Yankees sign Randy Winn
According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post, the Yankees have used much of their remaining payroll space – about $2 million – to sign outfielder Randy Winn. Winn, 35, hit .262/.318/.353 with the Giants in 2009. The deal is for one-year, pending a physical. More on this as it develops, but it seems Johnny Damon’s tenure in pinstripes is officially over.
UPDATE (4:05 pm) – Here’s some more info on the move via Sherman:
The deal is believed to be in the $2 million range that the Yankees had allocated for the fourth outfielder job and pretty much shuts the door on any late pursuit of Johnny Damon.
The Yankees had favored finding an extra outfielder who hit southpaws well to pair with lefty-swinging Brett Gardner in left field. That is why Reed Johnson seemed a more likely signing than Winn, a switch-hitter who batted .158 against lefties last year.
But in the end, the Yankees viewed Winn as a superior all-around player to Johnson. He is considered an exceptional corner outfielder with the ability to play center field if needed, plus he is a high-percentage base stealer. Winn was successful in 16 out of 18 tries last year for San Francisco, and has stolen 56 bases and been caught seven times over the past three years.
Sherman also adds that the Yankees could still pursue a Rocco Baldelli-type – a right-hander who hits left-handers well – even after signing Winn, but it would have to be on a minor-league contract.