Though he viewed it as a perfect fit, it was becoming more and more clear that free agent Johnny Damon would not be rejoining the New York Yankees this spring. Now, with the Yankees negotiating exclusively with prospective designated hitter Raul Ibanez, Damon and New York have come out and officially said the door for a possible return has been closed.
Damon told George A. King III of the New York Post yesterday that he won’t be returning to the Yankees. According to Damon, he and New York are currently “looking at other options”. Unfortunately for Damon, it appears that the Yankees have several more options than the veteran free agent does.
One of those options is Raul Ibanez. The aging slugger is reportedly the Yankees top target at the moment, as they like what Ibanez has to offer more than Damon. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that he recently told Damon the truth; that he is not New York’s number one option at this point.
Damon is not the only veteran free agent bat remaining on the market. Vladimir Guerrero and Hideki Matsui are also still waiting for a call as the winter turns to spring. The number of hitters available exceeds the number of DH slots to be had, so it’s difficult to say where these players will end up and what role they will play.
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You can check out all of the available free agents by position below.