- Wallace Matthews, ESPNNewYork.com
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It's February 19 and future Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, near Hall of Famer Johnny Damon, future Japan League Hall of Famer Hideki Matsui and Raul Ibanez, , a dependable 25HR-95 RBI guy the past eight years, are all out of work.
And to hear Yankees GM Brian Cashman tell it, it's because all of them are waiting by the telephone hoping for a call from the Bronx.
“In fairness to those guys, there’s an obvious need here in New York with a team that’s considered a contender that probably every one of those guys wants before they make their final decisions on other opportunities,'' Cashman said. "There's a vacancy sign here and everybody knows it. They’re probably sitting on the board waiting because of that reason, they’re all hoping to be that guy.''
Cashman was circumspect about who the Yankees might sign but the front-runner is known to be Ibanez because of his ability to play the outfield. Eric Chavez, who played 58 games for the Yankees last season but spent three months on the disabled list after breaking his foot, is also in the mix but more likely as a backup infielder than a DH. Damon, who called Cashman the other day, was told basically, thanks but no thanks.
"The preference would be to find someone from the left side that can do some damage against right-handed pitching, but at the same time, in the event we have injuries that hit in-season, that my manager could put out for defense,'' Cashman said.
If you feel you fit those requirements, submit your resume to B Cashman c/o The New York Yankees, and wait for your callback. But be warned: There's a lot of other guys sitting in front of the telephone waiting for the same thing.