Results tagged ‘ Johnny Damon ’

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.

Yankees sticking to tight left field budget

Reposting this from the MLB.com Hot Stove Blog:

Despite heavy fan speculation to the contrary, the Yankees are
stressing the point that they will not get involved with a bid for a
big ticket left fielder.

“No chance on Matt Holliday, no chance
on Jason Bay,” a Yankees official told the New York Daily News on
Monday. “Zero. None. Underline it.”

To take the point further,
the Yankees’ budget for left field is so tight, the newspaper reports
that they would not have matched the offer the Giants made for Mark
DeRosa – $12 million over two years. Yankees general manager Brian
Cashman told MLB.com on Monday that even Xavier Nady, coming off Tommy
John surgery, is asking too much for New York’s budget.

The
same appears true for veteran Jermaine Dye, and Johnny Damon has
already acknowledged that he does not fit into the Yankees’ payroll
planning.

If the season started today, the Yankees would be
preparing to go with Brett Gardner and Jamie Hoffmann in left field.
The Daily News suggests that the Yankees are also considering cheaper
free agent options like Reed Johnson or Jerry Hairston, Jr. to add to
the mix.  

“There’s plenty of time,” the official told the
newspaper. “There’s no hurry. And there are a ton of outfielders out
there. We are just tweaking at this point. We’ll sign an outfielder
between now and spring training.”

Bits and pieces about left field

I answered a question about Xavier Nady in today’s Inbox as follows:

Why wouldn’t the Yankees look at Xavier Nady for left field? They
would get a right-handed bat with good power who can handle New York.
Is his injury still a factor or is he looking for more than the Yankees
want to pay?
– Pete N., Syracuse N.Y.

Right now, it appears the hold-up would be more financial than
physical. General manager Brian Cashman said on Monday that Nady’s
price is above the Yankees’ current budget, which explains why they
have not been seriously linked to him while some other clubs have.

Remembering that Scott Boras is Nady’s agent and we all know where that’s taking them in the Johnny Damon situation, it makes sense that the Yankees are playing the ‘not interested’ card. After all, you’re looking at a position player who is coming off his second Tommy John surgery. That’s a big question mark and if the dollar signs are large as well, it might not be a match.

So where are the Yankees going to head from here? It’s looking more and more like Mark DeRosa is off the table, taking a physical with the Giants, and I just don’t know if all that Jermaine Dye talk was serious.

So… Brett Gardner and Jamie Hoffman, eh? As of Dec. 28, that’s where it is. Stay tuned.

In the end, Damon didn’t fit budget

I know everyone giggles when they hear about the Yankees’ strict spending budget, but so far, Brian Cashman really is acting like he intends to keep the payroll under $200 million in 2010.

Take the Johnny Damon situation, for example. As Tyler Kepner details today in an analysis piece for the New York Times, Damon had offered to return for two years and $20 million, but only after the Yankees offered two years and $14 million. By that point, the Yankees had already come near the finish line on a $5.5 million deal with Nick Johnson and it was too late to turn back.

A Yankees official told the Times that Damon’s agent, Scott Boras, wanted a two-year, $26 million deal when he spoke with Cashman on Wednesday, but Boras disputed that in an interview.

So the Yankees have subtracted Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui from the World Series roster and replaced them with Curtis Granderson and Nick Johnson. They’re a little younger and certainly a little less expensive. But do you feel like the Yankees are better today?

Damon willing to play waiting game

Johnny Damon has expressed interest in remaining with the Yankees, but
the free agent outfielder isn’t expecting to have a resolution to his
situation anytime soon, according to the New York Daily News.

Preparing
for a European vacation, Damon addressed his situation in a telephone
interview with the newspaper on Sunday and said that several teams have
reached out to his agent, Scott Boras, to express interest. But Damon
said that no offers have been made to Boras, who keeps Damon up to
speed mostly via text messages.

“It seems like it’s been
pretty informal,” Damon told the newspaper. “With Thanksgiving coming
up, I think it’s going to be slow until next week at least. These
things usually take until the winter meetings at least; I’ve been
through this before, so I’m just relaxing.”

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