Damon: I don’t want no stinkin’ paycut


Oh, Johnny, what ever are we going to do with you? Your public statements are so fickle, and the Yanks would like to bring you back. But let’s be realistic. You’re 36, and 36-year-old outfielders who are declining in the field don’t get to sign a multi-year deal without some sort of pay cut.

But more on that in a minute. First, a recap. Previously on “As the Johnny Damon Turns,” we discussed how Boras and Damon seemed to be at odds over Damon’s free agency. On numerous occasions during the season, Damon expressed a desire to stay in New York. He’s enjoyed his time with the Yankees, and his bat certainly took to the home run-friendly new stadium.

Yet, just a few days after the Yanks won the World Series, Scott Boras, Damon’s agent, spoke out against a hometown discount. Still, Damon, on a Sirius XM appearance, discussed his wishes to stay in New York, and Boras must have cringed. By publicly reiterating his desires to remain in the Bronx, Damon was slowly losing negotiation leverage. Why would the Yanks feel the need to pay him much if he actually wants to stay in the Bronx? Shouldn’t he take fewer years and less money for the stability and happiness it could bring?

Yesterday, in what will probably be his last public statements in a few weeks, Damon again spoke about staying in New York, but this time, his words had a twist to it. Now on board with the Boras program, Damon says he won’t entertain a paycut. Mark Feinsand reports:

Damon’s preference is to remain with the Yankees, and while he has made that wish well-known, sources close to the veteran say he isn’t about to give the Bombers a big discount to stay in pinstripes. Although he’s told friends all season that he would take a shorter deal from the Yankees than he would elsewhere, it is believed that he would want a higher average annual salary if he were to take fewer years.

A source close to Damon said that the outfielder believes his statistics over the past two years have been good enough that unless the market crumbles entirely like it did last winter for Bobby Abreu, he doesn’t feel he should take a pay cut. Damon chose not to discuss his contract desires Sunday, saying only that his first wish is to stay in pinstripes.

“I want to continue to be on a team that can win and to play in front of great fans – and we know that the Yankees fill both of those,” Damon said. “I think everyone knows my desire to come back. Still, every time I’ve been a free agent, I’ve ended up switching teams. It’s the nature of the beast. If people are interested, I’m going to listen.”

A few weeks ago, Mike noted how the Abreu contract would provide a comp for the Damon negotiations, and that reality is slowly coming to pass. Boras will probably not allow Damon to take less than Abreu, and the uber-agent probably has designs on a deal similar to Damon’s $13 million-per contract that just ended.

So what to do? As I discussed yesterday, the Yankees have to know when to turn over their roster. Although a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal for Matt Holliday doesn’t strike me as a good idea, over-committing to Damon isn’t either. At best, Damon is a subpar left fielder with a good bat; at worst, he’s an adequate replacement for Hideki Matsui as the Yanks’ full-time DH. Anything longer than two years is too long; anything more than $10 million a year is too much.

Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. IMO, 2/$20MM is the highest the Yankees should go on an offer to Damon.

    • Doug says:

      if it must be more than a year, i agree.

      personally, don’t want to go more than one, so would probably offer him arbitration myself. even if he accepts, would rather have him at 1/15 than 2/25

      • Count Zero says:


        He said he would take a shorter deal, but not a pay cut. Offer him arb and see if we get 1 year at $14-15MM. Otherwise, we let him walk at anything over 2/$20MM and we get a draft pick.

      • Rose says:

        He won’t accept. It’s a guaranteed decline.

        • Doug says:

          so then you get a couple of draft picks out of it. a win, win

        • Count Zero says:

          Not so sure about that…if I were him I would actually take it.

          Keep in mind that once any deal for him has to include compensation picks to the Yankees, his potential deal from any other team will shrink. It could end with him returning to the Yanks for less than he would have gotten if we didn’t offer arb.

          If he takes the arb offer, he gets 50% more in 2010 than he would get on a multi-year, and if he really is as ageless as Boras says he is, he can have another good year and still get $12MM again for 2011. :-)

          Absolute worst case he gets $14MM for one year vs. say $22MM for two.

      • currambayankees says:

        Agree with you offer arbi for one year.

    • Rose says:

      Who AND Why would anybody give him more than that in this economy?? We’re one of the few teams that would even give him that much…IMO anyway…

  2. AndrewYF says:

    Actually, at worst, I could see him being Bernie Williams circa 2005.

    Let him go.

  3. Rose says:

    So what’s the next viable option?

    Re-sign Matsui for DH…sign Cameron for 1 yr in CF. Slide Melky Cabrera over to LF. Brett Gardner is your pinch runner (backup CF)?

    • Anthony says:

      Yeah, after this Damon saga I’m drinking the Cameron kool aid more and more. Has anything been said on what he is looking for contract wise?

      • Rose says:

        Nope. My guess is his agent will play the game where he waits for the remaining teams who lost out on Damon…and come up with demands afterwards. I don’t think Holliday or Bay’s signings effect it as much as somebody his own age. He’ll clearly get less than Damon…but they’ll have the upperhand knowing how badly certain teams need to fill their holes (Yankees).

      • Doug says:

        early on, most thought he’d be willing to sign for just a year, but i’ve read a bunch of teams are interested. being a hot commodity, it’s possible he ends up with a 2-year deal too.

        does this rule us out? if people don’t want damon for two, how does everyone feel about a 37-year old cameron for the same?

        • Anthony says:

          I would rather go 2 years for Cameron than I would for Damon because he gives us more flexibility but I still would not want a 2 year contract with Cameron either.

          Ideally, I’d like a 1 yr + team option contract for him, so we can give Ajax the time he needs to develop. Get it done Cash.

          • Rose says:

            I would rather go 2 years for Cameron than I would for Damon because he gives us more flexibility but I still would not want a 2 year contract with Cameron either.

            I disagree. I’d much rather have Damon at 2 yrs than Cameron at 2 yrs. Damon is a MUCH better hitter. Cameron is a much better fielder…but when you add up the values…Damon is worth way more. Cameron will still command decent amount of money once Damon is off the table. Our best negotiating stance would be signing Damon and THEN negotiating with Cameron because we won’t need him as much. If we miss out on Damon…all hell could break loose in regards to options and negotiations

            • Doug says:

              fyi, cameron’s WAR value was worth $19.4M in 2009 while damon was worth $13.6M.

              not saying i trust it 100%, but it is what it is

              • Rose says:

                Yeah, but Cameron doesn’t make that double steal in Game 4 – PRICELESS! lol

                That’s extremely strange that Cameron’s WAR would not only be higher than Damon’s…but significantly higher…

                • Doug says:

                  batting value difference is 15.5 for damon while the fielding value is 19.2 for cameron. factor in CF (2.3) vs LF (-6.9) and there you go.

                • One of the criticisms of WAR is that some feel it overinflates the value of defense, at least in relation to the value of offense.

                  I’m not saying that that means WAR is flawed or incorrect… just saying that’s why SOME PEOPLE feel it’s flawed or incorrect.

                • Rose says:

                  That makes sense. Most people value offense much more than defense (not that it’s right) so it looks funny I guess. Which makes the love for the Golden Glove and neglecting of the Silver Slugger quite ironic. My friend who watches baseball a good amount didn’t even know what the Silver Slugger was haha.

                • radnom says:

                  I’m not saying that that means WAR is flawed or incorrect… just saying that’s why SOME PEOPLE feel it’s flawed or incorrect.

                  It is flawed and incorrect when used as an indicator of a player’s overall worth, there is no debating this. The only discussion is by just how much.

                  Any stat which attempts to generalize something as complicated as a players overall value is bound to be off. Not only is it a really difficult problem in general, but this is also relatively new for the baseball world. There is still a lot of room for improvement, and WAR is one stat I feel will definitely be improved upon.

                  The only thing WAR tells you with 100% accuracy is what number results from calculating that players WAR value. Any other meaning derived from this number is merely an approximation of reality.

            • Johnny Damon and Mike Cameron are exactly even when it comes to hitting.

              Cameron: 107
              Damon: 105

              162 game averages:
              Cameron: .250/.340/.448, 23 HR
              Damon: .288/.355/.439, 16 HR

              Cameron: .347
              Damon: .351

              To say that Damon is a much better hitter than Cameron is flat out wrong.

              And, adding up the values, as you put it, Cameron is most certainly worth more because he a) plays an up the middle position, which makes his bat look that much better and b) he plays that up the middle position very well, adding better defense at a more premium position, something Damon does not do.

              • Rose says:

                You’re comparing 162 averages based on their long careers. They’re both significantly older now.

                JD: .282/.365/.489 (.854) 98 SO
                MC: .250/.342/.452 (.795) 156 SO

                JD does a lot more…spoiling pitches off…making the pitcher work. Tex and Arod get to see more pitches, etc.

                • Doug says:

                  fyi, P/PA is not much different: 4.06 for damon, 3.96 for cameron

                • You’re basing it on one year, which happens to be Damon’s best year. How is that any more valid than what I said? Over their long careers (they’re the same age, by the way), they’ve put up remarkably similar numbers. Damon having a career year in ’09 doesn’t suddenly make him a “MUCH better hitter” than Mike Cameron. Again, we also need some context here. Damon’s numbers out of a left fielder are very good, but Cameron’s numbers out of a center fielder are more impressive and valuable. Over the last three years, Damon’s been worth 8.9 WAR, Cameron’s been worth 10.5. So, using your whole “value” argument, Cameron comes out (ever so slightly) on top. This also doesn’t take into account that Cameron would likely cost less than Damon and would bring back more value because of that.

                • Rose says:

                  Comparisons are all arbitrary. We’re basing our assumptions on Holliday’s future production in the AL based on half a season there.

                  Melky Cabrera’s WAR is 3.3 over his career…and people here never want to see him start another game ever again lol. He had a wOBA of .316 in 2009.

                  I mean it’s all how you look at it I guess. I’m not saying your stats are wrong and I don’t believe you…I just personally think Damon is more valuable than Cameron. The stats apparently say otherwise when you dig deep and such…and I admit, I’m partial because I watch Damon a lot more than I watch Cameron…but I just think a solid #2 hitter who spoils pitches is more valuable than a #7 or 8 hitter who strikes out 150+ times year. This is based on my assessment of being a better hitter by the way…I’m not including defense in this argument.

                • Comparisons are all arbitrary.

                  The Ghost of Alex Gonzalez

                • Melky Cabrera’s WAR is 3.3 over his career…and people here never want to see him start another game ever again lol. He had a wOBA of .316 in 2009.

                  Melky Cabrera has nothing to do with this conversation.

                  I just personally think Damon is more valuable than Cameron. The stats apparently say otherwise when you dig deep and such

                  So despite relatively objective data, you won’t be swayed? I don’t get that.

                  but I just think a solid #2 hitter who spoils pitches is more valuable than a #7 or 8 hitter who strikes out 150+ times year

                  Cameron also walks ~70 times a year and hits ~25 home runs a year. That sounds a good deal like the Yankees number eight hitter this year who helped them have the best offense in the league. Cameron sees roughly the same amount of pitches as Damon and walks just as much. Doing it from a different spot in the order doesn’t mean he’s not as good. Also, I’m not saying Damon OR Cameron. You know I want Damon and Cameron in the same OF.

                  This is based on my assessment of being a better hitter by the way

                  So your assessment of being a good hitter is batting order position and strikeouts?

                • Rose says:

                  Melky Cabrera has nothing to do with this conversation.

                  I know.

                  So despite relatively objective data, you won’t be swayed? I don’t get that.


                  Cameron also walks ~70 times a year and hits ~25 home runs a year. That sounds a good deal like the Yankees number eight hitter this year who helped them have the best offense in the league. Cameron sees roughly the same amount of pitches as Damon and walks just as much. Doing it from a different spot in the order doesn’t mean he’s not as good. Also, I’m not saying Damon OR Cameron. You know I want Damon and Cameron in the same OF.

                  I see.

                  So your assessment of being a good hitter is batting order position and strikeouts?


    • Reggie C. says:

      I’d down with that alternative.

      Though I’d keep Gardbrera in CF, and hope AJax makes a compelling case to challenge for the CF job after the All -Star break. We’ll lose some offense and OBP out of a corner spot, but there’s a defensive gain our pitchers can appreciate. Swish will be Swish, but Melky could still improve slightly.

      I’d still like to offer Damon 2/22. Its more than what Abreu got.

      • Rose says:

        If Damon walks I don’t see anyway they go with Melky in LF and Gardner in CF. Not in the AL East. You lose out on a crucial #2 hitter who wears a pitcher down and produces better than Swisher (who would probably be inserted in the #2 if he leaves)…and Swisher’s bat is much better than Melky/Gardner in the #8 spot…

        Then you have the days where you rest position players and Jorge Posada and you have Melky, Gardner, Cervelli/Pena/etc. which is just real bad for business.

        But hopefully we just get Damon back

      • tampayankee says:

        He can’t run, can’t field, can no longer hit and better options are much cheaper/younger ie Carl Crawford, David Dejesus and Delmon Young. Do you people actually pay attention to this guys fielding, he throws lollypops in from left field and is unable to get to balls most left fieldser can easily get to.
        Yankees focus would be better spent on Getting Holliday and work out a compenstion deal to also take Vernon Wells, BJ pay 10mil of his contract for three years, this is not unheard of and better than flushing $22 mill away on an old man.
        Any of these scenerios make this team better than keeping the Cripple Matsui the past-his-prime Damon and Pettite.

        • Rose says:

          Yankees focus would be better spent on Getting Holliday

          We’re all assuming he just accepts a 5 year deal worth however many dollars…he may want/get more.

          and work out a compenstion deal to also take Vernon Wells

          Oh good God, no.

        • better options are much cheaper/younger ie Carl Crawford, David Dejesus and Delmon Young.

          All of whom are under contract to another club. Pass.

          and work out a compenstion deal to also take Vernon Wells, BJ pay 10mil of his contract for three years, this is not unheard of and better than flushing $22 mill away on an old man.

          Congratulations, it’s only 10:59 am and you’ve already won the “Dumbest comment of the day” award. You now have the entire afternoon to bask in your glory.

          • Moshe Mandel says:

            I was going to nominate it for wrongest comment ever on RAB. He’s wrong on:

            Damon can’t hit.
            Delmon Young>Damon.
            Holliday when he means Halladay.
            Taking Vernon Wells.
            Yankees should not bring back Damon, Matsui, or Pettitte.

            It is a cornucopia of fail.

        • leokitty says:

          Delmon Young is most certainly not a better option.

    • Short Porch says:

      Sign Nick Johnson over Hideki for DH if he becomes available. Bat him second.

  4. mike c says:

    cya johnny

  5. radnom says:

    Matsui – DH
    Cameron – LF

    Sign Pettite and Sheets then call it an offseason.

    • I’d put Cameron in CF and move Melky over. Melky’s bat doesn’t play very well in LF, but Cameron’s plays even better than Melky’s in CF and Melky’s defense would likely improve while in LF. The OF offense would be either average or just above it, but the defense would likely be well above average.

      • Rose says:

        Melky robbed Manny’s home run while playing LF I believe…

        I was at the game :)

        • Oh that was awesome. I was at Hofstra during that time and my roommate and I yelled so loudly during that catch that some people down the hall came in to ask if we were alright. It was awesome.

      • radnom says:

        I would be fine with swapping their positions.

        The OF/DH offense would not be as good as last year, but it wouldn’t be much of a downgrade and that would hopefully be offset some by the large defensive upgrade.

  6. Anthony says:

    Maybe no matter where he goes, Damon’s contract will be partially garnished with the money taken out going to us because if it wasn’t for that short right field in both Yankee stadiums he played in, the genetic freak might be looking fairly average/mediocre right now.

    • Rose says:

      Johnny Damon

      Home: .279/.382/.533 (.915) 17 HR
      Away: .284/.349/.446 (.795) 7 HR

      Those are pretty decent splits…but his bat was clearly enhanced with the new YSIII.

  7. Evil Empire says:

    Damon will take that 2/20 offer and like it, god dammit. He’s just playing the game for negotiating purposes. Only a team like the White Sox would be foolish enough to offer JD a 3rd year, and I don’t think they can afford him.

  8. nolan says:

    Why is nobody for signing Holliday? Yes he’s going to cost more and will only sign for a long term deal…but the Yanks don’t have any corner outfielders in the farm system that he would be blocking.

    If the yanks signed Holliday, Pettitte and Sheets they would be getting better defensively, younger and would be able to put up similar offensive numbers to what they put up in 2009.


    • No, but he’d be locking up a non-premium position for at least 5 years. That’s three corner spots blocked for the next 5-8 years. There are cheaper alternatives out there.

      • Evil Empire says:

        I think that’s simplifying the situation a little bit, no? One of those 3 corner spots you’re referring to is 3B, a more premium position than 1B / corner OF. And while yes there are cheaper alternatives, frugality isn’t a defining trait of the Yankees. What defines the Yankees is having a team filled with top tier talent. I don’t mean to say Holiday is a top 10 player in the league – he isn’t – but I think he is worth overpaying for 5 years for the Yankees. I say this in the context of how the free agent outfield class is shaping up for the next couple years, and how there is no real prospect whose bat is good enough for LF right now besides Montero.

        If you get Holiday for 5 years than you get to ride out the rest of his prime and get a boost in both offense and defense in a currently vacant position. You’re also helping the team – an old team built to win now – in 2010, and that’s important.

        • an old team built to win now – in 2010, and that’s important.

          This is also an over-simplification, IMO. The Yankees aren’t a “win now” team. The Yankees are a win now and win later team. Signing Matt Holliday most likely accomplishes the “now” part, but it most likely hurts the “later” part, which is also important.

          While the Yankees are certainly not frugal, it also doesn’t make sense for them to just throw money around because they can. They tried that for a while and it didn’t work. That money could be spent more wisely in cheaper alternatives, as well as on future investments that could be more cost effective and beneficial to the Yankees.

          • Evil Empire says:

            I’m not convinced Matt Holliday hurts the team down the road. On a 5 year deal, we’d have him through his age 34 season. While you’d have to expect his UZR to come down a bit by then, his bat should still play in left. Also, at age 29 and a significantly plus defender, his signing would not be tantamount to say, the Sheffield deal in the “dark ages” of 2002-2008.

            Its not throwing money around to get this guy. You’re not doing it just to mix things up. You’re doing it because he fills a need better than any other option available right now and projects to continue to be able to do his job throughout a theoretical 5 year deal.

    • Evil Empire says:

      I’m in favor of signing Matt Holliday if we can snag him on a 5 year deal, I agree that it makes sense. I’d still like to see one of Damon/Matsui/Mike Cameron also be signed in addition.

      Pettitte is a no brainer. Sheets? Meh. I’d prefer Rich Harden.

    • We’re all wary of giving Holliday a “#3/#4 hitter” type of contract (5-7 years, 20+ AAV) and ending up with a #5/#6 hitter.

      It’s not that Holliday isn’t a good player, it’s just that his non-Coors Field home game career stats indicat that he’s not a great, MVP-type player. We’d be paying him Tex money for Matsui production.

      • nolan says:

        true…but Holliday would be a #5 hitter. The yanks already have the games best 3/4 hitting combo in the game (or at least top 3)…so they wouldnt be signing Holliday to be a # 4 hitter. The yanks have to pay a premium to do this. They had to pay a premium to get AROD and Tex …they will have to pay a premium for just about every player they sign. I’d rather the yanks pay more and sign Holliday to a longer contract to be a very good # 5 hitter and above average left fielder then I would to overpay Damon for 2 years (hoping that he doesnt decline and closing my eyes every time a ball is hit in the direction of left field).

      • Evil Empire says:

        I agree, he is absolutely not worth Tex money, that’s ridiculous. I think I’m evaluating the market differently from you guys, projecting that no one is going to get a 9-digit number this winter. I think we can get Holliday for exactly half the amount of money Tex signed for, in fact. 5/90 for Matt Holliday. It just might get the job done.

        I just wanted to clarify that I’m not a crazy bastard. This current market is ripe for the Yankees to take advantage of, is all.

    • LI Kevin says:

      It’s only money.
      And not mine.
      True about the lack of prospects too.
      Everybody hates us anyway.
      Sign Holliday.

    • Rose says:

      If the yanks signed Holliday, Pettitte and Sheets they would be getting better defensively, younger and would be able to put up similar offensive numbers to what they put up in 2009.

      For 2010 that may be true. But having Holliday for 5+ years would put him in his mid-late 30′s…with Jeter, Arod, Tex, and whoever else being very close to or near the upper side of 40.

      • nolan says:

        so if you do sign damon for 2 years …we then are in the same situation in 2 years. We don’t have anyone in the system who will be an upgrade offensively and defensively for a corner outfield spot. So we will need to go out and sign a free agent to play lf. Then what? We’ll have to overpay someone in years and dollars to play lf for us. Why not just do that now when we have a very good lf’er on the market who apparently wants to play for us, and would help us defensively and offensively.

  9. KayGee says:

    I still don’t see any wavering in Damon’s comments…the title of this post led me to believe Damon was publicly stating he refuses to take a paycut from the Yankees, when in actuality the only comments about that came from “sources close to ” Damon. His comments seem pretty consistent. This is not to say Damon won’t leave if he feels insulted by an offer from the Yanks or gets a guaranteed 3 years at a double digit annual salary elsewhere. However, I dont see anything concrete that he will not take a paycut, the same way there was never anything concrete written about CC wanting no part of New York.

  10. Klemy says:

    I really don’t like Damon at more then 2/20. If he wants 2/26 to match previous figures, I’m more interested in Holliday then him and I really never was in favor of that.

    I’m glad I don’t have to make the decision, but I like the Matsui DH and Cameron in CF option best. We do need a 2 hitter, or at least another leadoff so Jeter could move to 2 – if that’s not too crazy.

    • Mike HC says:

      Really? An extra six million over two years is going to be the deal breaker that makes you sign Holliday to a monster contract. Why would the Yanks hold such a firm line there? It would cost way more than an extra three mil a year to sign Holliday. And if they did not sign Holliday, the money they saved would not be worth the on field regression of our LF, whoever we end up plaing out there.

  11. Mike HC says:

    I agree that anything over two years is too much, but not the 10 million number. The Yanks can easily give him, and should give him a 2 year deal at the same rate as his last contract. Unless Holliday falls right in our lap with a sweetheart deal, which I doubt, it is a no brainer to re sign Damon for two years and however much per year in order to get it done.

  12. A.D. says:

    If you want Damon back, his AAV is going north of 10M, he’s looking for high bidders, then offering him arb isn’t the worst decision. Worst case you’re paying 2-4M more than you would have had to…but on a 1 year deal.

    Personally I think this is just some Boras puppet-mastering along the lines of Mo saying he’d go elsewhere if the Yankees tried to lo-ball him, or that Pettitte had a 3-year deal on the table. While it’s much more likely for Damon to leave then it was for Mo to leave (or that Pettitte had a 3 year deal), I still think this is some fairly insignificant public jockying.

    • Mike HC says:

      I think Damon will leave in a minute. He has proven time and again that it is all about the money, which is really how it should be. How do you think Damon will feel if another team offers him a better deal than the Yankees do, who overpay all of their players and make money hands over fist. He will feel slighted. He isn’t going to take the discount.

      It will be easy for Damon and Boras. Best deal wins. Tie probably goes to the Yanks, but maybe not.

      • A.D. says:

        Suppose that’s true to, then I just don’t understand why he would have bothered with the previous comments alluding that he’d take less to stay in NYC (at least in years).

        • Rey22 says:


          Johnny Damon/ Boston Red Sox 2004-2005 Off-season.

        • Mike HC says:

          Because he does love NY. He just won a WS and has been with the same group of guys for the past 4 years. In a perfect world, he wants to stay.

          But, feelings change when you get away for it for a couple of months. Then you start hearing the dollar amounts. Start thinking about the evil empire and how much money they have. Then think about another team with far less money than the Yanks is willing to give you more. If that is the case. He is gone.

        • Ed says:

          He was probably speaking the emotions he felt at the time. Then Boras heard the quote and slapped some sense into him. I think he’s a guy that likes to stay where he is, but, once the reality of the free agent market sets in, he’s able to look at the bigger picture.

  13. Michael says:

    In a perfect world where player demands and money mean nothing, what is the ideal length of contract for Damon? 1 more year right? You limit the risk for injury and you enter the 2010 offseason with a shot at Crawford or a chance to bring up a more developed Ajax.

    That is why I agree with offering arbitration, at least as a first step. Lets say you offer Damon arbitration and he gets 1 year @15 million. The Yanks would save 5-10 million on any 2 year offer Damon might accept (I assume 20-25 million) and they get the length of contract they want.

    You can always sign the two year contract at anytime during the process, but I think its at least worth taking a shot over.

    • A.D. says:

      Well its about the money spent than the length of deal. If its either 2/20 or 1/15 then you’re basically saying you can sign him for 1/15 and then 1/5, so comes down to how much is an extra 5 mil for another year.

      Worse case Damon bombs has a terrible ’10 and is considered useless, the Yanks eat his 2nd year and release him/trade him to another team, for the cost of 5M. Best case he’s very productive for the next 2 years, and you get him at a discount of 5-10 mil.

  14. ledavidisrael says:

    Sign CAM!

  15. Jake H says:

    Offer Damon arb, if he really wants more years then he will decline. Sign Cameron, matsui and move Melky to left field.

  16. Honest non-snarky question: Have there been rumors AT ALL of any other team showing any shred of interest in Damon or Matsui? At all?

    I mean, where exactly is Johnny gonna go if we take a hardline stance? Or HazMat? Who wants them besides us? Genuine curiosity here. Who’s heard something?

    • Rose says:

      Exactly. Especially for the demands that Boras and Damon are insinuating. What team is going to pay Damon more than 2/20? IF even that…

    • Evil Empire says:

      I’ve heard White Sox are interested in Damon, and that they are his 2nd likeliest suitor besides the Yanks. Seattle and Tampa Bay will look at Matsui.

      All of that is from the ESPN MLB Rumor Central so … yeah, take it for what its worth.

      :::offers grain of salt:::

      • Rose says:

        Seattle and Tampa Bay will look at Matsui.

        Seattle? To play where? They just re-signed Griffey.

        • Evil Empire says:

          Yeah that’s a good point, Seattle is probably no longer an option. I was just recalling that I had read that somewhere along the off season, that was probably right at the beginning, and I’m sure it was blatant speculation to begin with.

          Oh and don’t forget, Boston is working on a multi-year offer for Matsui to be their new left fielder, heh.

        • Thomas says:

          Griffey had a wOBA of .323 at DH and is only getting paid $2M. It is possible the Mariners aren’t looking at him as an everyday player.

    • KayGee says:

      I’ve heard him linked to the White Sox


      It makes sense considering Dye’s departure and Thome’s late season departure…although I do not know what kind of contract he would get there

      Ive also read a couple of articles about some interest from the Giants…who certainly need to upgrade their offense and have a hankering for aging players…with Randy Winn out of the mix, there is a spot for Damon

      Mostly speculation, but a couple of possible destinations…

    • theyankeewarrior says:

      Seriously, Boras can talk all he wants about Abreu’s conract but what he’s forgetting is that last season guys got decent money early on. Guys like Pat Burrel robbed the Rays. Now that the Angels signed Abreu, thats one more team that doesn’t need a corner OF. Two other teams will get Bay and Holliday. The Yankees can play this out like the Angels did last year and end up with Damon or Cameron for nothing.

      Although I’m sure it won’t be as bad as last season, the Yankees can afford to see what the Giants etc. will offer this 36 yr old and then counter it.

      • Ed says:

        Guys got decent money early on because the teams with clear needs jumped early to sign the guys that wanted. Teams that just had wants rather than needs waited it out and signed the leftovers cheap.

        Burrell, Ibanez, and Bradley were Christmas presents for their teams, bought during the peak of the shopping season. Abreu was the nice find picked out of the clearance bin a few months later by a team that already had what they needed, but couldn’t resist at that price.

    • whozat says:

      I think I heard noise about the Giants, but that may have been idle speculation or a Heyman column.

    • A.D. says:

      Figure Matsui is really only intriguing to teams with a DH, and many teams have this filled:

      Sox: Papi
      Rays: Burrell/not going to add payroll
      Jays: Lind/not going to add payroll
      Baltimore: I guess they could

      KC: Butler/not going to add payroll
      Twins: Kubel/not going to add payroll
      Detroit: Seems unlikely
      Cleveland: Pronk
      White Sox: Possibility

      Texas: Seems unlikely with Blalock, Young, and Davis
      Seattle: Griffey
      Angels: Possibility
      A’s: Jack Cust/aren’t going to offer much for him

      Sooo we’re looking at the Yanks, White Sox, Angels, and maybe a irrational offer by the Orioles.

      • Rose says:

        Detroit: Seems unlikely

        They ain’t buying shit. They just announced that Miguel Cabrera is on the market…and when you combine that with the coincidential Red Sox announcement of offering to pay half of Mike Lowell’s contract…I think they have something up their sleeve.

        Tigers are selling and rebuilding.

        • Rose says:

          The Red Sox + Miguel Cabrera and John Lackey = Scary.

          • Reggie C. says:

            That’d be a massive salary commitment of over $200mm. I wonder if the RS could afford to extend Beckett at that point.

          • But what would they have to give up to get Cabrera? Buchholz, for starters, probably one of Westmoreland/Kelly/Pimentel after that as well.

            That trade could work out well for us.

            Oh, and, I would LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE it if the Sox wedded themselves to the declining John Lackey. That shit would be awesome on multiple levels. It would be like the Lowell/Ortiz extension times two.

            • Rose says:

              Well if it would take Joba Chamberlain, Jesus Montero, plus several other good prospects to land Josh Johnson…I would think it would take a lot more for an already established massively elite player in Miguel Cabrera…no? Yes, Johnson is MUCH cheaper…but having Cabrera > Josh Johnson in my eyes (assuming you have a need for both).

        • A.D. says:

          Yeah I was being kind, though we heard Miguel Cabrera rumors last year, and they were quickly squashed.

      • Thomas says:

        Not that I think they will add Matsui, but for the record. Jack Cust is likely to be non-tendered by the A’s and the Blue Jays are trying to move Lind to first and trade Overbay.

        • Rose says:

          [puts clothespin on nose]

          Jack Cust and Lyle Overbay peeyou stink.

          Much rather just re-sign Matsui and get it over with.

          • Thomas says:

            I never said the Yankees should add either. I was just saying that both the A’s and the Jays are likely to have free DH spots (possibilities for Matsui). However, both are unlikely to add payroll and thus would be unlikely landing spots for Matsui.

            I do not want the Yankees to add either Jack Cust or Lyle Overbay.

        • A.D. says:

          Yeah, I’d still be skeptical of either team adding Matsui payroll.

          With the Jays they still need to actually trade Overbay.

  17. theyankeewarrior says:

    And maybe it’s just the cooling weather or the fact that it’s Thanksgiving in 2 days, but I’m starting to crave me some FREE AGENTS.

    Matt Holliday seems like a better idea every day. I didn’t even consider him to be a fit for us after the WS but now I’m starting to think, why not go and get him to play LF while we have this core.

    I know there are rationales that say other wise. I think I’m just succumbing to the FREE AGENT CRAZE that his us Yankee fans every winter like a John Gotti shovel to the face

    • Matt Holliday seems like a better idea every day.

      For what reason?

      • Rose says:

        No reason. It’s a very bad idea.

        • Well, as an anti-Holliday guy, that’s probably a bit much.

          Adding Holliday is a bad idea, all things considered, IMO. It’s not a VERY bad idea. I don’t think Holliday is gonna suck like Vernon Wells. I just think he’ll be getting overpaid by about 6-9M per year for what he’s actually gonna produce.

          • Rose says:

            Say hypothetically, they sign Holliday.

            Do you think they feel that takes the place of both Damon and Matsui…or do you still think they negotiate with Matsui for the DH role??

            If they still would…and succeed…I’d immediately begin to salivate…having this as your batting order


            While we’re at it…let’s grab Cameron for #9 for good measure lol

        • Moshe Mandel says:

          It depends on the years. I’d go 4-5 years on him, not more. I was looking at his numbers again yesterday. Even after adjustment for Coors, he’s a great bat. Not as good as Tex, but close.

        • theyankeewarrior says:

          Let me clarify. I am against Holliday. I think a mix of Damon, Matsui and Cameron is the way to go for 2010. But I don’t think Matt Holliday is a terrible idea. Just one that could come back to haunt us. Not one that necessarily will.

          If not Holliday in 2010, I assume that we will be after Crawford for 2011 – and I hope we get him – but I don’t think we would be in a much different position with Crawford next season than with Holliday.

          Again, I’m pro bringing in back the ol’ gang for another season and monitoring AJax/the FA market etc. after 2010, but I don’t necessarily think that Holliday would be a

          “very bad idea”

        • Rose says:

          Sorry. I didn’t add on the “compared to our other options” part. Of course it’s not just solely a very bad idea all around…but when compared to the various other alternatives…IMO…it is. Does that mean that I will be unhappy if they do sign him? Of course not…but I just don’t think it’s at all necessary at this time…and would rather re-sign Matsui, Damon and/or Cameron. It just makes more sense.

          • Moshe Mandel says:

            I think that’s a fair point. Question: Let’s say they sign Matsui, and then Cameron and Damon get offered 2+ years. Do you change your stance on Holliday at 5-6?

            • Rose says:


              Personally, I’d much rather have Holliday for 5-6 years than Damon AND Cameron for 2 years a piece.

              Also take under consideration though…that where I live…and having 90% of my friends being Red Sox fans…buying players is a common battle I engage into everyday pretty much. So, signing ANOTHER “best free agent available on the market” to a long term high dollar deal puts my back against the wall when trying to justify and rationalize with them haha. While signing Damon AND Cameron to 2 year deals is worse than signing Matt Holliday for 5…I probably won’t hear the end of it lol

              • Evil Empire says:

                I think 6 years is one too many for Matt Holliday. I hope we offer the highest 5 year bid, but that extra year is the deal breaker for me.

                Re: Cameron, I don’t think it would take 2 guaranteed years to sign him. If it does … not sure if I’d want that.

  18. James says:

    I’ve read that the baseline for a contract is Abreu money… 2 years $19 million. Don’t you think the Yankees could do better than Damon for that kind of bank? What about Marlon Byrd???

    • Rose says:

      If Johnny Damon will take a 2 yr/$19M deal…I’d take it right away. Fangraphs has Johnny Damon worth $16.4M in 2008 and $13.6M in 2009. Does this mean he’ll be worth this much in 2010? No. But his lowest value over the contract he’s had with the Yankees was $9.3M in 2007. Which is along the lines of what he’d be getting.

      Marlon Byrd could be an option…but I think you’d rather go with Mike Cameron before him…in addition to or in place of Johnny Damon instead.

  19. mns1961 says:

    How can Damon be a replacement for Matsui? Will Damon bat 5th?? Whether they are to resign Damon or not, they’ll still need somebody to protect A-Rod.

  20. mryankee says:

    Johnny can go to San Francisco if he wants, good luck hitting home runs in Pac Bell. I think Yankee Stadium is perfect for him and he should know that and accept a 2 year deal and shut up. Otherwise there seems to be plenty of availble outfielders. Either way I would not lose much sleep over losing Damon.

  21. mns1961 says:

    Damon/Boras are very much aware that the Yanks aren’t interested in signing a big FA (Bay or Holliday), and that they don’t want to commit to any long term deals. Signing Damon for 2 years still comes cheaper than retaining Bay or Holliday.

  22. Rob in CT says:

    Holliday is still my plan A. It all depends on the price tag (years and dollars). I certainly agree that there is a point at which the Yankees should stop and let someone else sign him. He’s very good, but not elite, and next year’s class looks interesting.

    Damon… could very well fall off a cliff over the next two years. His defense appears to be collapsing. He hardly runs anymore (12 for 12 was nice, though). He just had a career (or near-career) year with the bat. He’s entering his late 30s. I’m not saying he sucks, but if it wasn’t for the warm fuzzies from the championship would people want him back as much?

    There are lots of options out there for the LF/DH spots. I would very much prefer to have a LFer who can field (well) and at least hit ok and a DH who can hit than a LFer who fields poorly and this “rotation” idea for the DH. That’s a disaster waiting to happen, IMO.

    So, in order of preference:

    Plan A: Sign Holliday for LF, and sign or trade for a primary DH (Damon, Matsui, Thome, trade for Dunn, maybe look at Nick Johnson).

    Plan B: Mike Cameron (CF/LF) and sign a DH (same list as above)

    Plan C: Damon for LF & some DHing, sign DH (same list, minus Damon)

    Plan D: Damon for LF/DH and rotate other starters through the DH spot. This means lots more PAs for Frankie Cervelli, Ramiro Pena, etc.

    • bkight13 says:

      I’d call Plan A a winner. People here are too down on Holliday. He’s a very good player we may have to overpay, but he makes this team better. Even a 6yr deal leaves him at 35 in 2015.

      I like re-signing Matsui to DH and bringing up Miranda to give him a shot when Matsui needs a rest or breaks down. I don’t think we’ll get Crawford any cheaper/shorter than Holliday, so why not do it now.

  23. Greg says:

    Having a bad dream that we’ll see Gardner-melky-swisher in OF

  24. larryf says:

    But back to Granderson :-) Great defense. 30 HR’s (2 in one game at Yankee Stadium IIRC) 29 years old. Never won a World Series. Hard to repeat with an old team….

    Bye Bye Johnny

    • Rose says:

      Hard to repeat with an old team….

      2000 Yankees (3rd time winning WS in a row; 4th in 5 years; Also went to WS in 2001)

      These guys weren’t all starters…but they certainly contributed…
      Paul O’Neill – 37
      Scott Broscious – 33
      Chuck Knoblauch – 31
      Tino Martinez – 32
      David Justice – 34
      Jose Canseco – 35
      Luis Sojo – 35
      Jim Leyritz – 36
      El Duque – 34 (probably older)
      David Cone – 37
      Roger Clemens – 37
      Dwight Gooden – 35
      Jeff Nelson – 33
      Mike Stanton – 33

  25. CJ says:

    See ya Johnny….Curts Granderson for CF, Melky in LF, Swisher in RF…makes team younger and cheaper…explore the cost of Edwin Jackson and bring but Matsui with an honorable contract compensated by Japanese marketing

    Austin Jackson, Ian Kennedy, Romine, McCallister, and maybe Robertson for Granderson and Jackson

  26. PL]PREDATOR says:

    WE shold sign back Damon. Why? He doesn’t have a great arm, but his offense was great this year

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