, huh?
The Yankees have acquired outfielder Greg Golson from the Texas Rangers for infielder Mitch Hilligoss in a swap of 24-year-old minor leaguers.
Golson played one game in the majors last year. He hit .258 with 40 RBIs in 123 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2009. He was designated for assignment last week when Texas signed infielder Khalil Greene.
Golson, who had 27 extra-base hits last year, is a .263 career hitter in the Minors with 48 homers and 265 RBIs in 634 combined games in the Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies organizations. (story courtesy of the AP)
As if Jamie Hoffmann wasn't enough to fill the void left by Johnny Damon's departure, now the Yankees bring Greg Golson into the fold and the outfield instantly transforms from a potential weak spot on the roster to an embarrassment of riches.
The numbers don't lie; this kid has future All-Star written all over him. .263 career Minor League average? 48 homers?? 265 RBIs??! You might as well put his number and plaque in Monument Park right now. If you take those earth-shattering career numbers and expand them over a 162-game season next year, Golson projects to hit 12.26 HRs and drive in 67.71 runs next year. Never mind the fact that putting up those number would involve Golson stepping up to Major League competition, something he has never faced; this move definitely puts the Bombers over the top.
Seriously though, Khalil Greene can barely hit a baseball off a tee, and the Rangers made room for him by designating this Golson kid, so how fucking useful can he be? Can Cash just cut the shit with this $2 million budget and sign Damon already? This isn't some cutesy Home & Garden Network "home redecorating on a budget"-style reality show; this is the defending World Series Champion New York Yankees. It's clear that there are no other teams involved in trying to sign Damon so he and Boras' genius plan to get a long-term, big-money deal has failed and now they have no leverage.
If the team isn't going to commit to Gardner as a full-time guy or discuss the better defensive option of Gardner in center and C-Grand in left, then sack up, make Damon a fair deal, bring him back for a year or 2, and put the Korbel and Bud Light tall boys on ice.
**UPDATE** (4:25PM): The Yanks just signed Randy Winn for, you guessed it, $2 million.
Words cannot express how disappointed I am in that signing and how much my heart goes out to Greg Golson and Jamie Hoffmann, who never got their chance to shine in the leftfield Yankee Stadium sun.