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December 22, 2005

MLB: Yanks get Bernie on board as backup
by SG

NEW YORK -- While Johnny Damon dominated the headlines Wednesday, the Yankees made a move to secure his backup as well.

While the Yankees wait for the Damon signing to become official, they took another step toward filling out their roster, coming to terms with Bernie Williams on a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

I'm ok with bringing Bernie back, as long as the plan is not for him to be full-time DH. I don't think he has much left in the tank, but he may surprise us. In a very small sample size as a DH last year, Bernie hit a very respectable .294/.362/.459. Also, as a pinch-hitter last year he hit .273/.438/.545, again in an extremely small sample size. It is still imperative to me that the Yankees add another bat, one that can play at least LF and RF passably well, enough to rest Matsui and Sheffield at DH, because I do not think Bernie can be a full-time player anymore. The only time I'd even consider putting him in the OF is when Chien-Ming Wang is pitching, and even then only for maybe 10-15 games, where he'd only cost a few runs.

Bernie's a better player than Ruben Sierra. This should end up being an improvement.

I'm still trying to come to terms with the Damon signing. Despite Larry's love for it, I am still very conflicted about it.