Hahaha! Fooled you. Hee hee. Yeah, that's a good one. Whoo. Johnny Damon to the Twins. Wow. Rii-iight -- the guy who the Yankees think is asking too much. Let me repeat that: the Yankees (who pay the top four contracts in baseball) pretty much laughed at his requests and moved on (they proved it when they signed Nick Johnson). So there is nooooooo way in h-e-double-toothpicks he's coming to the Twins.
But, just for a minute, let's pretend that money is not an issue. Would we still want him? Or should we just stick with Delmon?
Damon is a top-of-the-order hitter who hit .282 with 24 homers and an OBP of .365 last year. He had 71 walks and 98 strikeouts. He also stole 12 bases. He'd fit in nicely in the two-hole between Span and Mauer.
Young is supposed to be a power hitter, and he should be batting in the middle of the order. But he only hit .284 (ok, a hair better than Damon, but wait, it gets worse) with 12 homers (told ya') and an OBP of .308 last year. He had 12 walks and 92 strikeouts, and he stole 2 bases. Yup, bottom of the order for him.
Damon is fast, but he has a horrible arm. He wasn't a great center-fielder; I doubt he'd be a better left-fielder.
Young has a pretty good arm, but he runs like his shoes are stuck in mud. Plus, he runs horrible routes. Maybe being out of the Dome will help.
Damon is old (36) and going downhill. And his ability to stay healthy is doubtful. There have also been reports that he suffers from "i-don't-wanna-play-hard-itis" from time to time. Plus, adding reality back in, he wants $20 million, and likely multiple years.
Young is young (24), and he's got a ton of potential. He doesn't seem prone to injury, and I think, and here's the part where I drink the Kool-Aid (a phrase I want to slay, by the way), his batting will come around to meet all that potential. He's known as being a bit "uncoachable," but he looked much better at the end of last season. And he's due to make $2 million (est.) next year.
Yeah, Damon is the better hitter ... for now. The defense is a wash. But the big strike against Damon for me is the age. I'll stick with Delmon, thankyouverymuch. Besides, if the Twins spent that kind of money on a washed-up outfielder they don't need, it had better be after Joe Mauer signs on the dotted line for the Twins.
Note: In the spirit of full disclosure, I "wrote" this post in my head in the wee hours in the morning the other day when I was unable to sleep. It seemed much more hilarious and reasonable (I know, it doesn't seem likely that it would've been both, but it did) then. Chances are I forgot much of the good stuff. But, for some reason, I find that if I have trouble sleeping, I just have to think about Delmon Young, and it helps.