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Posted by: Patrick
ESPN's Buster Olney reports that, if Nick Johnson passes his physical and joins the Yankees, the team's next targets will be a starting pitcher and perhaps Mark DeRosa, if the money is right. The Yankees reportedly met with DeRosa earlier this month.

Posted by: Patrick
Ken Davidoff reports that the Yankees are close on a one year deal with free agent first baseman Nick Johnson worth $5.5 million and that it's pending a physical.

Tyler Kepner of the Times writes about what this means, suggesting one of the reasons the Yankees went with the combination of Curtis Granderson and Johnson over Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui was to save money to use next offseason, when the free agent market is set to include Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Cliff Lee, Joe Mauer, Brandon Webb and Jayson Werth.

Assuming the Yankees would have had to sign Damon for $13 million per for 2 seasons, Granderson saves them $12.25 million during that two year span. And the Johnson deal is worth a million less than the one Matsui received from the Angels. If anything, it gives the team more to play with this year as they try to finish up the roster.

Still, it can be hard to stomach that the difference between Johnson and Matsui, both primary designated hitters with health concerns, was only one million after Godzilla's World Series heroics. Feinsand says that it was all about Matsui's knees - not the money. Still, is Johnson any more likely to stay healthy?

It looks like this is the end for Johnny Damon's time in pinstripes. Mark Feinsaid writes about this with quotes from Damon. "I'm not quite sure what Iím going to do," Damon told him. "I know there are some teams interested, but the Yankees are the best organization I've been a part of so far in my career. I wish them all the best."
Posted by: Patrick
George A. King III of the Post reports that the Yankees and free agent first baseman Nick Johnson are in serious discussions on a one year contract. He made $5.5 million last season and Ken Rosenthal at FOX Sports says that the Giants have made him an offer in the area of $5.5 to $6 million dollars. Joel Sherman categorized the talks as "ongoing/hot."

Via Chad Jennings.
Posted by: Patrick
When A-Rod had hip surgery before last season, he opted for a less invasive option that allowed him to return to the team as soon as possible - with the thought that he would probably need a second surgery after the season to finish the job. However, in September, we learned that he might not need it after all and that has been the hopeful outcome since. Well, today, it's official: he will not need the second surgery, reports ESPN's Andrew Marchand.

Via Joseph Pawlikowski.
Posted by: Patrick
At today's Curtis Granderson press conference, Hal Steinbrenner was asked about the Johnny Damon situation. Josh Thomson reported this quote: "He was a big part of the reason we won that championship. But I think right now there's just a difference of opinion of what the pay is, quite frankly."
Posted by: Patrick
Bryan Hoch of (video), Mark Feinsand of the Daily News (photos) and Josh Thomson of The Journal News all have reports from the Curtis Granderson press conference. Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia and Joe Girardi were all on hand. Granderson has elected to wear jersey number 14.
Posted by: Patrick
Sporting News has named Mariano Rivera as their 2009 Pro Athlete of the Year and they have a feature interview with the Yankees closer up on their website.

On being able to peak at the most important time of year, even at his age: In the playoffs, you're talking about something that not many players have the opportunity to be in -- and I'm talking about great players, not just average players. And I've been blessed to be able to be in the playoffs for many years and do the job in all those years. I think that says it alone -- it's the playoffs. You don't want to miss that; you want to be in the middle of it. And when you realize that's your makeup, your ability, your mind, your mentality, you just want to keep going and going and going and never stop.

Via Anthony DiComo.
Posted by: Patrick
The Yankees are considering bringing back former Yankee farm system product Nick Johnson, reports George A. King III of the Post.

"We have had dialogue, things are moving forward," Johnson's agent Rex Gary told King. "Something could happen to speed things up, but itís hard to predict."

Johnson's bat has never been a question - his career .273/.402/.447 line would be a nice fit in the 2 spot. The issue is his health. In the last 5 seasons, he's averaged just 90 games per season. King runs through the laundry list of injuries, including hand and wrist issues in 2000, 2003 and 2008; a fractured femur in 2006 and a lumbar strain and fractured cheekbone in 2004.
Posted by: Patrick
ESPN's Jorge Arangurť reports that, according to a "baseball source with knowledge of the situation," the Yankees want to "set up a private visit with Chapman in Miami."

Via Mike Axisa.
Posted by: Patrick
More than a month after blogging for the Huffington Post about the value of his client Hideki Matsui, agent Arn Tellem is back with another post from the site, discussing the slugger's move to the Angels.

Tellem says that Matsui's desire to end up playing for a premium, contending franchise led him to secure his spot with the Angels. While interested in the Yankees, Brian Cashman had indicated that the DH spot was not a priority for the club, so Matsui felt that if he waited for the Yankees and the Yankees decided not to bring him back, the Angels opportunity might have been gone at that point. He names the Red Sox as a third consideration that was never really an option because of David Ortiz being on the team.

Via Ben Kabak.
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