Nick Johnson is now back with the team he grew up with. Drafted and developed by the Yankees, OF/1B/DH Nick Johnson is all set to be back in pinstripes for the 2010 season after signing a 1 year deal worth about $5.5 Million with some incentives. The deal also includes a mutual option for 2011.
Johnson spent the first three years of his career with the Yankees but was traded to the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals) after the 2003 season for Javier Vasquez. He has spent much of his career on the DL, but managed to stay off of it for most of the 2009 season. As a result of that, he had one of the highest on-base percentages in the bigs last season at .426 and his career-high BA of .291.
Johnson played first base for the Yankees from 2001-2003, alternating time there with Jason Giambi. His $5.5 Million salary is the exact same amount he has earned for the last 3 seasons.
Many are saying that this indicates the Yankees are moving on from Johnny Damon. Rumors are that Damon’s people reportedly told the Yankees not even bother making an offer unless it was in the $13 Million/year range. The Yankees had reportedly been planning to offer a two-year deal in the $18 Million range.
I still don’t believe this means the Yankees are done adding position players or that Damon is definitely not coming back. We all thought the Yankees were done last December before they surprised us in the days before Christmas by adding free agent slugger/awesome first baseman Mark Teixeira.
I do feel happy about this move. Johnson was a solid guy for the Bombers earlier in his career and it’s good to see him back in the Bronx once again.