Heyman: Yanks may be willing to offer Damon two years

Unsurprisingly, it's Pettitte for Game Six
Open thread: World Series bling

Via MLBTR, Jon Heyman mentions that the Yankees “were believed willing to go for two years and $16 million” for Johnny Damon, but that was before the postseason. Damon’s recent heroics surely have bumped up his price just a bit. Regardless, two guaranteed years for Damon is nuts because just a week or so ago he looked fried amidst a two-month long slump. The Yanks would be wise to limit their offer to one guaranteed year, with an option, to not only reduce risk but to maintain roster flexibility beyond 2010.

Two years at $8M per for Johnny D? That one doesn’t pass the sniff test.

Unsurprisingly, it's Pettitte for Game Six
Open thread: World Series bling
  • Salty Buggah

    One year at 7 plus option would be awesome if possible

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    One year plus team option. Done.

    • JMK aka The Overshare


      • All praise be to Mo

        +1, love Johnny but anything more than a year is madness. We have A-Jax coming up and a guy by the name of Carl Crawford is a free agent after next year as well.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          Rays will make sure they keep Crawford. That’s why they dumped Kazmir to Anaheim/L.A./USA.

          • http://sports-odds.com/images/stories/yankees-arod-teixeira.jpg JobaWockeeZ

            They’re going to have a hard time resigning him regardless.

            • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

              He’s one of the franchise players. I think they shell out the cash.

              Seriously, those Florida teams should be moved to a city where they’ll be enjoyed. It’s a shame that you had two teams fighting for the pennant all the way up to the start of September that get such bad attendance. It’s not fair to them.

              • http://sports-odds.com/images/stories/yankees-arod-teixeira.jpg JobaWockeeZ

                It’s not fair to them.
                Nope. Not fair at all.

                • Lanny

                  Theres no chance he signs a 1 yr plus team option.

                  He’ll have plenty of suitors.

                • All praise be to Mo

                  You guys think the Rays can afford Crawford? They also have Pena coming up on free agency along with bossman jr. and shields as well if I recall correctly.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  You guys think the Rays can afford Crawford?

                  This upcoming season, when it’s just a 10M one year option? Yes.

                  Beyond that, when he hits free agency? No.

              • Andy in Sunny Daytona

                Once they get ACTUAL baseball stadiums built for both of those teams, they will improve.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


                  That being said, the new stadium in St. Pete won’t arrive fast enough to make retaining Carl Crawford after 2010 feasible for them. They’ll either deal him at the deadline or let him walk and take the draft picks, particularly since they have Desmond Jennings at the ready behind Crawford.

                • JMK aka The Overshare

                  I’m certainly not an expert on Florida sports, but is it realistic to expect that the stadiums will actually be filled with more than 20,000 people a game just because they get new stadiums?

                  It seems that only football is really popular down there (and Nascar).

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                  Maybe. I think it has more to do with this being a terrible market. The only worse market is MAYBE Colorado. I mean, if Yankee Stadium or even Citi Field was as bad as St. Pete you wouldn’t find the stadiums as empty as Landshark and Tropicana, even if the teams were both playing at the same level (around 85 wins).

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Getting the new stadiums is far from a slam dunk, magic bullet solution, but they’ll both help. Right now, there’s too many Tampans and Miamians who don’t want to go see a game because their stadiums are dumps.

                  The Trop sucks, and Joe Robbie/ProPlayer/Landshark is not only an awkward football stadium where you’re way too far from the field, but the stadium itself is way out in the middle of nowhere (as most football stadiums are).

                  Both new parks are sparkling, baseball only, inviting parks right on the downtown waterfronts. They should help a bunch.

                • JMK aka The Overshare

                  I hear you, and I hope you’re right (family owns a condo in Orlando), but even when their teams are good (Heat, Marlins, Rays), attendance is weak. Sure, the stadium sucking the life out of people certainly plays a role, but one would think people would still be interested in watching a high-quality product. Prices are generally cheap, too.

                  The Mets had that shit hole known as “Shea Stadium” for years and fans always showed up. There seems to be a general lack of interest down in Florida.

              • http://kikojones5.blogspot.com Kiko Jones

                Seriously, those Florida teams should be moved to a city where they’ll be enjoyed. It’s a shame that you had two teams fighting for the pennant all the way up to the start of September that get such bad attendance. It’s not fair to them.


                Been bitching about the same thing for years, especially w/folks who are always going on about “winning draws a crowd“. Yeah, tell it to the Marlins and Rays. Seems like they only care about football in FL, anyway.

  • Rey22

    1 year plus the team option sounds great, but what are the odds some other team gets desperate and actually guarantees him that second year? Bye bye Johnny?

    • toad

      Might happen, but if you make the option buyout generous enough he might stay in NY. Depends on how optimistic he is.

    • JMK aka The Overshare

      I’d think so. It wouldn’t be pretty, but I’d rather not have Damon than be potentially crippled by his corpse in LF for TWO years. Flexibility is key; the Yankees, contrary to popular belief, would not be wise to give Damon a two-year deal just because they have money and alternatives are limited.

      I’m not saying the alternatives are great, but if you offer Cameron one year for $7 million, he’d likely take it. Worst case scenario, they leverage some of their farm for Heredia or Dunn (though the price would be high, and I’d prefer them to wait for Crawford at FA). It’s much better than Damon for two. I really see his decline coming imminently, despite his recent WS resurgence. I’m sad to say this because I’ve always really like JD (even when on the Sox).

    • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

      Maybe I’m naive, but from what he’s said publicly, I think Johnny would take less to stay in New York. I mean how much would it suck to go from that team up north that had a few years of success, to the Yankees, to [insert name of one of 20 crappy teams here]. Sure, a good team may offer more money, and if they do and he wants it, fine, bye.

      • king of fruitless hypotheticals

        yup. he’s come out and said he wants to play here, so if we think 16/2 was the magic number before, how hard would it be to suggest 8+2/1+1? he gets 10M guaranteed, and a year of work guaranteed. he does well, we keep him for another 8. he doesnt, we give him 2M to go play somewhere else (and make us regret losing him most likely…thats how these things work it seems!!!).

        having him around the year after next may be worth it just as a veteran to help mould Ajax, and to provide a sometimes bat and sometimes OF…especially since i dont see Matsui being here two more years (next year yes!).

  • vin

    I’ll be interested to see how this year’s free agents make out, compared to last year’s. The economy is in a slightly better place now, but still far away from where it was even a couple of years ago.

    Frankly, at the end of the day, 2 years and 16 million sounds about right. I’m a little surprised NYY may start with the 2 year length. I would think they would start with 1 plus an option, and Boras would want 3 plus an option, and they would settle on 2.

    Johnny had an average July, and an awful Sep/October, but he was great the rest of the year.

    I’m in the “Johnny for 2 years, and Matsui for 1, with Johnny taking over DH after Matsui” camp. He has tremendous value at the plate, and on the bases. I think a lot of that value will still be there in 2011.

  • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

    WI’m all for it. Johnny’s also had a good series for the Yanks.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)


  • The Three Amigos

    I think another team will offer him more, it really is just a matter if he wants to stay on the Yanks. If they win it this year, a lot of those guys will be thinking repeat. It depends on what he values more at this point in his career.

    Since Johnny is smart and knows we have some guys in the pipeline, he may also not want to be relegated to back up duty. Something else to take into consideration. That said, 1 plus 1 sounds good to me. There are always trade candidates out there.

  • http://sports-odds.com/images/stories/yankees-arod-teixeira.jpg JobaWockeeZ

    Earlier in the year Damon has said he wanted to continue and I think end his career in New York. So even if another team gives him a slightly better option I think he’ll stay with they Yanks.

  • vin

    From an OPS+ standpoint, Johnny has had his best offensive seasons the last two years (118 and 123 in ’08 and ’09 respectively).

    He’ll still *only be 37 after 2011. He’s the same age as Jeter. The issue, I guess, is that Jeter’s bat will definitely plat at shortstop for a few more years. Will Johnny’s? I think so.

    The Yanks have a need. Outside of Crawford, there doesn’t seem to be an ideal fit out there (ala CC vs. Johan) in the FA market. Not sure what other teams would be willing to pay him what he deserves. Seems like a good match.

  • larryf

    One year with an option. Can’t DJ give some of that razor/Ford/watch/cologne stuff to Johnny??? I like Johnny’s image and class-fits the yankees better than his prior one of the long-haired Red Sox idiots of 2004…

  • King

    I’ve said for months now that I think they will offer a 2 year $15m deal, so the $16m sounds about right.

    That’s a good deal IMO, Johnny’s still got plenty of game left and 2 years at $8m per isn’t going to cost the Yankees any flexibility problems.

    Damon isn’t the player he once was but he’s still better than most out there and I think he can play at the level he’s at know for sometime and he’s going to be much more productive than Austin Jackson over the next 5 years.

    I would offer Damon 2 years and Matsui 1. Because with what the Yankees have ready or lack there of in farm and a weak FA class it’s the right thing to keep this team together for 1 more year.

  • Keanu Reeves

    I’m very weary of Damon beyond next year. And I have my doubts about next year too. I love him as a player and I personally want him around as long as he’s productive. I just have my doubts.

  • themgmt

    Offer Damon and Matsui both the same 1 year contract, 8M.

    Whoever jumps at it first gets to DH. Don’t give in.

    • http://sports-odds.com/images/stories/yankees-arod-teixeira.jpg JobaWockeeZ

      No Matsui will be DH and Damon will become the LF’er. You get both.

      • themgmt

        Yeah no thanks for me. Need defense.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I agree with your sentiment, I don’t want Johnny playing LF for the next two years.

          The problem is, if not Johnny, who’s the alternative? Most of them are more unpalatable than he is. Johnny in LF is the lesser of many evils.

          • http://sports-odds.com/images/stories/yankees-arod-teixeira.jpg JobaWockeeZ

            Yeah. Even though most available left fielders are probably better than Damon defensively except for Bay, those contributions probably won’t match up to the offensive contribution Damon will likely put up. Unless of course the Yanks get Holliday, his offensive worth will be near Damon’s while his defense is significantly better, however I don’t think he’s worth 100 M+.

            So I doubt they get him. So I’m all for Damon.

            2 years might be too much but he’s a better option

          • Mac

            Figgins (think you mentioned him) – his awful alcs aside (and maybe you can’t overlook that), he’d also give you a super sub at 6 positions and the speed that many thought Gardy would give the Yanks on a regular basis.

            Right now, I’m in favor of bringing everyone back – even Damon for 2 years, he’s a leader and a real pro hitter.

            I’d like to see the Yanks spend the $ on Lackey and Chapman and\or explore a deal for a young superstar like King Felix or Adrian Gonzo- that would mean putting Hughes, IPK, AJax and Montero in play.

            Honestly, I’d like em to sign Lackey, give Andy 11 mil for one and trade Hughes + for another big piece.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


        No need to play them off of each other, there’s a spot for both of them.

  • Dela G

    the yankees aren’t dumbasses

    he will get 1 year 8M + 1 yr tm option

    • Reggie C.

      I think he’ll get that too. There might be a couple AL teams willing to go 2 guaranteed for the same money.

      Would you up the salary to $10 mm for the 1st year with a ($10 mm tm option 2nd yr) ?

      • Dela G

        that’s tough. i think my limit as a team would be 9.5 million, as anything over that is ludicrous

        • Lanny

          Why? Do you have access to their books?

          This team is printing money right now. They could sign Bay and Holliday if they wanted to.

          I dont think it will be the $. It will be the yrs that matter.

          • Dela G

            no access to the books, but i was just thinking that a 36 yr old LFer isn’t worth 10 million a year, especially after that step decline he was on at the end of the season. Sure he’s heated up in the postseason, but i don’t think he would play at a 10 million dollar level next season.

            • Reggie C.

              Damon could fall off a cliff next season or simply become less effective at the plate and on the field. A weakening in offensive punch would kill Damon’s value to the team since he already plays mediocre D.

              Keep it yr to yr. And bear in mind that he should likely DH more next season.

              • Dela G

                i completely agree

          • http://sports-odds.com/images/stories/yankees-arod-teixeira.jpg JobaWockeeZ

            They could sign Bay and Holliday if they wanted to.
            Kinda, sorta, not really. Regardless signing one of them is unnecessary.

  • Reggie C.

    With Ajax probably needing another 400 plate appearances in Triple-A, bringing back Damon for a season would be a solid move. However, much of my enthusiasm of seeing Damon back in 2010 is tempered by the reality than Damon has been terrible for much of the past 2 months (as Mike pointed out).

    The physical wear of the season has taken its toll. Keeping that mind and the imminence of A-Jax’s arrival , I say a 1-year offer is the way to go. A non-guaranteed 2nd year in option form is kinda of a farce for someone of Damon’s age. Lets see how much he wants to come back. Keep it year to year.

    • themgmt

      A-Jax’s offense is a long way from playing in a corner. He might end up there but definitely not in 2011. Especially if Gardner/Melky are patrolling CF

      • JMK aka The Overshare

        Exactly. It’s unlikely A-Jax’s bat will ever play in a corner spot. He’s a CF. Best case scenario is he’s the starting CF in 2011 and puts up a slightly better Melky line with more SB and better defense, thus making Melky expendable in a trade.

        Melky’s bat can’t possibly play a corner spot either, so A-Jax’s emergence doesn’t really have any bearing on the corner spots in the future, unless he gets a corner OFer in a trade. Jackson would essentially just replace Melky.

        You absolutely cannot trot out an outfield of Jackson, Cabrera and Swisher. Can’t let you do that, Starfox!

        • Mac

          AJax needs to get the K’s down – a guy with no power who K’s alot is scary. If he doesn’t, I doubt he’ll be as valuable a hitter as Melk and Melk is just a league avg hitter.

          AJax has plenty of time to prove himself, lets see.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    If Johnny will take a 1/8 + 1/8 team option, yes.
    If he insists on two guaranteed years, then no. Sign Mike Cameron on a 1/8 instead.

  • Lanny

    Its the Yankees. A 2 yr deal at 10-12 per is fine. It gives them cover for Jackson and a breather for maybe Crawford. And keeps them from giving Holliday or Bay 5 yrs.

    I wouldnt be shocked if they do the same thing with Matsui.

    I know this whole “keep DH open” thing is out there but you do need someone to man that spot 130 games a yr. Why not a proven lefty power hitter on a 2 yr deal?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Frankly, I’m more willing to give Matsui two guaranteed years than I am Johnny, because Hideki is probably a better DH than Johnny is an LF, and he probably declines slower than Johnny does since he doesn’t have the wear and tear of the field to deal with anymore.

      • Reggie C.

        Where does Jesus Montero play in 2011.

        By the Late 2010 season , Montero could very well be knocking on the majors. He might be a september call up , if he’s able to repeat 2009 on the AAA level. Dude’s bat is too advanced for his own good. The necessary catching actions simply aren’t going to catch up.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          We’ve been over this, Reggie:

          You have to give Jesus Montero the chance to try and fail as a catcher at the big league level. Even if he’s 2009 Victor Martinez bad, Victor Martinez more than makes up for his horrible defense with his bat. Just like it’s too soon to pre-emptively pull the plug on Joba or Hughes or Kennedy as a starter, it’s too soon to pull the plug on Montero the catcher. By 2011 he’ll be, what, 21-22? He should be here, playing catcher and replacing Posada, before we give up and move him to LF or DH.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      OK, but what if his only other offer is 1 year at 9 mil from some lousy team?

      Why are so many people so willing to spend money they don’t HAVE to? That’s not how you run a business. Johnny could become a cheaper fallback option for the teams that lose out on the Holliday/Bay sweepstakes, but until one of them steps up and offers him that 2nd year, I don’t.

  • All praise be to Mo

    I’d hate to be so cut and dry about it, but why not offer Johhny and Hideki the same 1 yr $6-8 million deal with a team option w/ a buyout and whichever one accepts first we sign, the other we waive goodbye to? Personally I would prefer Matsui if he can show that he can do anything on that knee at least once a week since the difference in their bats is so huge.

    • Alex S

      why don’t we just put them in a room and let them fight to the death

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Best friends, forced to fight to the death!!



        • dkidd

          i might have come up with the idea of spelling out the “kirk vs spock” music, but i never would have followed through with such flawless phonetical perfection

          /tips hat while acknowledging own laziness

          • dkidd

            flawless perfection

            /acknowledges own redundancy

    • http://sports-odds.com/images/stories/yankees-arod-teixeira.jpg JobaWockeeZ


      Both for 2010 please Cashmoney.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    I take this with a grain of salt. Heyman is a long-rumored Boras lackey, and Damon is a Boras client.

    Heyman carries Boras’ water all off season, and then gets scoops on big FA signings. IIRC he had Tex first last year, and Alex first the year he opted out and re-signed.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      It’s too bad human cloning is illegal, because I’m sure Sports Illustrated would love to duplicate the awesome DNA that makes up Jon Heyman. He may be 48, but he writes like a 26 year old.


      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        I could hear his voice as I read that (shivers)

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa
        • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

          Nice find, but I bet that Twitter feed gets tedious after about 8 seconds.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

            It won’t get tedious. You know why? Because it’s me.

            Once the Hot Stove Season starts, I’ll go nuts with it.

            • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

              That’s some funny shit dude.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              :: head explodes ::

            • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

              If you can make Scott Boras funny, you’re a genius.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          There are a lot of really good fake Twitter accounts out there. Twitter may just revolutionize impression comedy.

      • JMK aka The Overshare


        RIP Dolly

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    Two years? I’d prefer not. A one and one would be much better.

  • http://pinstripepalace.blogspot.com/ Brien Jackson

    Personally I think they’d be best to see what the market bears out regarding Holliday. If they can get him for 5 years/$90M I’d prefer to see him in left, and Matsui as the DH. I like Damon as much as the next guy, but if they can get Holliday, Damon seems like the odd man out to me.

  • Mac

    I would go as far as two years with Damon and here is why. I would only be playing him in LF half of the time. DH him the other half of the time with Posada. The short porch in right, his solid OBP, ability to get big hits, and his vibe in the clubhouse.

    If I am the Yanks I do what I can to lure Mr. Figgins over here in a 3 year contract. Let him slide into LF half of the games and fill in at RF/3B/2B when needed. He is insurance for not only Damon/Swisher but Alex, Cano and possibly even Jeter (Though he isn’t the greatest SS).

    The Yanks can probably sign Damon and Figgins for next year for not much more than signing just Holliday/Bay and the risk is far less.

  • Neil

    I dotn want Damon OR matsui. Nady should be resigned on the cheap to play LF. Swisher should play RF. And Gardner should start the year as the CF, with Jackson waiting in the wings at AAA. Juan Miranda should be the DH against RHP and Posada should DH most of the time against LHP. Melky should be traded for a dominant set-up man.

    I Know This is Way Too Early, but nonetheless:
    SP C.C.
    SP Burnett
    SP Pettite
    SP Chamberlain/Hughes/Wang/Kennedy/Gaudin/Aceves/Nova
    SP Chamberlain/Hughes/Wang/Kennedy/Gaudin/Aceves/Nova

    Rivera, Marte, Robertson, Coke, Melancoln, Long-Man(Kennedy/Aceves/Gaudin), and the set-up man from the Melky Trade

    SS Jeter
    2B Cano
    1B Tex
    3B A-Rod
    -C/DH Posada
    RF Swisher
    DH Miranda (vs RHP)
    LF Nady
    CF Gardner/ -C Cervelli vs LHP w/ Nady and Gardner moving up 1/

    -C Cervelli
    SS Pena
    LF Harriston? or
    RF Hinski?

    • MattG

      That right there looks like a worst case scenario kind of thing. Let’s see one big upgrade somewhere.

      Also, it points out all the Major League ready depth. Maybe this will be the year the Yankees give up something in trade to fill a hole (and Betemit does not qualify as “giving up something”).

      Where can this year’s Swisher come from?

    • http://pinstripepalace.blogspot.com/ Brien Jackson

      I’m pretty sure the odds of Nady getting any significant field time next year are pretty slim. Outside of that, are you kidding me? You can probably bring Matsui back for less than $10 million on a one year deal and you want Juan Miranda to DH?

  • MattG

    It’s hard to believe the pickens in LF are so slim for 2010. In fact, its not just LF. It will be a very interesting hot stove season, and I would not be surprised for the Yankees to end up with none of these guys, but instead a lightning-in-a-bottle type of grouping, similar to Raines-Curtis-Strawberry-Ledee-Spencer of years past.

    Why have the NYY had so much trouble filling LF over the years? Seems kind of wacky.

  • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

    It’s past time for a Heyman ban on this site. The tabloids might be full of shit, but at least they aren’t on the Boras payroll.

  • Andrew

    About Austin Jackson’s ‘lack of power’… in the new Stadium he WILL have power. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see him next year, there were some brief grumblings about him being called up this year when somebody got hurt (might have been gardner).

    Melky’s still young, and CLEARLY can play some ball.. when he wants to. At the beginning of the season he was getting clutch hit after clutch hit, and his defense is definitely above-average, with his arm being plus plus. He just needs some motivation training.

    Anyway, Damon should probably get another year, he’s great at the new ballpark, and I think he’s definitely been a big piece of the Yankees clubhouse this year. The additions of AJ and Swish to Damon help lighten things up a bit, and make the team more fun than it has been in previous years.