Apparently, Johnny Damon has grown restless with the Yankees and is perhaps even eager to look elsewhere for a gig in the outfield. Both Damon and his agent, Scott Boras, have stated that “multiple teams” are currently interested in the 36-year old left fielder’s services, yet those who are slightly more removed from the situation (i.e., journalists) have had little to say in relation to possible suitors. This, of course, raises significant doubts regarding the legitimacy of Damon and Boras’ claims. Maybe there are no other suitors for Damon as his minuscule market features only the Yankees.
However, we learn from Newsday’s Erik Boland that Brian Cashman is actually aware of other parties interested in Damon for 2010. “Scott has told me the teams he’s talking to,” noted Cashman yesterday. Sure, Cashman’s awareness was brought on by Boras, however, I would think that the Yankees GM has ways of knowing whether or not Boras is at least being somewhat truthful (he can’t blatantly lie, as that would create concerns in future dealings).
But, if there are indeed other teams out there, exploring Damon as an option, who are they, exactly?
On Monday, in one of the only reports of its kind since mid-November, Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated noted that the Mariners, Braves, Giants, and Nationals appear to be the only teams, outside of the Yankees, with a potential interest in Damon. Furthermore, in Erik Boland’s article, cited above, the Newsday scribe lists the Nationals and Giants, again, as possible bidders for the affable outfielder. The Giants have always been mentioned as the second primary suitor for Damon, with the Yankees being the first, however, and although it is merely speculation, it seems as though we are finally beginning to discover a few other organizations — like the Nationals, for example — that could potentially test the the Damon waters (if they haven’t done so already). Still, like the Yankees, none of these clubs seem inclined to pay the $13 million per year that Damon is seeking and no one seems to want to set the market with an opening bid. Thus, their interest, and I’m speaking broadly here, is likely tepid at best, at least until Damon’s high price drops.
Even if his price drops, however, would he actually accept a two-year, $22 million deal from the Nationals, for instance, before accepting a two-year, $18-20 million proposal with the Yankees? Such a scenario could certainly occur, as money is the foremost form of persuasion, but one would think that the seemingly proud and prideful Damon would want to end his career with a guaranteed contender and, of the suitors listed, only the Yankees fit that description.
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