Dodgers Interested In Damon, Multiple Catchers

The Dodgers have outfielder Johnny Damon on their radar, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  They're also in contact with "virtually every free agent catcher," including Jason Varitek, Rod Barajas, A.J. Pierzynski, and Miguel Olivo.  They're trying to hammer out a deal with Russell Martin prior to Thursday's non-tender deadline; the Dodgers will not risk going to arbitration with him.

Martin is at least a week away from running and maybe six weeks away from baseball activities, says Rosenthal.  Martin is recovering from an August hip fracture; his agent Matt Colleran gave MLBTR an update last week.  Martin would still be at $4MM if the Dodgers cut his salary by the maximum, something Colleran would presumably reject anyway.

As Rosenthal notes, Damon might be an awkward fit for the Dodgers in left field since he logged fewer than 300 outfield innings in 2010.  On the other hand, the Dodgers put up with Manny Ramirez in left field for over 1,100 innings across the 2009-10 seasons. 

The Dodgers have been aggressive this offseason, committing over $71MM to Ted Lilly, Juan Uribe, Hiroki Kuroda, Jon Garland, and Jay Gibbons.

76 Responses to Dodgers Interested In Damon, Multiple Catchers Leave a Reply

  1. nzmrmn 5 years ago

    First rule of a battered ballclub in complete disarray: go out and SPEND SPEND SPEND like drunken sailors on every free agent who picks up the phone.

    • complete disarray is a bit of an overstatement. the dodgers had the best record in baseball in June, and were 3 games from the world series in ’08 and ’09.

      i have a good feeling about this team this year, not great, but good. and man i hope damon and varitek are nowhere near the ravine come april.

      • nzmrmn 5 years ago

        That was pre-McDivorce, though.

        • I didnt know Frank and Jamie McCourt actually played on the field.

        • having the best record in baseball this past june was post-divorce. and i don’t think that had anything to do with on the field play.

          • Jason_F 5 years ago

            Seeing as they went 14-13 in June, I highly doubt that was the best record in baseball for that month. I’m assuming you meant May (even though you said June twice and didn’t bother to look it up), when they went 20-8. In all reality, though, I think that month was the anomaly when you consider that in the other 5+ months of the season (which constitutes 83% of the regular season games) they went 60-74.

            So, let me get this straight…you have a good feeling about this team that has basically just re-signed the same guys they had and added Juan Uribe and Jon Garland, don’t have a catcher and also won’t have any production from Manny Ramirez?

          • thegrayrace 5 years ago

            A few notes.1.) Lilly was not with the Dodgers for most of the season in 2010. He effectively replaces Padilla, who himself missed half the season in 2010.2.) Garland is replacing a collection of #5 starters that included the likes of Haeger, Ely, Monasterios, Ortiz and McDonald that pitched to an ERA over 6.50 with over 20 losses in 2010.So despite Lilly being “resigned”, he and Garland should make a significant difference over the course of the 2011 season.Uribe is no doubt an upgrade from the combination of DeWitt and Theriot the Dodgers had at 2B in 2010.Martin’s production in 2010 was so dismal that whoever the Dodgers sign for C should be able to reproduce it.And, while Manny is a loss, he was also only on the field for half the season. There are a number of free agent LFers that should be able to surpass the production provided by Podsednik and Paul in Manny’s absence in 2010. Jay Gibbons could even be that guy.Plus, the off-season is far from over. There are quite a few options for the Dodgers to upgrade at 1B relatively cheaply.

    • They may have dropped some coin this offseason (not that it makes up for some poor moves in the past by Coletti) but they’ve vastly improved 2B and they have a starting rotation that’s better than most now.

  2. Infield Fly 5 years ago

    Looks like Russell Martin may be packing his bags while he negotiates.

  3. OCSportsGeek 5 years ago

    LAA – – Send Napoli to Dodgers for….? Talk amongst yourselves.

    • why are Angels fans so willing to dump Mike Napoli? porobably for the same reasons Dodger fans get on Russell J.Martin.

    • durf81 5 years ago

      How about send Napoli to the White Sox…

  4. Rich_in_NJ 5 years ago

    Over a two year time horizon, I suspect that Damon would have made more money if he had accepted the Yankees’ two year $14m contract offer last year.

  5. Steven St Croix 5 years ago

    I think that LA should trade for Chris Snyder and split his 6 mill with the Pirates. He always rakes in LA and he is above average behind the plate.

    • thegrayrace 5 years ago

      yeah, after releasing Delwyn Young and Andy LaRoche, the Pirates need to replenish their stock of Dodger cast-aways. How about Scott Elbert and Chin Lung Hu?

  6. HHHDMS 5 years ago

    LA is JEALOUS and desperate because they cant do what the SF Giants did and win a world series , let alone beating the Phillies..
    you cant fault them for improving but its only to out-man their SF rivals…

    • Infield Fly 5 years ago

      Wow! Sore WINNER??

      • HHHDMS 5 years ago

        nope – but the Dodgers are one of my least favorite teams..

      • HHHDMS 5 years ago

        nope – but the Dodgers are one of my least favorite teams..

    • uhh.. not quite. Until last year, the Giants were horrible. Lets go back the last 5 years, and see how many games the Dodgers have been in first place, compared to the Giants. Congratulations on a fine World Series championship, but in no way shape or form, is this Dodger fan, or any other Dodger fan that I know, jealous. In fact, if anything, Im glad you beat the Phillies.

      • HHHDMS 5 years ago

        well i dont expect a Dodger fan to admit anything like that…

      • Reaper87 5 years ago

        and if you go to the 5 years to start this decade, the giants were ahead of the dodgers all the time. sample size is pretty convenient, huh?

    • dusto 5 years ago

      Yes, because that is the focus of our intent… I’m pretty sure it was the other way around. I’m certain it was, particularly if you watched the world series. I love how you can go to Dodger Stadium and enjoy a Dodger dog. But the focus of a game in SF is “BEAT LA”.

  7. When you spend $7 million on a utility player posing as a starting 2B, this is what you have to do to fill the roster. Sigh.

    • 7 million for a power hitting utility is actually a good thing, and a great fit for this club. This could be Furcals, and Blakes last years as Dodgers. He wont be a ”utility” guy with the Dodgers, he will be in that lineup everyday.

    • 7 million for a power hitting utility is actually a good thing, and a great fit for this club. This could be Furcals, and Blakes last years as Dodgers. He wont be a ”utility” guy with the Dodgers, he will be in that lineup everyday.

  8. carlos 5 years ago

    damon is puzzling. if he is in fact not a full time player why bring him in to platoon with gibbons. i guess that means gibbons will be the bat off the bench to spell the outfield once in a while and loney at first. i dont see martin staying. he wont take a pay cut, i think his pride wont let him.

    • Russ is a Dodger.. simply put. The dude loves it here, and I think he really wants to stay.

      • dusto 5 years ago

        Martin is about a 2 WAR player and should get about 7-8 million. I just dont think LA will give it to him.

      • dusto 5 years ago

        Martin is about a 2 WAR player and should get about 7-8 million. I just dont think LA will give it to him.

  9. Martin seems to be a non-tender and re-sign for the Dodgers. If you pair him with someone like Olivo, at the end of the day you’d have pretty good production from your catcher’s spot: Martin bringing the OBP, Olivo the power, and good defense behind the plate from both of them. The only problem would be convincing the two of them to forgo an outright starting job for the good of the team when both of them could be starters elsewhere.

    • carlos 5 years ago

      no way in hell they can afford both. martin would be better to keep. he has chemistry with the pitching staff already. some of these guys came up in the minors together. like the obp. maybe they can convince varitek to be a backup or let him retire.

  10. I hope Martin resigns, but if he dosent, I think A.J. Pierznski would be a great fit. You want to talk about intangibles? AJ is probably the smartest baseball man, on the field or in the clubhouse, on any given day. I bet in 10 years, we will be talking about AJ being one of the best managers in the game as well. Giants, White Sox (shoot, even Angel fans) should know this.

    I think Damon would be a really good fit here too, though I dont really like him all that much as a player. Johnny Damon and Jay Gibbons would be fun to watch in left.. LOL, but he is the kind of veteran presence that the Dodgers really need.

    • TwinsVet 5 years ago

      On what exactly are you basing this massive praise of AJ?

      He’s a fierce competitor, and an absolute jerk to opposing players. He seems to be well-liked enough by teammates.

      But I’ve never heard him described as “smart”, let alone “smartest”.

    • grabarkewitz 5 years ago

      At the end of the day, if your catcher is AJ, you could do worse. I would prefer working out something with Martin, but I don’t see that happening as I think his agent thinks someone will throw $7 million at him. As for Damon, Ned proves the old adage that a fool and his money will soon be parted. Either that or Ned wants to say he has acquired the three weakest arms in baseball in his time as GM. Already had Pierre and Scotty Pods, might as well make it a trifecta with Damon.

    • grabarkewitz 5 years ago

      Do you mean fun like, ball hitting each on the head fun or listening to Nancy B play the Benny Hill theme when each is chasing a ground ball to the fence?

  11. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    I like to think Tim got really excited saying “Ted Lilly! Juan Uribe! Hiroki Kuroda! Jon Garland!”… then just kind of muttered… “and jay gibbons.”

  12. BrocNessMonster 5 years ago

    We have no use for Damon, unless it’s a minor league deal.

  13. mrmoss 5 years ago

    Johnny Damon will end up back at the Royals in 2011

  14. I’d rather have Gibbons in left than Damon. Gibbons hit bombs last year.

    • CaseyBlakeDeWitt 5 years ago

      He has the ugliest swing, but he can crush the ball. I’m glad he’s returning. Hopefully he will be in a bench role though.

  15. neoncactus 5 years ago

    Please, Ned, drop the checkbook and walk away. Yes, Damon is a veteran, but what offense he can give them is questionable. Meanwhile, he has a poor arm and he bats left handed, so you can’t even platoon him with Gibbons. I’d rather have Francouer and do a platoon if you can’t do better than that.

  16. Dodgers should trade for one of the Nationals catchers. They have Jesus Flores, Wilson Ramos, and that first overall draft pick they picked up in June. So I would think Flores and Ramos may be available? Flores is coming off of an injury plagued season but he can hit and Ramos was the backup to Mauer and will be real good. We need to dump Martin. I don’t know how such a great hitter like Martin used to be can be so horrible now.

    • Philip Marlowe 5 years ago

      Isn’t Harper going to be playing RF? I agree that the Nats have a surplus of catchers, though, because they’ve got Marrero too

  17. i would rather have hawpe or kubel than damon

  18. Max Jackson 5 years ago

    Damon brings a great veteran presence to the outfield, but…who cares? Really. The Dodgers just signed Lilly, Uribe, and Gibbons.I’d rather have Xavier Paul in LF and save the money especially if it’s heading towards Boras’s camp. Just do a count on good vs. bad deals the Dodgers have done with Boras. It’s staggering. He should own shares of Dodgers’ stock if it were available.If the Dodgers have to sign somebody, get somebody with knees under 36 y.o. for crying out loud.

  19. ThinkBlue311 5 years ago

    I think as Dodgers fan’s we can all agree that when it come’s to Russell Martin “it is what it is” We all want him to stay, but we know we don’t want another question mark this season when it comes to Russell’s bat. We have a the chance right now with McCheap opening up the wallet to sign a Catcher who can give us a better shot offensively. Russell cant even run for six more weeks let alone perform any Catcher activity’s, and here we are hoping we sign the guy. Is it Time to let go? I hope not, but to me the only way we can keep him on the team is to non-tender him and have him sign as a free agent for cheap. He does not have to prove him self to us, he has a lot to prove to him self and hopefully he wont want to much of our money to do it. I know Russell has played 3rdbase so maybe he can be our utility Catcher ” we all know we’d rather have Russell than A.J Ellis” and give Casey Blake all his days off at third. I also think the Dodgers need to after Brad Hawpe, he could be cheap an under the radar kind of guy. He plays left and he’s had a history off hitting great at Dodgers Stadium.

  20. snapcase8p 5 years ago

    Haha, when I first read this I quickly scanned Juan and Damon and I thought man the visiting team’s 3rd base coach is going to have rotator cuff injuries due to sending every runner. Then I realized it was Uribe and not Pierre. That would be one ugly outfield.

  21. Gumby65 5 years ago

    Damon would be one of the great Dodger pickups….When Dan Evans or Kevin Malone was running them. Now he’s fat bald ex-quarterback at the 25 yr HS reunion trying to sell you junk bonds during happy hour.

  22. sherrilltradedooverexperience 5 years ago

    I like Damon but I really don’t want him as a dodger.

    They need to see if one of the 25 year old kids stick in the outfield.
    Paul and Hoffman deserve at least a fighting chance after redoing vegas 2-3 times and tearing it up. Heck, let Robinson bump Kemp to RF and come up Kemp-style. It might make Kemp grow up a little bit and light a fire under his butt to improve his game. Might make them (meaning all the younger talent coming into their prime like Ethier Kemp Loney Martin etc) play the game better to have a ‘little brother’ they also have to mentor and teach the game the right way to. Even if all these kids try and fail the dodgers have the spare parts already to adequately cover the position in Blake and Gibbons, since Uribe’s addition gives them that flexibility to cover the infield.

    Dodgers let Victorino and Werth get away by being too reluctant to let a kid earn a job. Cody Ross as well though he’s not as talented as the other 2.

    Maybe a bunch of vets to fill every whole is not the correct strategy.

  23. Infield Fly 5 years ago

    Easy there pal, I didn’t say I was happy about it!

  24. neither would I.

  25. grabarkewitz 5 years ago

    Solid left field? Wow, Damon hasn’t played a solid left field since Bill Clinton was president.

  26. jwsox 5 years ago

    not really a lead off man anymore and has not played solid left in a few years

  27. BrocNessMonster 5 years ago

    You’re nuts man.

  28. BrocNessMonster 5 years ago

    You’re nuts man.

  29. Slopeboy 5 years ago

    Really? Where were you the last two years Damon played LF in NY? I’ll grant you that he is indeed a terrific lead off hitter, but his play in the field was absolutely awful. He cannot run as he did and his arm is non-existent, his ability to track the ball has disappeared and his legs seem to give him problems the last two years.
    Damon needs to stay in the AL as a DH.

  30. dusto 5 years ago

    He can no longer lead off or play a solid left field.

  31. dusto 5 years ago

    He can no longer lead off or play a solid left field.

  32. Raffy is better in the 2 hole.. but I think Id rather have Fookie leading off than Damon.

  33. you just lost all dodger fan privileges.

  34. neoncactus 5 years ago

    I feel the same way. I was hoping the Rangers would win it, but at least it wasn’t the Phillies again. I don’t know if my apathy about the Giants was just from being numb over the whole McCourt drama, or the fact that so many of their players are young and I haven’t started hating most of them yet. They’re not as easily hateable to me as players like John Montefusco and Jack Clark used to be. Now, thanks to ESPN, the east coast teams are just as bad.

  35. dusto 5 years ago

    I love the Dodgers. And I could care less about the gnats. They are just another team that we beat the shiz outta.

  36. Max Jackson 5 years ago

    The Angels probably want somebody who can catch.

  37. thegrayrace 5 years ago

    Carlos Santana? … oops, he was traded for 3 months of a declining, aging 3B…

    Lucas May? … oops, he was traded for 3 months of a declining, aging OFer…

    How about A.J. Ellis?

  38. Gibbys_Limp 5 years ago

    Come to think about it, we haven’t have a solid president since Bill Clinton was president.

  39. thegrayrace 5 years ago

    Not a huge fan of Martin, but given the market I’m fine with keeping him if he’ll come back on a reasonable deal. He still has solid on-base skills even if his bat is mediocre.

    I’m more concerned with the lack of offense from the corners.

  40. thegrayrace 5 years ago

    At first I was rooting for the Rangers. Then George W. Bush’s smug face kept showing up on the broadcasts of games in Arlington. Made is a bit easier to swallow the Giants win.

  41. Brad426 5 years ago

    I hear that. I hate Brussels sprouts. And I hate it when people say “Oh, you just hate them because you’ve never had them the way I make them” and then they make you taste them and you’re all like “Nope, I just hate Brussels sprouts”. So I guess what I’m saying is I feel ya?

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