Johnny Damon Trade in the Works?

"Rumors of Damon/Crede Swap Heating Up
4th November, 2007 - 4:59 pm
MVN - Buster Olney of has mentioned a possible Johnny Damon for Joe Crede deal between the Yankees and White Sox.

The Chicago White Sox would be able to solve their "third base logjam" and would be able to acquire a center-fielder who is going to cost quite a bit less than any free-agent center fielder that the White Sox are interested in. Damon is due $26M throughout the next two years, and the Yankees would surely eat some of the salary to make the deal work.

As for the Yankees, acquiring a veteran third baseman was their ideal choice this off-season, and Crede brings this. He also won’t cost anywhere near what Mike Lowell is set to cost. As for Damon’s open position, Melky Cabrera will do quite well with a full-time job"

I'm not sure how I feel about this one.  Johnny Damon, when healthy, is a big time catalyst at the top of the order for us.  He is also an upgrade in left field over Matsui, even with his noodle arm.  But at the same time, if you can trade a 34 year old part time player for a guy that will start every day for you, I think you have to do it.  Crede admittedly had back problems last year, but he is only 29, is above average defensively, and improved each of the previous three seasons before last season, which he almost entirely missed because of his injury.  He would be much, much cheaper than the other options at 3b, like Lowell and of course A-Rod. 

I also like the idea of platooning Wilson Betemit with Shelley Duncan at first base, instead of having Betemit play third.  If you look at the splits, Duncan mashes lefties but can't hit righties, and the opposite is true for Betemit.  So you would always have a strong batting matchup at first base, no matter who is pitching.  Perhaps just as important, this would also keep Jason Giambi off the field and at DH where he belongs. 

Peter Abraham brings up a good point in his blog.  Crede is arbitration eligable, so the Yankees may wait and see if the White Sox offer it to him.  If not, he enters free agency and he can be signed without giving up Damon.

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