Braves Still Pursuing Johnny Damon

The Braves are still pursuing free agent outfielder Johnny Damon, according to a tweet from David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionOn Monday, O'Brien shot down a Jon Heyman suggestion that the Braves had made an offer.

The Giants appear to be out for Damon now that they've added Aubrey Huff, and we learned Tuesday that a Yankees reunion is unlikely.  Scott Boras is going to have to cook up a mystery team if he's going to get the Braves to overpay for Damon.  The Royals and Padres might be looking to add an outfielder, but Damon is an unlikely fit for either club.


79 Responses to Braves Still Pursuing Johnny Damon Leave a Reply

  1. Maybe Boras can cook up a story about the Mets signing him as insurance against Beltran’s return. He’s not really a center fielder anymore, but I can see Boras trying it.

    • alxn 5 years ago

      I dont think the Braves would mind if the Mets had an opening day outfield of Bay-Damon-Francoeur. They would probably encourage that.

  2. Michael Brown 5 years ago

    I wouldn’t be upset with 1 year deal between 5-7 million, though any more and I’d rather take our chances with our current bunch.

    Diaz/Cabrera
    McLouth
    Heyward

    Schafer in the wings…

  3. Michael Brown 5 years ago

    If this happens I expect one of Diaz/Cabrera to be moved before Opening Day.

  4. bravesfansince93 5 years ago

    Frank Wren needs to get Johnny Damon. That would solidify our outfield.

    LF – Damon
    CF- McLouth
    RF – Melky/Heyward/Diaz (whoever Bobby wants out there)

    Overall, this has been a good offseason for the Braves. Frank Wren has done a decent job w/ what he’s had. People bashed the Vasquez trade, but you’ll see that Lowe has a better season in 2010 than Vasquez. 2009 was a fluke year for Vasquez.

    • Rob NY 5 years ago

      False. Lowe is donezo. You can’t spin that contract in any kind of good way. Plus Vasquez was the best pitcher on your team last year. The Vasquez deal wasn’t horrifying for the Braves, but is definitely stranger by the minute if they pick up Damon at $7m. Damon+Melky = $10m. In which case I’d ask why not just keep the best pitcher from your 2009 season on the team for $2m more.

      • “why not just keep the best pitcher from your 2009 season on the team for $2m more?”.

        Because the Braves know that 2009 was an anomaly for VĂ¡zques, they got rid of him now that his value was at it’s highest in recent years, i really hope he pans us for the Yanks because Melky was pretty valuable for the team’s chemistry and Javier has been a ‘cancer’ wherever he’s been, not able to beat the biggest teams, he’s kind of a “bottom-feeder” in the way he just can beat the worst teams and when the pressure is ON he fails, not only in 2004 but his whole career (Ozzie was pretty critical of Javier because of that, and in the past Puerto Rico has not used him in the caribbean series because he just can’t win).

        Still… i hope he can give the NYY a great first half, as good as to help them be on contention at least until the All-Star Game. After that… the pressure is gonna decide who’s a gamer in the world series champs NYY.

      • csg 5 years ago

        because even without vasquez they have one of the best rotations still in baseball and they need offense. Vasquez was dominate last year, but it was by far a career year for him and he would be a FA after 2010 anyways. If the Braves can get Damon for $6-7, which still seems unlikey, you essentially are replacing Vasquez with Glaus, Melky, Damon, Dunn, and Vizcaino for pretty close to the same figure.

        If the Braves want Vasquez back after this season, which most likely in that park, will be more of a down season than 2009 they can always try to resign him next offseason.

        • NL_East_Rivalry 5 years ago

          I was thinking of the same thing. That would be hilarious. Javier would have to come to terms with the Braves needing to trade someone. He could get a Huddy deal. 3 years for 9 mil. Lowe would need to be traded first.

      • NL_East_Rivalry 5 years ago

        Lowe – 141 W’s 117 L’s. Javier – 142 W’s 139 L’s. Lowe’s L’s mainly come from bad years such as the last one. He always has 1 every 2-3 years. Javier has never had 2 good years back to back. Javier may do better than Lowe, but someone had to go. Braves got the most they could. Sad that that’s all they could get, but true.

      • chipperfan 5 years ago

        because you also got glaus and hinske that would equal your 12 mil you saved getting rid one great pitcher and got four overall good players for

  5. I don’t get why the Braves would be interested in Damon. They already have six outfielders and a Diaz/Cabrera platoon is better than Damon anyway. This makes no sense really. But, yeah, if they sign Damon then expect Diaz and/or Cabrera to be traded.

    • csg 5 years ago

      It really makes a lot of sense for the Braves. They need some more speed in their lineup, esp with the way Bobby plays small ball. The biggest thing is that it allows Heyward a better opportunity to gets some more AB’s and takes the pressure off him in Spring Training. Lets face it the kid is 20 and there is no reason to count on him at this point in his career. Sign Damon and keep Heyward from becoming a super 2. Spend a little more now and save plenty later down the road. I would like to see Mclouth lower in the order also

      • Bobby NEVER plays small ball. That is one of his biggest flaws as a manager.

    • BravoBrado 5 years ago

      The Braves are interested because Damon is still a good player. We all saw what he can do in the post season. This adds a solid player to a shaky outfield, gives Heyward time to develop, and allows for a good trade later in the season if needed.

  6. ajhaas 5 years ago

    Starting lineup in the outfield you would think would go like this Damon in left, McClouth in center, and cabrera in right. Diaz coming off the bench and pinch hitting roles. Overall a very fast outfield but questions about Damons defense will linger. I think damon is a good add and an awesome option for a leadoff hitter we haven’t had in years.

  7. BravoBrado 5 years ago

    I’ve been a fan of a Damon-Braves deal all winter. Some have said he’s not a good fit b/c of his fielding. Yea, he doesn’t have a powerful arm, but he can run down fly balls and does still have a good bat. His homerun total may dip some but he will more than make up for it hitting into the gaps at Turner Field. I think he could hit .295 with 20-HR, 42-2B, 88-RBI. His strike out totals aren’t too high. Along with Chipper, McCann, Glaus, and possibly Escobar, Damon would give the Braves five 20+ HR hitters. Not to mention a Diaz/Cabrera platoon also hitting 20. Plenty of run support for the Braves stellar pitching. Can’t wait to see the playoffs in Atlanta again!!!

    Let’s get it done Wren!!!

    • rick staley 5 years ago

      Damon will not be stroking 20 HR’s at The Ted. 40 doubles and 10 triples is definitely possible because of the spacious confines. Heyward will be your starting RF regardless of Johnny Damon coming to Atlanta or not…he’s better offensively and defensively than both Melky and Mattie. One of the two (more than likely Melky) will get moved in the spring if JD signs on.

  8. I think Damon would be a great fit on a one year deal. Too bad his arm is horrible. Have an outfield of Damon LF McLouth CF Cabrera RF against RHP and Damon LF McLouth CF Diaz RF against LHP. That way they can do the exact same thing with Heyward as they did with Hanson and wait until July to get another cheap year out of him. Then when Heyward is ready, make a trade and get a couple low level minor leaguers for melky.

    • Alldaybaseball 5 years ago

      I agree, Heyward needs more time in the minors in my opinion. I don’t want to rush him up to the bigs

  9. robbrave 5 years ago

    Flag, you really think that, that a DIaz/Melky platoon is better than Damon? Oh, ok. Whatever… you do realize Damon has been a winner almost his entire career and is a legit leadoff guy. Declining speed and bad arm, yes, but he works the count like a pro, great leader, great clubhouse guy and has a little pop in that bat. I think you guys might be off the mark with who gets traded though… McLouth is probably the odd man out. That’ll free up more money and Nate ain’t all that anyways. Move Cabrera in CF and have a Diaz/Heyward platoon. Righty who kills LH pitching in Diaz and Heyward can crush the RH pitching until they feel he’s ready for full time play. Always take it easy on the rooks if you can, at first anyways.

    • First of all, no one is signing their name as “Flag”. That is after everyone’s post. You click it report someone for cursing, etc.2nd, yes a Melky/Diaz platoon is better than Damon defensively and almost as good (if not better) offensively. 3rd, Since Nate McLouth is the best outfielder on the Braves right now (and would still be even if they got Damon) he isn’t going anywhere. My guess is that one of Schafer/Diaz/Cabrera would be traded. And Heyward will NEVER platoon with anyone.

      • csg 5 years ago

        if the Braves sign Damon its to prevent Heyward from having to start this year in the majors and its allows him more seasoning without having the potential to becoming a super 2. Look at the payroll, and if JS words are true, and if payroll isnt being cut the Braves still have around $7 mil to spend. They can still have an OF of Damon/McLouth/ with a Diaz/Melky platoon. You worry about trading one of these guys when Heyward shows he’s ready. No reason to rush him

  10. Again i really wouldnt mind Damon because then he could bat leadoff and we could move McLouth down the lineup and give him more rbi oppurtunities. If we get Damon i could see them moving Melky for a prospect of 2.

  11. scottandwtb 5 years ago

    Really unsure how Damon fits into Braves plans unless Melky or Schafer is traded.

  12. AtlBra 5 years ago

    any concerns on him switching leagues, since he play in the AL for the majority of his career.

  13. Msclmn1722 5 years ago

    I’m cool with Damon as long as Heyward is not the odd man out. The kid needs a spot from day 1.

    • TimotheusATL 5 years ago

      Regardless of whether Damon (or anyone else) is signed to play LF or not, they’ll give Heyward the superstar treatment to avoid Super 2, just like they did with Hanson. And let me tell you, it was such a JOY watching Jo-Jo Reyes get the ball every 5 days while we waited on our real #5 starter!

      • JonATLBraves 5 years ago

        Hahahahahahaha… I would have felt better giving the injured Glavine the ball throwing a 70 mph fastball rather than sticking Jo-Jo out there every fifth. Send him, Marek, and a few other of our other can’t cut it guys to the pirates for somebody, as they love our AAAA talent and getting rid of cheaper, major-league proven guys; i.e. McLouth, Aramis Ramirez, Jason Bay, Sanchez, Wilson, Schmidt, need I go on???

    • csg 5 years ago

      no he doesnt. The kid needs more than 150 AB’s above A ball before he’s handed a job in RF. Keep him down till June and if he’s showing that he’s ready you call him up and worry about trading someone then

  14. Guest 5 years ago

    I would love to see Damon back on the Royals!

  15. scottbravesfan19 5 years ago

    I love it, I hope we get him. We need someone who can hit lead-off like a true lead off guy, and Damon fits that. Not a big stolen base guy like in his prime, but can still swipe some and play better defense than Anderson. I would hate to lose Melky though I think he can still get it together maybe, but I know I would be more upset to lose Diaz.

  16. Macfan1 5 years ago

    Very strange for a team like Atlanta that relies on pitching and thus would need quality defense to make such a move Damon is dreadful in the field, its not just his arm which is -4.2 runs below average, his range is .3.7 runs below average, his UZR is -9.2 and -12.1/150 and this is a guy who is 36, but his range and routes to balls often leaves him crashing into walls with him in one direction and the ball in the other direction. Any offense he provides to the Braves will be offset by his defense. I don’t get why a team like Atlanta that is built on pitching, plays in a pitchers park and would thus want to accentuate defensive strength would go down that path.The Yankees had an overwhelming team offense that could absorb Damon day in and day out in LF. His HR, OBP, SLG, OPS were all lower away from Yankee Stadium, remove him from hitting between Jeter and Tex and you can expect further declines in those lines. Its one thing if Damon was going to Citizens Bank Park or another hitters park but to Turner Field that is odd, given the lineup of the Braves, the park factors and Atlanta being a pitching rather than hitting team.

  17. stackthedeck 5 years ago

    Everyone’s name is Flag? Weird.

    • csg 5 years ago

      that is to flag a comment, not someone’s name

      • stackthedeck 5 years ago

        Nothing gets past you huh?

        It was sarcasm pertaining to an earlier post.

  18. dougefreshtb87 5 years ago

    suprised this hasnt been posted yet but just think, i really like it

    rf-Damon
    cf-Mcclouth
    3b-Jones
    1b-Glaus
    C-Mccann
    ss-escobar
    lf-cabera/diaz
    2b-prado
    P

    btw-im sure you guys have seen laroche signed with the d-backs for 5mill for one year. That one is on wren, i guess he just had to have the right handed bat, thats the only thing that would make sense. Get damon and i think the lineup is pretty good. thoughts?

    • NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

      switch Damon to left field and Cabrera/Diaz to right field nd i think you hit it rigt on the dot. I’m stumped as to where Heyward is gonna fit into everything if Johnny does indeed end up on the Braves. Maybe we are gonna start him in AAA and trade away Melky when he’s ready to come up?

      • dougefreshtb87 5 years ago

        im just not sure if they want damon in left, i could be wrong though. Not sure what happens to heyward either. I think this would end schafer in atlanta. I would think he would get traded before the all-star break. who knows it could be interesting

  19. cheez13 5 years ago

    Although Damon’s defense is below average…is it worse that Garrett Anderson’s last year? I would bet he is better. His home/away splits are being blown out of proportion…outside of the HR’s (which was helped by Yankee stadium…obvioulsy), he was about the same in every other category. Same amount of RBI’s on the road, higher BA, his OBP was lower but was still .350 on the road. IF .350 is his bad OBP then I’ll take it. I don’t think he is the best fit for the Braves but if he comes in a 5 Mil or less then how can you think its a bad deal. The Braves would have a line-up that every single positional player’s OBP was at or above .350 in 2009. Thats pretty good. He could help out vs the Phils for sure.

    Those people that bang on McLouth need to get a clue. He is the only guy on the Braves capable of stealing 20+ bases and although he strikes out quite a bit for a lead-off hitter…he also walks a ton. Thats why his BA is .260 but his OBP is .350. He is a player. Schaefer should not even be mentioned, he is not in the Braves plans for 2010 in my opinion. He would only be used if there are injuries or when rosters expand. IF Damon signs then you have at least 5 guys in front of Schaefer, I would say 6 because I would put Infante out there before Schaefer. Unless Schaefer just tears up AAA then I think thats where he stays. His bat was too slow and was overmatched by major league pitching. I saw him play in AA and wasn’t that impressed with his bat and the guys he was facing were throwing high 80’s.

  20. NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

    Well seeing as how the Braves just avoided arbitration with melky wouldn’t that mean that they appear set to have him on the 2010 team? I’m lost, unless this is the AJC messing around again.

  21. ChiefTomahawk 5 years ago

    Braves need to sign him. Our team is no better than it was last year. We still lack necessary thunder to compete in the NL.

  22. Matrix9381 5 years ago

    I like this Idea, I trully do. Just think of the Line-up if we added him to the mix..

    PLAYER POS. HR. BA. RBI.
    Damon LF 15-20 .270 95
    McLouth CF 20 .250-.265 80-100
    Chipper 3B 20-25 .280-.320* 80-100
    Glaus 1B 25-35 .270-.280 90-100
    McCann C 20-25 .280-.300 90-100
    Escobar SS 10-20 .295-.330 75-90
    Prado 2B 10-15 .290-.330 75-90
    Cabrera/Diaz RF 15-20 .260-.275 65-80

    BENCH/UTILITY
    Eric Hinske 1B,3B,Outfield
    Mitch Jones 1B, Outfield
    Joe Thurston 2B,3B,LF

    I’m kinda excited about this. If there is gonna be a line-up to get us back into the playoffs. I believe it to be this team. I possibly see Cabrera or Schafer as the odd man out here. Now don’t take everything I put as solid. ITS JUST AN IDEA OF THEIR POWER AND POSSIBLE RANGE!?!!?

    • jyd 5 years ago

      95 RBI’s from the lead off spot? This looks like the highest scoring team in the history of baseball

    • NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

      infante?

      • Matrix9381 5 years ago

        Yea sorry. I did not mean to leave Infante out. That was a mistake. Yea the Leadoff RBI is kinda high, I was going off of Baseball-Reference.com with what he could do. But the RBI i put on there was not for a leadoff. Sorry

    • atlbraves312 5 years ago

      Heyward?

    • atlbraves312 5 years ago

      Heyward?

    • Peet29 5 years ago

      forgot to mention Omar Infante as bench/utility player SS,2B,OF

  23. RiverKKiller999 5 years ago

    Is this true or is Dave O Brien just jerking our chains here ? lol

  24. cheez13 5 years ago

    Actually, by avoiding arbitration, the Braves could trade Cabrera. I’m not saying they will. But, if they offer arb and he accepted it then they can’t trade him until June (without his permission, like Soriano).

    You are leaving out one important player on the bench….Omar Infante.

    Those RBI totals are a little inflated….geez, if they reach those totals then they’ll be the highest scoring team in the league. Damon- 95 RBI batting lead-off….really?

  25. Guest 5 years ago

    Why arnt the A’s intrested in Damon? I thought they were looking for an OF. I may be wrong though.

  26. Satch10 5 years ago

    I also heard we signed Chris resop again 2 a minor league contract with w spring training invite….. Also I saw him throw a week ago at my high school he was throwing mid 90’s with a little sink he could b decent in out pen if he makes the club

  27. mattchu12 5 years ago

    Does anybody else find it weird that it’s reasonable that Johnny would go cheap for the Braves but not the Yankees? I mean, if all the Braves are willing to part with is 5-7 million bucks for Damon, why not just go back to the Yankees whom were willing to part with 7 million in the first place? Johnny is going to return to the Bronx, simply because he doesn’t have anywhere else to go at even remotely near the price he wants.

  28. Bravesmaniac 5 years ago

    i wouldnt mind getting Damon on a 1 year deal with an option. he had a good year last year, albeit in yankee stadium, but it would be nice to have him. one thing i cant understand is people saying Melky wasnt the center of the vasquez trade, but then they say melky switches between heyward and diaz and basically plays almost everyday, but he is our worst OF right now

  29. Matrix9381 5 years ago

    Yes I realize that 95 is high rbi for a lead off. I was going off of Baseball-Reference.com getting the numbers. I was going to change it but wrote down what I saw. BUT, Those RBI’s are pretty much what each player did the last couple of years and that is where I’m keeping them. Hopefully the Braves won’t let me down and make it to the playoffs this year.

    • inkstainedscribe 5 years ago

      Compare the two lineups along with the fact that, as a Brave, Damon would play in the NL (no DH, hitting after the pitcher often, many fewer runners on base ahead of him). Albert Pujols might have trouble driving in 95 from the leadoff spot.

  30. inkstainedscribe 5 years ago

    If LaRoche’s price fell to ~$5 million, what could Damon expect? The Braves might well be able to get him for $6-$7 mill on a one-year deal after all. Rochy is a legit power threat and (I would argue) a better defender at 1B than Damon is in any OF position.

  31. i would be ok with damon in LF. If he can work on cut offs to Yunel.. might make up for that noodle arm.

    Stick Cabrera/Diaz in RF for a couple months.. The savings in the long run with holding Heyward back a couple months with more than justify Damon salary.

    • how are you saving the season though? IS Johny damon worth what Heyward could do if he is what everyone is saying he is? This is Bobby Cox’s last season. The only reason i would want damon on the braves is from a business standpoint. He will put butts in the seats.

  32. andrewdavis82 5 years ago

    Basically we traded Vasquez for a great prospect, Melky, and cash that became Glaus and now possibly Damon. I will take Damon, Glaus, & Melky next year year over Vasquez hands down. We had one too many starters and Vasquez was coming off a career year that he does once in a blue moon. So a lead off bat, a 30HR guy, a nice 4th OF, and a great prospect or a pitcher who wont repeat last year’s performance and then becomes a FA? HMMM Difficult decision lol

  33. markjsunz 5 years ago

    Damon has always been good with the bat, he is aging and his defense has been in decline. He has always gone to the highest bidder, no home town discounts with him, which is the way most players are today. Wonder if Damons assesment of his worth is so much higher then the clubs who are intrested in him?

  34. markjsunz 5 years ago

    Damon has always been good with the bat, he is aging and his defense has been in decline. He has always gone to the highest bidder, no home town discounts with him, which is the way most players are today. Wonder if Damons assesment of his worth is so much higher then the clubs who are intrested in him?

  35. Bravesfan4L 5 years ago

    I would like to have Damon lead off for us next season. But I would still want Heyward up all season. If this kid is all he is cracked up to be, the Braves will end up signing him early like they did with McCann. I say go with a Damon, McLouth, Heyward OF, use Diaz to spell them, trade Melky, and start Schafer in AAA and call him up later in the year. If he can cut down on the K’s, I think Schafer can lead off for us next season.

  36. Bravesfan4L 5 years ago

    I would like to have Damon lead off for us next season. But I would still want Heyward up all season. If this kid is all he is cracked up to be, the Braves will end up signing him early like they did with McCann. I say go with a Damon, McLouth, Heyward OF, use Diaz to spell them, trade Melky, and start Schafer in AAA and call him up later in the year. If he can cut down on the K’s, I think Schafer can lead off for us next season.

  37. I wouldn’t platoon Melky and Diaz. Sure, Diaz OPSed an impressive 1.103 against lefties in 2009 and only .749 against righties, but Melky only OPSed .747 against right handed pitching (.763 against lefties.) I don’t think Diaz would hit as well against lefties if he didn’t have an every day job.

  38. I wouldn’t platoon Melky and Diaz. Sure, Diaz OPSed an impressive 1.103 against lefties in 2009 and only .749 against righties, but Melky only OPSed .747 against right handed pitching (.763 against lefties.) I don’t think Diaz would hit as well against lefties if he didn’t have an every day job.

  39. danschlossberg 5 years ago

    Damon would be a fine fit in left field but MORE IMPORTANTLY would provide speed at the top of the lineup that the team has lacked for years. McLouth doesn’t reach base as often as Damon and isn’t in the same league as a basestealer. Plus Damon would be a fine fit in the clubhouse. Melky Cabrera was no better than a fourth outfielder — a Ryan Church type — at the time they got him so he can easily be packaged with Lowe in a deal for a lefthanded pitcher (which the Braves need). Damon has World Series experience and is a team leader — he’s worth whatever it takes to get him.

  40. danschlossberg 5 years ago

    Damon would be a fine fit in left field but MORE IMPORTANTLY would provide speed at the top of the lineup that the team has lacked for years. McLouth doesn’t reach base as often as Damon and isn’t in the same league as a basestealer. Plus Damon would be a fine fit in the clubhouse. Melky Cabrera was no better than a fourth outfielder — a Ryan Church type — at the time they got him so he can easily be packaged with Lowe in a deal for a lefthanded pitcher (which the Braves need). Damon has World Series experience and is a team leader — he’s worth whatever it takes to get him.

  41. nealwyatt 5 years ago

    We don’t need Damon because this gives us a chance for Heyward to play everyday, a lot of you say that Heyward is only 20 so he is not ready for the majors….. but might i remind you of Andruw Jones who we had in the Majors at 19 and he hit two home runs in his first ever world series game at 19…. so if the kid is as good as they say…. a left handed Matt Kemp with the power or Ryan Howard experts say then we will have a great ball player….. however if we were to get Damon then we would be good also because we could keep Heyward in Triple-A for another year of seasoning and then bring him up next year….. whoever our outfield is…. I see us making the playoffs in Bobby’s last year, and starting our run at Division Championships again……… GO BRAVES!!!!!!

  42. metsvilleslugger – I think you are close with projected totals I would go with a .275-.280 because he would still have protection behind him. I would project a line of .275 95R 15HR 70RBI 12SB.

  43. Guest 5 years ago

    ..says the guy who just saw jason bay signed long term to play in that cavern they have have in ny.

  44. goldenglove002 5 years ago

    I think Damon would be leading off. Damon, Prado, Chipper, Glaus, McCann, McLouth, Escobar, Melkey/Diaz (this assuming Heyward doesn’t start off in Atlanta)

  45. NL_East_Rivalry 5 years ago

    Diaz and Melky both wont be cheap for long. Schafer will be here next year, so the idea of any being here next year comes with the realization that it wont be a full-time job and possibly for double what they are being paid. My guess is neither will be on the team next year. Braves have to trade them, so why not sign Damon?

  46. trinity9000 5 years ago

    No but his range is horrible. Damon may give up extra bases due to his arm. But Bay will turn fly ball outs into base hits on a regular basis.

  47. trinity9000 5 years ago

    No but his range is horrible. Damon may give up extra bases due to his arm. But Bay will turn fly ball outs into base hits on a regular basis.

  48. nealwyatt 5 years ago

    The A’s just traded for Kevin Kouzmanoff of San Diego, Kouzmanoff and a Minor leaguer to Oakland for Scott Hairston and Andre Cunningham….. So they don’t need Tejada now because he would not have a place to play with Kouz at third and Cust at DH

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