Last year, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman urged Hal Steinbrenner to increase the team?s budget to add Andy Pettite. It does not look like he will make the same accommodations for Johnny Damon this season.
According to the New York Post, the Yankees claim they have at most $2 million to spend on a left fielder. Damon is looking for more on the open market and is an appealing option for teams such as the Braves and Giants.
If Damon doesn?t return, Xavier Nady is a possible alternative on the Yankees? radar. Thus begins the Damon-Nady debate.
Nady is not the same caliber of player as Damon but has played left field in the past and could come at a discount compared to the veteran. On the other hand, Nady has drawn interest from several teams and could become too expensive, even for the Yankees.
It remains to be seen who will be the starting left fielder for the Yankees when they open the season at Fenway Park on April 4. Whether it?s Damon, Nady, or even Reid Gorecki or David Winfree, the Yankees will enter the season as defending world champions with a deep lineup, an outstanding pitching staff and an excellent chance to repeat.