Lineup - 2009 Stats (AVG/OBP/SLG, wOBA)
LF Johnny Damon - .282/.365/.489, .376
2B Aaron Hill - .286/.330/.499, .357
DH Adam Lind - .305/.370/.562, .394
CF Vernon Wells - .260/.311/.400, .314
1B Lyle Overbay - .265/.372/.466, .363
3B Edwin Encarnacion - .225/.320/.410, .322
RF Travis Snider - .241/.328/.419, .327
C John Buck - .247/.299/.484, .332
SS Alex Gonzalez - .238/.279/.355, .275
C Raul Chavez
DH/1B Randy Ruiz
MIF John McDonald
3B/OF Jose Bautista
While I did get really depressed halfway down writing up that lineup, it would actually be pretty awesome should Vernon and E5 bounce back even a little and Snider just continues to develop.
Though Damon's home run totals would go back to the teens having left Yankee Stadium, his ability to get on-base and his baserunning would provide a significant upgrade to Jose Bautista, the current leadoff candidate. It would also make a pretty slick left-right balance in the lineup. Damon also would not cost a draft pick as he was not offered arbitration and could potentially net the Jays half-decent prospects at the deadline or two draft picks after the season (he is currently a Type A free agent and a pretty sure bet to maintain that ranking going into next offseason).
The downside is pretty obvious: cash. Would the potential prospects Damon would bring back be worth the cost of the contract? Maybe, maybe not. Considering that the Jays are 'building,' a short-term pickup does not benefit their long-term goals and as such may not be deemed worthwhile. I would contend that for the amount that Damon would improve the team and increase fan interest it would be worthwhile, maybe giving the Jays a fighting shot at playing .500 ball. I'm also a tad concerned about his defense in left field, but his UZR has been positive there over two of the last three years.
As a last throw-in, Damon would be a character on an otherwise rather bland team. He has won two World Series over the last six seasons and could provide decent veteran presence that isn't Vernon Wells (who is having a hard time leading by example these days). At the very least, it would make this coming season a little more bearable.