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December 14, 2005

Re-building the 2004 Red Sox
by SG

Having inked Mike Myers in a deal that is expected to be formally announced today, the Yankees are now continuing in their quest to re-build the 2004 Boston Red Sox in the Bronx apparently. In addition to Myers, they have already had stints by Mark Bellhorn, Alan Embree, and Ramiro Mendoza. However, those players were not key players for the Yankees, but there are two new names this offseason who could be.

In a rumor that I think makes a lot of sense, there is Nomar Garciaparra. Interest in Garciaparra by the Yankees has progressed to the point that Joe Torre has called him. Of course, he called B.J. Ryan too.

I've grown to really like the Nomar idea, because of his potential defensive versatility and his bat. Even last year, when he was down, he was still about league-average offensively. A league-average bat that can DH, play anywhere in the IF, and possibly the OF corners would have plenty of value, and he could very well exceed league average again. Obviously, his health is a major concern, but I think it's a chance worth taking.

The Yankees have talked about using Garciaparra as a first baseman, but I think he would be ideal in the role of roving everyday player.

"Give Sheffield 20 games at DH and stick Nomar in RF. Give Matsui 15 games at DH and stick him in LF. Give Giambi 50 games at DH and stick Nomar at first. Give Rodriguez 10 games off at DH and stick Nomar at third, Give Jeter 10 games off at SS and stick Nomar at short. Give Cano 10 games off and stick Nomar at second. That's 115 games in the field. " from

The other 2004 Red Sox player that the Yankees are supposedly growing more interested in is Johnny Damon,who Torre has also called. I've been very against a Damon signing, and that has not changed. However, with options like Brad Wilkerson and Milton Bradley traded elsewhere, the Yankees' options appear to be drying up. I just think Damon is a bad investment and the type of contract that has hamstrung the Yankees for the last few years. Damon's arm is embarrassingly bad in center field, his range is declining severely, and he's hit about 50 OPS points higher at home over the last 4 years.

So I vote thumbs up for Nomar, and thumbs down for Damon.