According to ESPN‘s Buster Olney, the Oakland A’s are currently attempting to land Ben Sheets – they will likely have to outbid the Mets – however, if those plans do not work out then Oakland will turn its attention toward offense and will sign a veteran outfielder. Olney writes that Johnny Damon is a “possible plan” for the A’s if this does occur, as “Oakland has available cash” and “a need need in the middle of its lineup.” The bidding for Ben Sheets will have to play out in full, though, before the A’s consider redirecting any of their resources to Damon.
Now, in my opinion, a Damon-Oakland reunion doesn’t make much sense for either party. The A’s already have a plethora of outfielders to draw upon in Coco Crisp, Rajai Davis, Ryan Sweeney, Travis Buck, and Eric Patterson (if he doesn’t play the infield). Granted, it is hard to predict what one might get from any of these players, production-wise, in 2010, however, one would think that Davis and Sweeney earned starting roles last year and Crisp will start as well. In addition, Jake Fox and Jack Cust are in the mix and both can see time at the outfield corners – limited time, of course – though the defensively challenged duo will likely serve as DH material (which eliminates signing Damon as a DH). Billy Beane just seems like he has too many offensive pieces right now to add the 36-year old Damon.
For Damon, the A’s likely won’t contend this year and they play in a pitcher’s park on the west coast. That doesn’t sound very appealing. Also, Damon has stated that he will likely sign this week and the Ben Sheets sweepstakes may not be over by then (he would have to wait for Oakland to lose out on Sheets, then engage them in negotiations).
Bottom line is, it doesn’t seem like a good fit. No one knows where Damon might end up, but I doubt it’s Oakland.
Photo by Reuters
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