Back and forth we go. The 36 year old Damon has made it very clear that he wants to return to the Yankees, but his price has been set too high for the liking of the Yankees. Damon’s agent, Scott Boras, wants $13 million for three-years, no less. Or so he says.
Ken Davidoff of Newsday tweets that the Yankees offered Damon two-years for $14 million. Boras responded with a counteroffer of two-years, $26 million, lower than what he initially demanded.
And so unfolds the truth.
Ken Davidoff tweeted later that the Damon requested a two-year, $22 million deal, which the Yankees declined.
When you first look at this story, you say: Well, I guess the Yankees just don’t want Damon. That is not at all the case. Cashman has expressed his desire to bring back Damon, specificallly by calling him “the perfect number two hitter.” He has never outright said that he has closed the doors on talks with Damon.
Instead, I think that this decline was a strategy. When Boras countered with a two-year deal, the Yankees saw that Damon really wanted to play for the Yankees, and was willing to lower his offer. So, all of the talk about going to another team was, indeed, a bluff.
Once again, the Yankees are in the drivers seat. It seemed a week ago that if Damon was going to come back, the Yankees would have needed to back down. Instead, it’s now Damon that will need to back down. What else is new?
Poll of the Day:
Should the Yankees resign Damon regardless of the price?(opinion)
Damon’s agent, Scott Boras, is seeking a four year deal, while the Yankees are seeking, at most, a two year deal. Damon would love to come out of it with at least an option for a third year.
The Giants and Cardinals could also give some attention to Damon. But it is unlikely that any team will commit to two years with the 36 year old Damon, who’s stolen bases were way down this season from last season.
Damon is the clear better choice than Matsui. With the numbers Damon put up last year, he showed us that there is no sign that he is slowing down, and if there is a sign at all, it’s that he is getting even better. He gives the Yankees the option of playing the field, which Matsui does not. He could also slip into the DH spot if need be. Bottom line, Johnny Damon is a Yankee, and he should go nowhere.