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The Yankees Are Still Flirting With Johnny Damon

When we last checked in with Johnny Damon and his never-ending free agency, he may or may not have been contemplating retirement. The Yankees had shown little interest — they’ve been insisting that they have just $2 million for their left-fielder — and with no team offering the kind of money that Scott Boras was seeking, some thought Damon might just take his bat and go home. But this weekend brought some news, sort of.

According to multiple outlets, Damon and the Yankees have spoken in the past couple of days, indicating that the Yankees are still willing to consider bringing Damon back. But by all accounts, their offer still stands at $2 million. SI’s Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees had given Damon a deadline, and that he’d have the weekend to make a decision. But the Post reached Damon on vacation via text message — and, boy, must pro athletes love it when that happens — and Damon said that he was not aware of any deadline.

We wouldn’t put much stock in any “deadline” if there really is one, because they’re generally pretty meaningless. Also, as the Post points out, Damon’s better suited for an American League team — meaning Atlanta isn’t an ideal fit, and the Yankees are one of the few options (if not the only option) for Damon’s camp. But Heyman’s article also brings this tidbit: If Damon doesn’t accept their offer within the next couple of days — remember, he says there’s a deadline — then the Yankees plan on signing another outfielder by mid-week, from a list that includes Reed Johnson, Randy Winn, Xavier Nady, Jim Edmonds, and Jermaine Dye. For all we know, that’s just what the Yankees want us — and Boras — to think. But if true, it could mean Brett Gardner’s brief stint as the would-be left-fielder is coming to an end, Damon or no Damon.

Yankees set deadline for Damon [SI]
Yankees: No deadline for Damon, but offer still at $2M [NYP]

The Yankees Are Still Flirting With Johnny Damon