Steve Kornacki of Mlive.com interviewed an unnamed American League executive the other day who couldn’t believe Damon rejected a $14 million and $6 million offers from the Yankees.
“Sometimes, we ask for too much,” said the source, requesting anonymity. “Then, the smoke clears and you ask, ‘Where am I?’ And now, I can’t believe anybody is going to offer Damon more than the $14 million and $6 million the Yankees did.
“If you turn them down for that, you deserve one year for $3 million or whatever he is going to get. In February, teams have got guys in place. My feeling is that now he is going to be lucky to get whatever he gets. It’s still supply and demand in this game. And Johnny’s arrow is in the middle or going down.”
I can’t say I disagree with him. Damon and his agent Scott Boras seem to think that he doesn’t age and that the market is somehow beneath him. In reality teams aren’t looking to give multi-year deals to an outfielder who is destined to regress offensively this year. Bobby Abreu and Hideki Matsui both signed small deals after leaving the Yankees, does Damon really think he’s so much better than both of them?
Of course, Boras knows better than the rest of us. According to him there are still a few teams discussing deals for the free agent.
“I still feel there is a quality market for Johnny Damon,” Boras says, “and I’m negotiating with a number of teams. There are three teams out there that if they don’t have Johnny Damon, they’re not winning the division. He’s the difference in these teams making the playoffs or not contending.”
Boras, presumably with a straight face is referring to the Braves, the Tigers, and his infamous mystery team. He even sounds pretty optimistic.
“I can never predict what will happen in February, but talent has no wristwatch,” Boras says. “There’s always room for difference-makers. Fans know that teams are 95% complete, but a guy like this can make a dramatic difference.”
Realistically it appears that the Tigers are the only team even remotely interested in Damon. And their insistence on a multi-year deal could be putting that in jeopardy.
So what do you think? Will Damon eventually fool a team, probably the Tigers, into giving him a multi-year deal? Or is he going to regret not resigning with the Yankees?