Speaking recently on SIRIUS XM’s MLB Home Plate channel, Jerry Hairston Jr., who signed with the Padres, was asked about the Yankees’ leftfield situation by co-host Jim Bowden.
Bowden: “I have to ask you this, and it’s a two part question: Did the Yankees make you an offer and the second part, did you sign with San Diego after [your brother] Scott was traded and was that part of the reason?”
Jerry Hairston Jr.: “You know what, to answer your first question, the Yankees didn’t officially make an offer. We’d been talking with them for about a month or two months and, um, they were kinda, I guess, waiting for a certain left fielder’s price to come down. That’s what I was gathering. (Laughs) I know Brian [Cashman]’s going to really love me for saying that. But that’s the sense I had and more power to ‘em. You know, obviously Brian has a job to do and Johnny Damon’s an incredible ballplayer. But obviously at that time I said, ‘You know what? I need to do what’s best for me.’ And the best fit for me was in San Diego. That’s a young team but they’re looking for players with some speed, athleticism that can play in that ballpark and I was looking to sign there anyway and then, icing on the cake, having Scott get traded over there it definitely makes it that much sweeter.”
With Brian Cashman having in the neighborhood of $2-3 million left to spend before hitting his budget number, it’s difficult to see Damon agreeing to return at a figure that could amount to roughly a $10 million pay cut.
Though from the never-say-never department, Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that Damon has "days to take [a] low deal" from the Yankees and if Damon declines, the names mentioned as alternatives are mostly ones you've heard before: Reed Johnson, Xavier Nady, Randy Winn and Jermaine Dye. An interesting, and perhaps odd, wildcard Heyman mentions is Jim Edmonds, who didn't play last season and turns 40 in June.
Wonder if Damon having second thoughts about turning down the Yankees two-year, $14 million offer in December as no significant market has developed for him.
And with that, pitchers and catchers in 25 days…