Curtis Granderson‘s arm injury has the Yankees in the market for a center fielder — a role Johnny Damon believes he’s still fit to fill.
Damon, who played four years in New York from 2006-09, told the New York Daily News that he would definitely be open to donning the pinstripes again, though he does not anticipate receiving a call from the team.
“I don’t expect to hear from them,” he said. “If they call, if they want me, I’ll go. They are one of the only teams I would do that for. We’ll see what happens in the future. If someone calls, I could definitely get ready.”
Since winning a World Series with the Yankees in 2009, the veteran outfielder has bounced around from Detroit to Tampa Bay to Cleveland, where he hit .222 with four home runs and 19 RBI in 64 games last season before being released in August. Damon, who turned 39 in November, called his time with the Indians a “weird situation,” and insisted that he can still swing the bat.
“I can still hit,” Damon told the Daily News. “I still know I’m better than 70-80 percent of the guys out there. I know if I played every day, I’d be really good.”
The two-time World Series champion has found himself on the wrong end of roster decisions several times over the past few years, as the Yankees chose both Nick Johnson (in 2010) and Raul Ibanez (in 2012) over him and the Rays passed in favor of Luke Scott prior to last season.
When asked about the possibility of Damon’s return to New York by MLB.com’s Brian Hoch, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman‘s response was the basic equivalent of “thanks, but no thanks.”
Responding to Johnny Damon's comments, Yankees GM Brian Cashman says, "We will focus on what we have at this time."— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) February 25, 2013