Johnny Damon and Brian Cashman hug it out

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Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes that Johnny Damon and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman “met for about 10 minutes behind the batting cage yesterday.”
They reportedly cleared the air following unsuccessful offseason negotiations that saw Damon end up with the Tigers. In fact, according to Sherman “the two parted with a hug” and Cashman later called Damon “a great guy.”
Early in the offseason Damon and agent Scott Boras held out for more money and a longer contract than the Yankees were willing to offer the 36-year-old outfielder and by the time their demands changed Cashman had moved on to Nick Johnson and Randy Winn.
Damon eventually signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Tigers, which is a price the Yankees almost surely would have paid had he been willing to accept that same deal in November rather than mid-February. Johnson and Winn will make a combined $6.6 million this season.
“Everything is good now,” Damon said. “No problems.”

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.