There hasn’t been a whole lot going on with the Yankees as we wait on the Winter Meetings that will take place next week so I thought now would be a good time to update everyone on left fielder Johnny Damon.
Despite the fact that Johnny Damon made it known all season that he would prefer to stay with the Yankees things aren’t always that simple, especially when your agent is Scott Boras. So after months where it seemed like Damon realized that staying in New York meant a short-term deal it seems like he and Boras are set on receiving a long-term deal.
That doesn’t mean the end for Damon, but the Yankees complicated things when they didn’t offer him arbitration. By not offering him arbitration not only did the Yankees make it harder on themselves to get him to stay on a ideal one-year contract, but they made him more attractive to other teams.
No, he’s not the best outfielder on the market and he’s certainly not the youngest, but he’s probably the best that won’t cost you a draft pick. So if a team decides that he’s more valuable to them because they don’t have to sacrifice their best pick in the draft then they might be able to easily outbid the Yankees by offering more years.
In a perfect world the Yankees would still sign Damon to a short-term deal and they are still interested in that. So stay tuned because people don’t always go for money over happiness (full disclosure: Damon did say that he wouldn’t take more dollars to become a Yankee while he was still with the Red Sox).
The bottom line is that Damon will probably seek a two-year $18 million deal similar to Bobby Abreu’s. If that a deal the Yankees would be interested in? We’ll probably find out soon. So far we haven’t heard much from the Yankees on how far they’re willing to go, but we should have a clearer picture after the Yankees finish their pre-Winter Meetings meeting.
There has also been one team that we’ve heard rumored to be connected to Damon other than the Yankees – the San Francisco Giants which makes sense because they need a lead-off hitter and offense. The first time those two were connected was on November 12 by Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated and his name was brought up again by Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News who said the Yankees failure to offer him arbitration only makes him more attractive.