Will we ever see Johnny Damon wearing a Yankee jersey.... in fact will we ever see him wearing a jersey of any kind at all?
"Please somebody sign my guy!". This has been a shut out of Sports agent Scott Boras, whom a couple months ago declared to the world that Damon deserves a salary like Yankee Icon Derek Jeter ($ 20 million annually). Now both Boras and Damon are worried if they will even get 25 % of Jeter's salary ($ 5 million).
Definitely Boras and Damon are in a losing situation. They had their chance before when the Yankees choose Damon over Matsui. But the two parties couldn't agree with their price. Initially Damon is asking a $ 14 million salary. So the Yankees move to Plan-B and signed free agent Nick Johnson at a economical price of $ 5.75 million. Damon went back to the Yankees and said that he is willing to lower his asking price to $ 10 million. Apparently Damon came to late.
There was another chance for Damon when the Yankees traded their outfielder Melky Cabrera for a starting pitcher. With left field being vacated, the Yankees once again are interested with Damon but with a lower offer ($ 6-7 million) since they are obliged to pay an annual salary of $ 11.5 million to their new starting pitcher (Javier Vazquez). But still Damon won't budge.
Now the Yankees have announce that they have only $ 2 million left to spend for a left fielder. That price put a nail in the coffin for Damon. There's no way he will sign at that price.
In conclusion, both Damon and Boras place themselves in a hole. The Yankees made their offer... twice. They had their chance and they blew it. Now they are like vultures looking for good meat to eat (if there is any left).
The Braves are interested. But it will be impossible for them to sign Damon unless Damon lowers his price to $ 1-2 million. Right now the Braves are looking at an outfield of McClouth in CF, a Diaz/Melky split in left and Heyward in right, with Hinske on the bench. Bringing in Damon would then give them five outfielders as well as tie up their excess money that could be used during the season, and it seems pretty evident that they are looking to cut their costs.
The Tigers are in the mix but I doubt if they are really serious. They got outfielders that are old. Magglio Ordonez will be turning 36 on January 28 while Carlos Guillen is 34. Adding Damon will not only make their roster much older but they will be weak defensively.
That leaves the Yankees. I really can see no other teams getting involved, and I think it comes down to deciding between a one year commitment in Atlanta and one in New York. The reason Damon hasn’t heard from the Yankees is because both parties know, whoever contacts the other first looks like they are in a greater need. To me, this is why Brian Cashman is great; he sets a value and refuses to go over what that value is. This skill is especially important when dealing with Boras; A-Rod was the only player I can think of that the Yankees overpaid what they felt he was worth, and that was a Steinbrenner move.
If Boras and Damon keeps on playing this game, they might not be in any team come spring training. Damon's case is much even worse than Bobby Abreu's story in the 2008 off-season. They should make a move now or else Boras and Damon will come begging for a job at the start of the season.
It's crunch time and Damon is heavily relying on his agent Boras to bring him to promise land. But the way this thing progress, I won't be surprise if Damon ends up in a different league. A league outside of baseball.... The WWE pays good, perhaps Boras should talk to chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. Maybe they could get a $ 20 million offer that they eagerly project.