Yesterday our own Dan LaTorraca went through a list of teams that could possibly use free agent outfielder Johnny Damon on their team, but the thing about the list was – almost none of them had actually made any offers to him.
Well that could change because, according to Buster Olney of ESPN, if the Oakland Athletics fail to sign free agent pitcher Ben Sheets they could take that money and spend it on Damon to fill a hole in the middle of their batting order.
From Olney: “Heard this: Oakland is trying to sign Ben Sheets. If the Athletics are unable to do so, then they would turn to a veteran OFer as a possible Plan B: Johnny Damon. Oakland has available cash, a need in the middle of its lineup. But Sheets bidding has to play out first.”
What Dan said about the Athletics: “They already have a slew of inexpensive outfielders and probably lack the money to sign a player like Damon.”
He’s right, they don’t typically have a ton of money to spend, but what they do have is a strong desire to acquire undervalued talent. The question is, exactly how much money would they spend on Damon? If it is in the neighborhood of $5 million, it could still be possible for the Yankees to resign him at that value. If it is more, and it certainly would cost them more than that to sign Sheets to they could theoretically have more money to spend on Damon, then the Yankees would be likely to move on.
So despite the fact that we’ve heard from Damon himself that he expects to sign this week, this entire debacle might not even begin wrapping up until Sheets finds himself a new home.