Rays Interested In Johnny Damon

The Rays have interest in Johnny Damon as a DH candidate, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  Sherman says the Rays are considering Damon even if they can't unload Pat Burrell.  Sherman's sources believe Damon would be willing to play for $7MM, partially deferred. 

We learned earlier today from ESPN's Jerry Crasnick that agent Scott Boras is "trying to engage" the Reds and Tigers for Damon.  Crasnick notes that those clubs would have a hard time fitting Damon into the budget.  The Yankees are out, having reached an agreement with Randy Winn today.

Oakland's rumored interest in a Damon reunion was not directly addressed by GM Billy Beane, reports MLB.com's Jane Lee.  Still, Beane said his priority is adding infield depth.

Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.


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77 Comments on "Rays Interested In Johnny Damon"


Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Oh come on…These are the Yankees. It is possible to free up some cash. Just make him any offer you can Cash. The reluctance is crazy.

strikethree
5 years 6 months ago

I’m pretty sure this is Hal’s doing. He is the one who gives the budget — not Cashman.

As I said before: The Yankees don’t need Damon; Damon needs the Yankees.

Why give in when you have a great team with or without Damon? They are perhaps the only team in baseball that can lose multiple players and still be competitive.

I think it’s great for Hal to set a budget. Now, it forces Cashman to choose wisely when making decisions. Think of a Yankee team, with their huge payroll, spending wisely. That is the goal here.

Also, over the years, Yankee budgets and time lines have been complete jokes. Hopefully, other teams, players and their agents will come to respect offers instead of waiting out in order to extract the most money possible.

I’m sure Hal knows his own team’s finances and he might be saving up for the 2010 offseason. Who knows? Maybe the Yankees actually don’t have the finances? Maybe they predict a decline in sales? They did have to reduce ticket prices last season.

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

I know what you are saying but Johnny’s presence in the lineup was indespensible. I’m just saying that budget or no budget the Yankees want Damon as much as he wants the Yankees. It is not one-sided. The 2010/11 off-season features some players that the Yankees will probably pick up but that is a year away. I think with players coming off the payroll, you don’t plan that far ahead. Right now Reed Johnson or Randy Winn in left field will probably not be terrible but Johnny Damon has proved to be great in the lineup, great for the fans, and has been a gentlemanly presence throughout the past 4 years. If he remains unsigned and his price lowers even more within the coming weeks you can’t just expect the Yankees to say well okay…We already got Rocco Baldelli or whoever. Wait it out until Johnny has no place to go but home. It’s bound to happen. Maybe Damon needs to talk to management (remember I’m not saying Hal or Cashman) himself behind Boras. It just seems like this negotiation between the Yanks and Damon is not over and I sure don’t expect it to end any time soon. If it comes down to the point in two weeks where Cleveland offers 3.5 and say Atlanta offers 4.5 and The Yankees say, well we already signed Reed Johnson…It would be kind of weird. Thats why I think that they are going to wait out every last option.

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Also, their is no budget. A budget is not a budget. Teams try to set their own budget based on how much they WANT to spend and save. The Yankees don’t want to go over a certain amount of money but that doesnt mean that they dont have they money to sign Damon. As I said there are no budget restrictions. Their are Budget limitations set by Hal for example. If the Padres wanted to, They could have signed Matt Holliday and John Lackey this off-season. Same thing with all of the other small market teams. All teams have a goal that they want their payroll to be at. That’s “their” budget. Not the amount of money that they have. They have as much as they need. The Yankees wanted to stay at 194 million. Potentially, they could go to 224 Million.

strikethree
5 years 6 months ago

“Their are Budget limitations set by Hal for example.”

And this is any different because?

What a team wants to spend and save is their choice. How is having more money relevant if they choose not to spend it? Bill Gates has a ton of money, but should we criticize him if he wishes not to spend every cent into investments?

A team is a business. Businesses want to maximize profit. Yes, Damon might add 1 or two more wins to the teams total but is that worth another 5-10 million? (Plus taxes)

According to marginal utility, it is just not profitable for them to invest to a certain point. Yes, it increases their winning odds but by how much? The playoffs contribute a good deal of profit to a team but how much does Damon add in terms of winning percentages? Not much especially in such a small sample size.

“The Yankees wanted to stay at 194 million. Potentially, they could go to 224 Million.”

I don’t know how you would get this without auditing their statements.

When I said “budget”, I meant how it sounds. The amount of capital that Hal authorized to Cashman. Yes, if the Yankees wanted, they can maybe leverage their assets to a 400 million+ payroll. But again, there isn’t incentive to do so when they don’t need to.

I would love to see their financial calculations and see how they formulated their capital allocation but we do not have these resources. I just don’t think it’s fair to criticize a team and accuse them of not spending enough when we have no information at all.

They have a huge payroll and a great team. What more can you ask?

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

“They have a huge payroll and a great team. What more can you ask?”

True.

We, the fans…know a lot more than you are doubting. The money, the Payroll, the “budget”.

That proves my point. It is their choice so they cant go out there and say that they only have X amount of money to spend.

Thats why I’m saying to play for a year. No one is asking either of us to go deep into the finances and quite frankly, It probably wouldn’t chance anything. They are debating over certain players. As you can see, the Marginal Utility doesnt mean a thing if they aren’t making payroll any different than it was 5 days ago. It’s a half a dozen players who are in the mix. It’s not that certain money makes winning percentages but a win is a win and I can guarantee you that plenty of those Wins were from Damon and there is a big difference between Damon and Reed Johnson that doesnt have that big of a difference in money. All people are asking is that Damon choses winning over money and in that case. Its a win-win for the whole state of New York, Johnny Damon, and a possible world series championship this year. You are digging deep expecting to make sence of the Yankees financial investments and such. There is no budget for a player that is willing to take a pay cut and especially no budget in a case like this.

strikethree
5 years 6 months ago

But that’s the thing: We as fans don’t have financial statements but we have statistical analysis.

And here is the analysis:

Damon was worth 3 WAR last season (great offense, terrible defense)
Gardner was worth 2.1 WAR last season (he didn’t even play a full season)

The difference here is .9 WAR. Basically, the Yankees would have probably had an almost identical record. (minus one)

The Yankees are also not a team that needs WAR. They are a playoff bound team. 1-2 wins will not be the difference between getting into the playoffs or not. (Unlike, say, the Mariners who probably will need every win possible)

Hence, Damon is worth even less to the Yankees than to other teams. The Yankees are worth more to Damon because he gets better numbers at NYS. That is why Damon needs the Yankees and not vice versa.

“Its a win-win for the whole state of New York, Johnny Damon, and a possible world series championship this year. ”

Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. The public, or the fans, is not the beneficiary. The Yankees ownership make the money. They are the business. We, the fans, are their consumers.

Hal obviously doesn’t think Damon is worth the extra investment and he is probably right. Yes, the goal is another championship but profits are more important to any business.

strikethree
5 years 6 months ago

Damon’s numbers are inflated by NYS:
an OPS of .915 at home while more than 100 points lower away.

You take out Damon from the lineup and you still get a great lineup. Damon and Matsui are out of the equation while Johnson and Granderson replace them. These guys are viable alternatives and the lineup should be just as great. Plus, you get better defense with Gardner and Granderson.

And why can’t you factor in the 2011 FA? They did that during 2008 when they refused to trade for Santana. It is their job to plan ahead; that is the goal of finance. Again, how are we to know if the finances are there? Did you analyze their financial statements? (balance sheet, income statement, cash flow, retained earnings, etc.)

Heck, with even more (and very important) players becoming FA’s in 2011, analysis is crucial. You have guys like Jeter, Mo, and Pettitte becoming FAs. (Then there are players of other teams) These guys are going to be expensive and millions will be on the line.

You can’t just say: “Oh, let’s just give Damon another 5-8 mil.”

Think about it… these are millions we’re talking about. It is easy for you to just throw out numbers because it’s not your money. For Hal, it might be too much for his wallet to handle. It is their money and they have the right to spend as they please.

Again, they might be predicting a hit in ticket sales. Plus, there is always the luxury tax that they will probably exceed again. The economy isn’t fully recovered and many analysts are predicting a double dip recession. There are many factors that go into making deals besides a player helping a team.

Perhaps this is all a ploy to get Damon to go as low as possible. Who knows?

Yankee fans are spoiled. They want the best team possible — money isn’t an option.

But, all I ask for them to be competitive. Heck, even that sounds greedy.

As I explained before, the Yankees have the same team in terms of potential production as last year.

Damon is probably worth 3-4 WAR. Last season, according to fansgraph, Garder was 2.1 WAR. So basically, you want to pay 5-10 mil for about 1-2 wins. This might be worth a lot for a team in a close division but to the Yankees? Yes, the Red Sox are good but I don’t think there is any question that either one will hold less than a wild card spot.

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

First of all, I don’t think that anyone is comparing The additions with the subtractions. Second of all, of course they plan to bring back Jeter, Mo, and possibly reel in Crawford or whoever it may be but what I meant was, You “play” a season at a time. I don’t think that a Damon deal ruins the chances of next off-seasons spending.

I really don’t think that ticket sales will go down. We are talking about the defending world series champions and NYC. Not many factors have much to do with this. It’s simply Yankees management vs. Boras and Damon. As for Damon, What are you saying about the numbers? Pardon Johnny Damon and the Yankees for playing at Yankees Stadium I don’t think that Johnny Damon was purposely underachieving on the road. With a short right field It’s going to happen. And quite honestly I don’t think that for a deal like this, balance sheets and cash flows come in to place as much as you would think. The guy is 36 and approached the Yankees to negotiate a deal. It’s not like your traditional contract negotiation where the team approached the player and his agent. This is not an A-Rod contract and nor is this a player who needs to be signed right away or hes going to “remain” unsigned. I just think that Damon added so much to that team that Johnson and his piano wont bring to the lineup. Johnson didn’t replace Damon. He replaced Matsui. I don’t think that the offense is that great with Winn or Johnson in the lineup either.

I know all of the factors that are needed to sign a player. Johnny Damon is no exception but if you go out prematurely and sign Nick Johnson when Johnny Damon and boras are pretty much on vacation, Hal and his pal’s are in a bit of a predicament.

A 1 year deal is whats being floated around. I’m sure the Yankees are eyeing Martinez, Crawford, Beckett and whoever it may be. But this is NOW. They have enough money and I don’t even think that they would sign anybody else if they were afraid of not being able to spend next off-season.

Remember, these are the Yankees…The New York Yankees and I wouldn’t be surprised if Cashman can’t sleep at night because he is trying to figure out ways to sign Damon. If budget’s were a factor, then the lineup would consist of Granderson in left and Brett Gardner in Center.

And by the way…I think Hal’s wallet is feeling perfectly fine at the moment. There are only about 400 trillion dollars in it. a portion of that could go to Johnny and you know that.

strikethree
5 years 6 months ago

“Johnson didn’t replace Damon. He replaced Matsui.”

I said Johnson and Granderson replaced the subtractions in Matsui and Damon.

“I really don’t think that ticket sales will go down. We are talking about the defending world series champions and NYC. Not many factors have much to do with this.”

Really? You really don’t think the economy, prices, or anything else have to do with sales? Just the fact that this is NYC and they are WS champs? How many people do you know that spent $2,000+ on those front row seats?

“And by the way…I think Hal’s wallet is feeling perfectly fine at the moment. There are only about 400 trillion dollars in it. a portion of that could go to Johnny and you know that.”

So is that it? It’s easy for the proletariat to just criticize in envy of the bourgeoisie.

Of course you don’t care if some rich guy spends millions to get maybe one or two more wins. But, I’m pretty sure that decision is for the guy who is actually shelling out his own money.

If I asked you to give $1,000 to the bring Damon back fund, would you do it? I mean, if you make about 60k-100k a year, that shouldn’t be too bad. What if I made it just $100? $50? $10?

How about this: This is strictly a hypothetical example…

If you were gambling and had an 80% chance of winning a prize of $50 and had already spent $40 to play, would you spend another dollar to increase the chance to 81%?

Why should he spend more when there is really no need to? Just to realize your fantasy of having an all star at every position?

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

I’m just going to tip my cap to you and say have a great day. strikethree, You are a good guy (or woman).

Redhawk
5 years 6 months ago

“names Rocco Baldelli, Reed Johnson and Randy Winn as possible targets who would fit more directly into New York’s budget than Damon would”

The Yankees HAVE a budget?

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

If they didnt have a budget then Tim wouldn’t have posted this and Damon wouldhave been on the Yankees 3 months ago.

scottandwtb
5 years 6 months ago

Nationals maybe? Assuming they don’t sign O-Hud. Move Dunn to 1st. Stick Damon in left. I dunno. Just throwing out ideas.

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

so where does that leave Willingham?

Willingham – Melancon?

ultimate913
5 years 6 months ago

If that is a trade you’re proposing, then no. The Nationals would want much more for Willingham. Though the second they mention Montero or Romine, Cashman should just hang up the phone. Although I’m pretty sure they’ll be able to get themselves a nice catcher in Harper in next years draft with them having the 1st overall pick.

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

They have Derek Norris who is projected to be on Mayo’s top 50 list.

Bravoboy10
5 years 6 months ago

Why not just give him a 1 year deal worth $2 million with a club option for 2011 worth $8 million and a $4 million buyout. That helps with the “money problems” for this season, and since the Yankees will likely get Jeter resigned for under his current $21 million next year so the budget wont be impacted to much for then.

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

I agree. Why not just tremendously back load it?

mattinglyfan
5 years 6 months ago

This is like a soap opera that never ends. Please, enough with this already.

yanksallday
5 years 6 months ago

well so long damon. how about this trade scenerio.
send melancon brakmen and gaudin for bj upton. the yanks get younger and faster and he could possibly hit for more power. what do you think?

CasanovaWong
5 years 6 months ago

The Rays would never ever do that, please. I’m surprised u even know who Brackman is if you’re proposing such a silly trade.

redsox4120
5 years 6 months ago

That’s a terrible proposal.

5 years 6 months ago

You guys should really stop with the joke of proposals for Upton.

joeshi
5 years 6 months ago

you can’t seriously think that that would be enough to get bj upton, and this is coming from a yankees fan. stop being so ignorant. your giving yankees fans a bad name

coolstorybro222
5 years 6 months ago

I think Damon might just be a free agent by the time spring rolls around.

the_show
5 years 6 months ago

Kenny Williams here’s Johnny

eastcoastghost
5 years 6 months ago

With everyone begging for another move I think we should take the time to see who we already have heading in to 2010. The additions of Granderson and Johnson may not be as attractice on paper as Damon or Matsui but they are, at worst, comparable. Johnson’s injury concerns are far less severe than Matsui’s. Johnson should score at least a similar amount of runs, especially given his place in the lineup. Granderson will make up for some of the lost power and with the added runs saved by the defense of he and Gardner or whomever mans LF the lineup should be as or more balanced than 2009.
The open position will also benefit the likes of Juan Miranda and Jesus Montero who should also receive time in the bigs. Essentially Ganderson + Johnson + Bench platoon >/= Damon + Matsui which I would probably agree with for almost the exactly the same money or less if Damon actually gets more than 5mil. Also the 13mil spent on Granderson/Johnson/2mil LF option is easily an upgrade over Damon/Matsui as well.

eastcoastghost
5 years 6 months ago

I apologize now for the terribly redundant post…..

NYYANKEES
5 years 6 months ago

Oh well.

BaseballFan0707
5 years 6 months ago

As I said last night, Damon is at the whim of the 30 MLB clubs, and not the other way around. Every team is aware of his inflated home numbers. The yanks already have a good enough lineup (and better defense) without Damon. He has zero negotiating power. At this point, he should take whatever money is thrown his way. He missed out on the 2 year deal the Yanks offered him earlier this offseason-by far the most money he could have managed to get. Now he will either be sitting at home doing nothing next season, or playing for really cheap.

Jot this down in your handy-dandy notebook, under the headline “Why you don’t listen to Scott Boras all the time.”

drumzalicious
5 years 6 months ago

I kinda feel bad for the Yankees. Apparently Boras told them nothing less than 5 mil guaranteed for Nady and he signs with the cubs for like 3.3mil.

Macfan1
5 years 6 months ago

I don’t think Cashman is losing a wink of sleep over Nady and Damon. We are not talking about indispensable players here. Somehow they will make do with JeterJohnsonTexArodPosadaGrandersonCanoSwisherSabathiaBurnettPettitteVazquezJobaAcevesRobertsonMarteHughesRiveraI agree with your view in that agents see the Yankees as a gravy train and in the past the Yankees wouldn’t have hesitated to overpay for Damon to come back, just like they traded for Randy Johnson, Kevin Brown, signed American Idle Carl Pavano, was left paying Jason Giambi 23 million in his last season in NY, etc, etc. I’m glad Cashman isn’t playing that game with agents like sleazeball Boras. Let some other team overpay for Damon and his one dimensional game. Damon can still swing the bat but not enough to overpay for when combined with his god awful defense, removed from Yankee stadium offensively and out of a dominant offensive lineup. I ask anyone does Damon have the same impact in Atlanta, with Turner Field a pitchers park and the Braves being an average offensive club and their strength is pitching so defense is paramount. Oakland, with Oakland Stadium a pitchers park and the A’s being a weak offensive club and their strength is pitching as well.San Francisco at AT&T Park a pitchers park and the Giants being a weak offensive club and their strength is pitching as we all know. All these teams emphasize pitching first.

YanksFanSince78
5 years 6 months ago

The thing I have to ponder if I’m Damon is “Is Boras serving my best interest when he’s also representing my possible replacements or other competition for limited positions? Is he serving my best interest while engaging in talks with the Yanks for the services of Rocco Baldeli, Xavier Nady and others”? Wake up Damon. If you want to be somewhere where you’re going to be happy, then YOU need to step up and make things happen. I seriously, seriously doubt that the Yanks won’t go above $2 mil IF you dealt honestly with them and stop alluding to mystery teams offering you multi year contracts. At this point no team is going to offer you more than a $5 mil deal and other than the Yankees, those teams are not “real” contenders. Figure that the Red Sox, Rays, Angels, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals, Twins and White Sox have no use for you in LF. You’re not good enough to play CF anymore. The Braves and Giants put a premium on pitching and play in parks not condusive to offensive play. The rest of the teams that might step up like the Indians, Reds, etc are all non-competitve teams who will do nothing to further your campaign towards being a HOF. Why can’t you see this? Come back to NY, re-establish yourself and go at it again next year.

eastcoastghost
5 years 6 months ago

This is what you get for balking at 2/14. He’d probably his right arm for that deal now. Maybe his left, he only needs one to swing anyway….

eastcoastghost
5 years 6 months ago

*give* his right arm

commercecomet
5 years 6 months ago

Currently the Yankees have a 4th outfielder starting and a career minor leaguer as their 4th outfielder. If this is the roster that Cashman finishes with, I would conclude that he did a poor job allocating the budget that he had.

If the Yankees can’t afford Damon, why did they spend $4+ million on Gaudin and Mitre? While pitching insurance is nice to have, it is a luxury which should only be indulged in if the starting lineup is set.

If the budget is really a hard number, then trade Gaudin and Mitre for minor league prospects and combine their salaries with the budget slack and offer Damon $6 million. A starting LF is far more important than two pitchers whose roles on the team aren’t real clear.

JerseyJohn32190
5 years 6 months ago

Oh no, the Yankees don’t have All-stars at every position. Cashman should be fired.

Gunner65
5 years 6 months ago

Now that is just toooo funny!

commercecomet
5 years 6 months ago

Real cute but why shouldn’t the Yankees try to improve themselves when the opportunity is present and the only thing standing in the way is an artificial budget amount? Johnny Damon at $6 million is a reasonable amount for a proven guy who can fill the only remaining need that should be addressed before ST.

JerseyJohn32190
5 years 6 months ago

Artificial or not, the budget was in place. And I’m not sure if you wrote this before the news broke but the Yanks signed Randy Winn, thus filling their need for another outfielder. Damon was a great hitter but his defense and arm have gotten progressively worse. Gardner/Winn gives the Yankees a huge defensive upgrade at about half the cost of Damon and they still have the best lineup in baseball.

commercecomet
5 years 6 months ago

Yes, I learned of Randy Winn later. Frankly, I’m not at all impressed with this signing. Randy Winn was dreadful with the Giants last season. Personally, I’d be happy to trade Gaudin, Mitre, and Winn for Damon. Then the Yankees could have a real hitter in LF, a good 4th OF in Gardner, and Cashman can meet his precious budget while only shedding only two pitchers who won’t probably contribute anything.

JerseyJohn32190
5 years 6 months ago

Assuming Winn signed for $2 Mil, the Yankees have nearly $6 Mil tied up in those 3 players. Damon was asking for $7 Mil. I don’t think spending an extra $1 Mil and sacrificing pitching depth, speed, and defense to upgrade an already great offense improves the team.

Roy Munson
5 years 6 months ago

Have Fun Losing in Cinci, JD…

empathizerightonyourbehind
5 years 6 months ago

the cardinals should get him as a throw-in for the matt holliday signing. like a free cell phone thing.

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

felipe lopez > johnny damon

both are boras clients

both have pretty good BA, both have speed.

floppy is younger, plays multiple positions, switch hits, will cost as much or less than Damon.

yanksrdashit
5 years 6 months ago

I think damon will sign somewhere within a week. Probably the tigers at this point. 1 year 5 million. I wish the yankees would go get him at this point because even though he isn’t a need, but he makes the lineup significantly stronger. That would make every single out a hard one. When your 8-4 hitters have obp near .400 or just under, then you have cano and posada for the 5 and 6 spots, you have the best lineup in baseball.

baseballz
5 years 6 months ago

Goodluck to Damon i have to say. Boras is a great agent if you are 1.young 2. one of the best free agents on the market 3. Your skills basically sell themselves.

If you are old, losing your skills and are playing for your last contract before you retire, better find a new agent cause Boras seems to fail guys like Damon and Nady far more often then he suceeds for those real “hard sell” guys like Texeira. Heck, I could have gotten the same contract for Tex that Boras got.