Cashman still isn’t talking, and the NY press has now focussed its attention on the crucial hair issue (props to the Times for pulling those Oscar Gamble pics), but after 36 hours we feel a little more comfortable discussing the new Yankee outfielder in a rational way. Our official take: Kudos to the Yankees; we’re going to enjoy watching Johnny Paycheck for some time, barring the unforeseen.
The Yankee blogosphere is pretty much unanimous in support of this move, giving it the Sabermetric seal of approval with only minor quibbles. In comes a terrific offensive player at his position, and the analysis seems to be that his regression, even in the field, will not be devastating, and that even in the final years of the deal he’s going to be a solid contributor on both offense and defense. In the immediate future, it pays huge dividends, and correspondingly hurts Boston. The Yanks only give up a draft pick (but still have a first round choice, and a higher one at that), and the deal seems to fit into their economic structure. Cashman gets double-bonus points for his “Bubba is our man” bluff, for putting together a winning package, and making the ninja-like acquisition. If there’s any sense of frustration, it’s with the assumption that Damon will lead off, when it seems clear he should hit in the 2 slot. But whatever. Page Six must be thrilled; we, too, like a player who likes New York, and chooses to make the most of what this city has to offer—it’s good for our collective morale and mystique—and we expect Johnny to be that type of player. Anyway we sure like this quote, which sounds old school in just the right way: “Now I’m part of the Yankees and that great lineup, and we’re going to be tough to beat.” The tougher the better.