The Yankees reportedly filled one of their needs Wednesday afternoon when they came to an agreement with outfielder Randy Winn on a one year deal worth about $2 million. The 12-yr veteran spent the last five seasons with the San Francisco Giants.
The signing of the 35-yr old switch-hitter effectively ends the possibility of Johnny Damon returning to the Bronx this season. It is, however, a curious choice made by Brian Cashman and the Yankees’ front office.
Winn is an obvious defensive upgrade over Damon, but his offense leaves something to be desired. The Yankees could use a right-handed bat to complement lefty hitters Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner, but Winn isn’t the answer. At least not based on his 2009 season when he hit just .158 against left-handers. Couple that with Granderson’s .190 average and lefties and the Yankees could be hurting against southpaws.
As for Damon, Yankees manager Joe Girardi didn’t see a deal happening even before Winn’s signing. Speaking at the Baseball Assistance Team dinner, Girardi expressed doubt that the Yankees budget would fit Damon’s contract demands. The skipper accepted the Bobby Murcer award for Yankees. It is given to the team that raises the most money for B.A.T..