Damon adds hair, wins to Yankees
December 21, 2005 8 Comments
I’m not here to opine on the Yankees’ acquisition of Johnny Damon. If you want to read my thoughts on this signing, you can do so here or here. Rather, I want to take a quick look at Damon’s effect on the Yankees’ win total.
Damon will take over the leadoff spot and center field in the Yankees lineup in 2006. In 2005, Damon turned in a VORP of 49.2. As 10 VORP points is approximately equal to one win, that means Damon contributed just a bit under 5 wins to the Red Sox.
Meanwhile, the 2005 Yankee centerfielders were, well, a disaster. Omitting the woeful Tony Womack from the picture, the Yankees used Bernie Williams, Melky Cabrera, and Bubba Crosby to fill in that third outfield slot. The three combined for an overall VORP of 5.0. Only Williams has a positive VORP. In other words, the center fielder position on the American League East championship team did not even contribute one full win to the cause.
By replacing a triumvirate of subpar centerfielders with Johnny Damon, the Yankees could gain as many as five more wins in 2006. Building off of 2005, that would give them 101 wins on the season and a sure American League East crown.