This offseason the New York Yankees solved their biggest issue by adding two new starting pitchers. Veteran Hiroki Kuroda and young gun Michael Pineada were two huge additions that will help the Yankees immensely. However, as great as the Pineada trade was, it created a huge hole at DH by losing the promising Jesus Montero.
The Yankees already have one option at DH in right handed veteran Andrew Jones. Jones is clearly not the offensive force he once was, but he can still help. He posted a slash line (Batting Average, On-Base Percentage, Slugging Percentage) of .247/.356/.495 with 13 homers in 2011 and will be receiving most of his at-bats against lefties. The Yankees need to pair him with a lefty veteran that knows the Yankee way. The best options would be bringing back either Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui to The Bronx.
Damon, who is now 37, had a down year in 2011, but still showed he can hit. Damon posted a .261/.326/.418 slash line with 16 homers in 2011. He is still a professional hitter who will hit you doubles with some pop to hit it out of the park, and he will never strike out at a crazy rate. Damon spent four seasons with the Yankees and posted a .285/.363/.458 slash line with 77 homers, which average out to about 19 homers per year. He has also shown a clutch gene by hitting .276/.323/.452 career in the postseason with 10 homers. Damon has hit clutch against and for the Yankees in the postseason.
Matsui, who is also 37, had even more of a down year, but had a big end to his season in 2011. Matsui posted a .251/.321/.375 slash line with only 12 homers in 2011. These were all pretty much career lows for Matsui, but his end to 2011 showed good signs. Matsui spent seven seasons with the Yankees and posted a .292/.370/.482 slash line with 140 homers, which averaged out to exactly 20 long balls per year. He has never been fazed by the big stage of the postseason and has hit .312/.391/.541 and also hit 10 homers. Matsui was named the 2009 World Series MVP and Yankees fans everywhere will never forget that performance.
Yes, both Damon and Matsui are in decline, but they are both professional hitters. Their numbers with the Yankees were more in their prime, but what it really shows is the fact that they can handle the pressure of New York and the crazy Yankees fans. Bringing back either Damon or Matsui will be great pickups for the Yankees as they won’t cost too much and they will come through in the postseason.