Johnny Damon running out of options?
Back from a brief mid-winter respite wandering the streets of New York, and still there has been almost no movement on the Johnny Damon front.
Wednesday’s news brings us this article from Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record, who relays a note from a friend of Damon’s as saying that the outfielder has actually considered retirement with no offers trickling in. Here’s the exact blurb:
A friend of Damon’s recently said, “Johnny is completely in the family mode right now” and has considered that option. It’s still hard to believe that, in the wake of a 24-home run campaign in 2009, and hitting .364 against the Phillies in the Series, Damon actually would quit.
Give him credit for not panicking. In a text message to the New York Times on Tuesday, Damon wrote: “I’m sure things will work out somewhere.” Chances are, however, he never thought he’d be in this kind of predicament so late in the off-season.
The thought is that the Yankees only have about $2 million remaining to address their needs, so Damon – who made $13 million in ’09 and, via Scott Boras, was seeking the same for 2010 – may have overplayed his hand. Our Mark Bowman blogged that the Braves seem an unlikely fit, and Jason Beck notes the Tigers also haven’t expressed interest in Damon.
As this continues to drag on toward Spring Training, perhaps Damon will be forced to buckle at some point and accept far less than he’d ever thought would be waiting for him after a career year. The Yankees would love to have him back, so don’t rule them out, but only at their price.
If not, as I wrote yesterday in the Inbox, I really do believe the Yankees would be just fine with Brett Gardner in left field. Put it this way – they wouldn’t miss the playoffs because of it.
It’s worth noting that Damon also quietly considered retirement after the ’07 season, when his injuries made it miserable and painful to play, but those maladies had softened in the two years that followed. Hey, there is always the wrestling ring if Damon chooses that route.