Rumor Mill: A Jeter deal for Damon?
Scott Boras made the rounds in Chicago yesterday, giving the writers something to chew on with Johnny Damon. Whether you read it frokm Joel Sherman in the New York Post, Mark Feinsand in the Daily News or David Waldstein in the New York Times, here’s the bottom line — Boras is drawing comparisons between his client, Damon, and what the Yankees have done and will do with Derek Jeter.
Boras’ argument, according to Sherman, is that Damon and Jeter worked so well atop the lineup in 2009, they should be viewed as a tandem. He also notes that that Damon has historic durability and that past three seasons equate well for both Damon and Jeter, and so they should be paid similarly. And Boras, of course, does not want Damon to take a pay cut from his $13 million annual salary (no one pays Boras’ commission to take a pay cut).
Here’s the problem, as I see it. The Yankees are going to overpay Derek Jeter. There’s no question about it, they’re going to give him one of those sweetheart deals where they pay him a lot for the future as a thank you for being the captain and leader of past teams, because they don’t want to see him getting his 3,000th hit in another uniform.
That’s fine, we all accept it, and if there’s one guy you’re going to do that to, it’s Jeter. OK, maybe they did it a little to not see Mariano Rivera — and especially Jorge Posada — in other uniforms too.
Point is, Damon doesn’t have that same cache with the Yankees. He was a very good player, a very productive player, over those four years. But he’s no franchise talent. A one or two-year deal is probably all that the Yankees are going to bring to the table with Damon. If Boras is intent on getting more, Damon is likely to be playing elsewhere in 2010 and beyond.
— Sherman also notes the Yankees intend to either pick up Sergio Mitre’s $1.25 million option by next week’s deadline or offer him arbitration, keeping him around as rotation depth. As expected, the Yankees also plan on non-tendering Chien-Ming Wang and then considering offering him a smaller money deal to return.
— Cashman on Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, via Feinsand: “I look at them as starters that can relieve. We haven’t had our meetings, but I would anticipate going to spring training with as much starting depth as possible.”
Cashman also told reporters that he’s not actively shopping Ian Kennedy, but teams have called with interest.