It’s January 6th and we are still talking about Damon. I must say, I would have never guessed that. The latest buzz on Damon came from SI.com’s John Heyman, who calls Damon’s return “still remotely possible.”
Other reports throughout the off season have revealed a one-year, $6M deal from the Yankees, and a requested two-year, $20M deal from Boras. Neither have gone through.
Fangraphs.com says that Damon deserves over $14.5M for one-year, a good case for Scott Boras. But with his age, lack of fielding ability, lack of other choices, and severe desire to play in New York, the Yankees can get him for less.
I am starting to beleive that Damon’s return to the Yankees is inevitable. I can’t tell you for how much, but I will tell you that it won’t be for a lot.
The Yankees would have no problem going into the 2010 season with the team they have now. But, Damon really wants to play in New York. No other teams, besides the Braves, have been serious about signing him. But, again, Damon doesn’t want to play in Atlanta.
So the Yankees are in the drivers seat again. The Yankees will have no problem waiting this one out untill the last day of the off season, when Damon will have no choice. I wouldn’t be surprised if this comes down to the wire, and the Yankees end up getting him for a nice, cheap deal.
But, the Yankees are serious about saving up for next off season, which would rule out the two-year deal that Damon truley wants. That, plus the fact that Boras could care less about what Damon wants, could and will be what keep Damon out of New York.
UPDATE 7:14 p.m. Ken Davidoff of Newsday tells me (via Twitter) that he doesn’t expect the Yankees to offer Damon a contract, regardless of the fact that there are no other options for Damon.
UPDATE 8:29 p.m. Asked Ken Davidoff if their were any conditions under which Damon would be a Yankee, and he gave me a sarcastic response (via Twitter). Leads me to believe that there’s a very small chance of Damon’s return.
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)
Report: Damon to explore other options besides Yanks
The NY Post is reporting that Johnny Damon is ready to look for other offers as the Yankees continue to stall. Damon has made it clear that he wants to return to the Bronx, and the Yankees have made it clear that they too want him back.
The negotiations have come to a stalemate. Damon’s agent, Scott Boras, thinks Damon deserves a three to four year deal worth at least $13 million a year. The Yankees, on the other hand, feel a two-year, $20 million deal is more appropriate.
“I am going to start looking around. Teams are getting better and there
are teams interested,” Damon told The Post yesterday. “I can’t wait
forever and I am sure [the Yankees] are trying to figure things out. I
have to be ready.”
So what should the Yankees do? As I said yesterday, pitching is the #1 priority for the Yankees right now, or at least it better be. If Cashman feels that a three or four year deal is really inappropriate, then I’m going to trust him. The Yankees have no reason to make lucrative or risky deals on players they don’t really need right now. If one thing is going to make this team better, it’s going to be pitching.
Poll of the Day:
Should the Yankees sign Damon for more than two years?(survey software)