Report: Damon came crawling back


Via T-Kep, Johnny Damon and Scott Boras came to the Yankees late Thursday and proposed a two year deal worth $20M. However, by then the Yanks had reached the point of no return with Nick Johnson, so Johnny was out of luck. Buster Olney noted this morning that some inside the organization were worried about Damon being unhappy next year after taking a big paycut, which makes sense.

Boras has definitely painted his client into a corner, as now Damon is stuck competing against two elite players at the same position on the open market, with not many clubs looking to pay them. Dems the breaks.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


    • The Three Amigos says:

      Shameful. Boras has done a great job with his mega clients, but his fading stars and lesser talented clients have been getting the shaft lately.

      • lebigyank says:

        i think its the other way around

        he almost wrecked manny and arod with his stubburness and yet he gets great deals for guys that are almost there like the teixeiras and stuff.

        • Steve H says:

          But he didn’t wreck Manny and A-Rod, he got way more money for them then any 2nd team was ready to offer.

        • steve (different one) says:

          wierd assessment. Teixeira was a much bigger star than Manny was last offseason.

          • lebigyank says:

            manny is considered an out and out superstar an arod, barry bonds, pujols elite player, teixeira seems to always be underrated compared to these guys

            • Remember, the Red Sox put Manny on irrevocable waivers before the 2004 season. Any team in baseball could have had him just by taking over his contract. There were no takers, he was over priced. Last year, he was 5 years older and 5 years crazier and Boras still got him the big contract. Manny is a great hitter but he’s also an indifferent fielder and a club house distraction. Getting THAT contract for that combination of talents was nothing short of a magic trick

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

        ….then again, a trained kangaroo can do a good job with mega clients.

  1. Gaug says:

    We r gonna miss Damons bat.

  2. Salty Buggah says:

    Will he take a one year deal if no one else wants him? 1/7-8 wont be bad.

  3. Dan says:

    The Yanks paid Johnny $52 million for four years employment as a leadoff hitter and centerfielder and for the most part it was a good deal for both sides. Johnny’s dramatically diminishing skills as a fielder and base stealer were offset by improved offense in 2009, but the signs of a player clearly on the downside are abundantly obvious.
    Johnny has always had a bit of an ego problem wondering as recently as last year why he is never mentioned among the elite players of the game. This ego plus Boras are clearly the reasons why he is no longer a Yankee. I wish him well but am extremely relieved that we will not see him strugling in leftfield any longer.

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

      Hmm…I don’t have any strong feelings toward Damon either way. I will agree with you that he was overpaid for his original contract with us considering his unbelievable defensive decline. His offense, while good, could never justify the sort of deal he’d be looking for.

      Still, I’m not “extremely relieved” not to see him struggling in LF—if he were there under the idea presented and struggling, it would be on a limited basis and he’d provide great flexibility. There’s definitely some value to that, but not for $13 (!) million. I’d be OK with $9 million, but no higher.

      (For the record, I haven’t wanted a part of Damon unless his asking price dropped GREATLY, which it now has but it appears we’re past the point of no return.)

    • OldYanksFan says:

      I blame Boris. Nobody was interested in 3 years. Did Boris see what Abreu got? What Cameron got? If JD was OK with 2/$20, Boris should have opened with 2/$26. The Yankes may have at least talked. When Boris said to “Don’t bother asking unless it’s 3/$39″, the Yanks simply went elsewhere and didn’t bother to negotiate.

      Boris made an egregious error and really screwed JD. JD was looking at padding his stats at YSIII and maybe a ring or 2. Instead, that’s gone, who knows where he will end up (the Mets???) and the rest of his career may be meaningless.

      Major, MAJOR screwup by Boris.

      • Ed says:

        When Boris said to “Don’t bother asking unless it’s 3/$39?, the Yanks simply went elsewhere and didn’t bother to negotiate.

        That’s standard operating procedure for Boras. It works most of the time. Remember when he said the Yankees shouldn’t bother talking to A-Rod unless they were going to offer at least $350m ?

        Or 4 years ago when Damon wasn’t signing for less than 7 years?

        Or Tex for less than 10/$200m ?

        Or when it would take 10 years to sign Beltran?

        Every time, Boras sets the bar ridiculously high, and everyone laughs. Then when it all settles, he usually found his client a contract that’s less than what he asked for but more than everyone guessed at the start.

        Sometimes he even finds a sucker that falls for his demands completely, like with Zito.

        Can’t win every time though.

  4. Michael Kay says:

    You’ve got one HELLUVA agent Johnny.

  5. Bob Michaels says:

    Having Boras as your agent in this climate is counter productive

  6. JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

    I wouldn’t qualify Bay as “elite” but I suppose he’ll be valued close to that in this market, which, as you correctly pointed out, really adversely affects Damon’s status.

    I guess the question really is, who’s still looking for a LF?

    Cardinals, Mets, Giants. Other than that, slight possibilities for the Cubs, Yankees, White Sox (just because they’re fucking crazy), Red Sox. But those teams seem to be pretty content with their situations, as they should.

    Bay, Holliday, Damon? I see it as Bay to the Mets, Holliday to the Cards, Damon to the Giants (at a low rate, 2 years, $7 million per).

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

      I guess you could hoist the Cubbies to the need list now that Bradley is gone. Still, I see them going a cheaper route than those options. And good lord, could you imagine a defensive outfield of Damon, Soriano and FuckDome? High comedy.

      • Salty Buggah says:

        Nah, they said they need a CF. Doubt they’ll take those 3

        • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

          I mean Cubs for an OF spot, not necessarily LF, but yeah, they absolutely cannot roll out with an outfield I described. Posednick has been mentioned. Not sure that works but whatever, I don’t really care what the Cubs do.

          Point is Damon’s down to what appear to be three potential suitors and two of them have already been linked to the “elite” LF FAs. He may be knocked down WAY further than anyone expected (particularly him, but hey—that’s his own damn fault. They appear to have misread the market).

          • jim p says:

            I’m hoping the Mets (for the sake of a good friend, not so much the Mets) skip Bay, unless they plan to move the LF wall in about 60 feet, and pick up Damon for a two year deal. I think want Bay is reported to want is just way over- committing and -paying.

            • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

              Well, he’d get to stay in New York (and he’s expressed his desire to do so), play in an airport a new stadium, learn Spanish and live in Queens.

              But seriously, his defense is a genocide to the eyes, but so is Bay’s. His offensive production, particularly in a freakin’ Polo Grounds-type stadium will be meh. I don’t see it as a good fit but hey, if they can get him on a short deal and not commit big money, maybe it’s the best option for them. Damon doesn’t make them a vastly superior team, whereas Bay at least gives them something above average in that stadium.

              So…I’m torn. They should just promote the bat boy, save the money and hope for something better going forward. But it’s the Mets—they’ll give the job to Bobby Bonilla (he’s on the payroll ’til 2030 anyway).

      • Mike bk says:

        they are going after Byrd.

  7. currambayankees says:

    do you think if comes crawling back at say 1yr at 6-7mil the Yanks will reconsider.

    • Jeff Levy says:

      I hope so. Damon doesn’t have many options left. I hope he comes to his senses and realizes the Yankees are his best choice. He would make the Yankees lineup even better.

      I can’t see why Damon would want to play for the Giants, they aren’t the best team out there.

    • Tom Swift says:

      There’s also the value of making an example of him, so players negotiating contract renewals in the future realize that Cash is perfectly willing to look elsewhere if the player and his agent are looking at the economics in a way that is fundamentally inconsistent with the way that the Yankees are looking at the economics. I say save the money for Sheets.

      • Evil Empire says:


        At this point, signing Sheets is the best thing the Yankees could do to help make the 2010 team better. If he’s healthy, he’d arguably contribute more value than even Matt Holliday would.

      • OldYanksFan says:

        1/$8m makes the same statement. The guy was asking for 3/$39. I’d say 1/$8m seriously humbles him.

        Thank God The Boss is no longer calling the shots!

  8. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    Sign with the Natinals, Johnny D. Adam Dunn in right and you in left, would be pure comedy gold.

  9. Hey ZZ says:

    Boras: My client does not deserve a pay-cut.

    Cash: Scott, he is 4 years older and when we originally signed him to play CF. Now he barely qualifies as a LF

    Boras: Damon is the Derek Jeter of the OF


  10. crapula says:

    I think the bloom is off the Boras.

  11. Kyle says:

    Johny Bones should have taken Arod’s lead and dumped Boras when he had the chance. The sad part is that Boras will probably cry collusion given the stingent economic stance that owners have made thus far. I love it!

    • Phil McCracken says:

      ARod never dumped Boras.

      It was all a good cop/bad cop routine. Since ARod saw the backlash from the opt out and that nobody was stepping up to sign him, Boras had to be the fall guy. ARod made it public that he was mad at Boras and wasn’t talking to him, allowing him to go begging back to the Steinbrenners for his 300 million dollar contract. After he got off his hands and knees, Boras came in to construct the contract.

      If Alex had really fired Boras, he wouldn’t have let him come in and make his commission off the deal that he had worked on himself.

  12. Steve H says:

    Boras certainly got in the way, and it’s not because he was looking out for Johnny, it’s because he’s looking out for Holliday. The bigger the deal Damon gets (hypothetically at this point), the bigger the deal Holliday gets. And Holliday’s will be bigger dollars and longer term, so that is certainly where Boras’ interest lies.

  13. lebigyank says:

    peace damon, thanks for your work getting it in 09 but i am just about done being sentimental with baseball players, yall get your cash and see you round the bend if the yanks dont got enough for you

  14. Tom Zig says:

    It’s almost like Boras doesn’t know the economy is in a “recession.” He has overplayed his hand multiple times in the past few years.

    • Steve H says:

      Yeah, though he doesn’t believe the recession affects the owners, and based on revenues he’s probably right. The owners are using it as a crutch.

      • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:


        • Renny Baseball says:

          It is not that black and white, the recession on baseball, I believe. The recession only escalates the “haves” vs. “have not” chasm — both in terms of teams and as among the types of patronage of baseball tilting to the “have” teams (e.g., perks/higher pricing in new stadiums/merchandising/tv). If there were not a recession, more middle market teams would stand a better chance at being financially competitive.

          I would presume that it is because of the widening disparity between teams generating high revenues and teams that are not self-sufficient outside of revenue-sharing, the market for Boras’s “elite” or second-tier clients is a much more constricted universe of teams. Less choices means less wiggle room for Boras, thus less leverage (e.g., Boras’s infamous unidentified teams with lucrative offers become easier to identify or eliminate as bluffs). So that’s where Boras was negligent in gauging the market, in which the recession and team revenue trends are inter-related factors.

          I agree that Boras’s usual bombastic negotiating style (the ultimatums, the over-pricing) — which were always distasteful and crass to me but surprisingly have worked — finally back-fired with JD. If anything I am surprised that this has not happened sooner — it nearly did with A-Rod. (And yes, the good cop/bad cop thing in the A-Rod case was my exact view of it too).

          Also, to add, while a complete disservice to JD, it’s not like JD did not participate in Boras’s posturing too, a far cry from the last month of the season when it seemed like JD to ’10 Yanks was a done deal but I guess that was cheap talk.

    • jim p says:

      Boras’s record for the last 2-3 years would make an interesting post, if someone were up to it.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

      Are you laughing at me because I don’t know what “schadenfreude” means?

      • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

        Three words: “Alabama Hot Pocket.”

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

          Are you kidding me? I’m from the South. Down here you’re still a virgin until you either do that(man) or have that done to you(girl).

          • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

            I still don’t get he fascination with grits (corn meal puree, right?), gravy and biscuits. And NASCAR? Why?!

            Sometimes I forget that this is a more typical “America” for most of the country than the one I am a part of. Just weird.

            And WTF snow?! I thought it didn’t snow down here. The one freakin’ time I leave the Northeast I get slush storms.

            • Grits, if done right (not watery), are delicious. Biscuits and gravy? Heaven in a bad way. NASCAR? I live in Daytona Frigging Beach, and I hate nascar racing. It’s the most boring thing ever. Open wheeled racing I can tolerate, but stock cars, boring.

  15. Stan Van Jeremy says:

    I apologize outfront if vulgarity isn’t condoned here…

    but this is bullshit.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

      Condoned? It’s welcomed.*

      *Speaking for none of the RABbi’s

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE's Milton Bradley Fat Park Factor says:

      Many vile things are said with great frequency here, though profanity is often remarkably tasteful considering some of the content mentioned; I think it’ll pass.

      In fact, I’m in North Carolina right now (regrettably) and on one of the shitty busses that occasionally work I heard a guy say to his friend, “Yeah, she had her period all over my back.” That’s not even too much to say around here.

      So…in closing, I think “bullshit” is non-traumatic term ’round these parts.

      • Evil Empire says:

        While RAB is indeed as lax as one could hope for those with a proclivity for vulgarity, I still find myself holding back sometimes. Some things you just can’t say in an open forum. In an effort to help me hold back, I’d appreciate it if no one ever mentions anything regarding Jemele Hill, for a variety of reasons.

  16. Evil Empire says:

    Man, where the hell does Damon sign? Both monetarily and performance-wise, the Yankees were his best bet. He needed the Yankees more than they needed him, and I’ll go so far as to say that one year of Nick Johnson is a better option than JD for two, even if they were at the same AAV (which wasn’t the case, but just sayin’)

    There is still, in theory, room on the roster for Damon with the Yankees but it is really hard to imagine him coming back at this point, for a variety of reasons.

    As someone who is rooting for Damon to keep his career going strong because I’d like to see him get into the HOF (just ’cause), he’s in trouble, especially if he signs with San Francisco.

    • r.w.g. says:

      If he can really, really hook the ball straight down the line he might do okay in the Bay. But man right-center in SBC would eat his SLG alive.

      • Evil Empire says:

        Not to mention he’d have to play the field everyday or be relegated to pinch hit duties when he inevitably starts to get some aches and pains.

        The NL in general is just not the best idea for the guy, in terms of longevity and the ability to consistently produce.

    • Hey ZZ says:

      Aren’t the Giants looking to add power to their lineup?

      I really do not think you can classify Damon as a power hitter in that park.

      So, if you are going to sign a guy who can not play the OF, wouldn’t Jack Cust be a better option for the Giants?

    • Kansas City.

      Think about it. It works on so many levels. It’s just like a man getting hit in the groin with a football.

      • Evil Empire says:

        Hmm…I could actually see this happening. It even comes in with a built-in Boras bullshit explanation that Johnny wanted to go back to his roots and help his original team back to greatness or something silly of that nature.

        Plus, Dayton Moore is stupid. Surely that helps Damon’s out.

        The other team is The Cardinals … Damon could, in theory, make it work there. Unfortunately, that creates a bit of a conflict of interest for The Super Agent.

  17. Reggie C. says:

    I hope it doesn’t dawn of Damon that had he been willing to go 2/20 a couple days earlier than he when he did, he might’ve gotten a “welcome-back” call from Cash.

    Now that its out that Damon’s willing to sign to 2/20, Boras is going to have a heck of a time limiting the damage. Damon’s probably gonna get more than 20 mm, but I like the chances Damon signs a 2 yr contract going forward.

    • Lower Case j says:

      I still feel like when the smoke clears, hell be back in our line up.

      • I still feel like when the smoke clears, he’ll be too prideful to come crawling back to us and well below market rates and instead go crawling off to someone else at well below market rates.

        Even if the contracts are identical. The embarrassment of taking a paycut is lessened if you’re doing it in a new city at a new job.

    • larryf says:

      Well Arod “sort of” crawled back to us so it’s possible. There is always the possibility that when NJ breaks his leg climbing up the dugout steps in Tampa we call Johnny who has yet to sign a contract- unable to come to grips with the fact that a man cannot support a wife and children on 5-7 million a year…

      • Tom Zig says:

        Different situation though.

        A) Hank isn’t running the show, so no more 10 year contracts out of the blue
        B) Damon isn’t nearly as good as A-rod is.
        C) The economic climate is way different.

      • Spaceman.Spiff says:

        Lol, he didn’t really crawl seeing as the contract he got was still enormous.

    • Steve says:

      Honestly, I don’t think there is or ever was a market for Damon at $20+ million. I don’t think there’s any chance that he gets either a 3-year deal, or a $10+ million average annual value. None.

  18. TeamBoras says:

    I think this title is a little mean.

  19. Bob Michaels says:

    Damon`s market value is dropping by the Snow flakes

  20. JeffG says:

    “Dems the breaks” – Really? Damon did a lot to help us get the title last year. – Kind of cold if you ask me.

    • No, that’s not what he meant.

      Mike was referring to the Democrats and their staggering inability to get a healthcare bill (or any other portion of their agenda) passed even though they have massive majorities in the House and Senate, the White House, and a sweeping public mandate from a blue-leaning national electorate. They have the numbers and the power to enact any of their desired policies wholecloth, but not the political will or parliamentary savvy.

      Mike was saying that the Democratic party is broken, i.e., “Dems the breaks”.

      Now, don’t reply to Mike’s political comment, or my lengthy explanation, because we don’t want to go off on a tangent.

      I mean it, don’t. Let’s just all pretend like this never happened.

    • Chili Davis says:


    • A.D. says:

      Is one suppose to be compassionate that Damon & Boras are demanding a contract that no team should sign him to?

      • Drew says:


        Seriously though. If someone wants to get emotional about JD leaving, they should be mad that he decided to hold us hostage in a sense. Then, when he realized the market sucked and we were on the verge of signing a DH, he came crawling back with more reasonable demands. If he had started at 22 mil/2 yrs we probably would have negotiated some type of deal around that. Instead, he requested a deal that was preposterous. Now, he has to deal with that.

        As Mike said, Dems the breaks.

        • A.D. says:

          Exactly, I wish it had worked out with JD, and if he had offered up the 2/20 before the 11th hour of negotiations, he’d be back on the team

  21. Joseph M says:

    The Yankees should sign him right now at 2/20. They can’t afford to lose both Matsui and Damon. The Matsui lose is going to be huge, I think they can sustain the lose if Damon is brought back. I think Granderson has peaked and his decline from here might be faster than any of us want to imagine. Nick Johnson has value to a middle of the pack team looking for a first baseman. As an offense player his name doesn’t belong in the same sentence as either Matsui or Damon. The Yankees should be able to deal Johnson for prospects so the team won’t have to eat the contract.

    • Drew says:

      This is Oaktaggeriffic.

    • kenthadley says:

      I think Cash feels the 2010 JD is going to be a major drop-off from the 2009 JD

    • Virtually none of what you said in that block of text was correct.

    • Gaug says:

      And they would trade Johnson for prospects???

    • theyankeewarrior says:

      When you consider the budget that Cashman has to work with, 2010 Johnson and Granderson are probably the best options to replace 2009 Matsui and Damon in terms of total production(offense and defense)

      With that being said, it would be nice if they could fit Sheets and Damon into their budget (possibly bumping it up slightly) if Sheets could be had for 7+ and Damon settles for 1/8.


      • theyankeewarrior says:



        Mo, Philip, Robertson, Damaso, Ace, Chad, Sergio


        • theyankeewarrior says:

          Or just put Melk in left, slike the stick into the 2-hole and X-out only one of Hoffman and Miranda.

          Signing Damon protects the Yankees from major injury problems that they seem to always have.

          Even last year Nady and Wang went down in flames.Sheets would give the Yanks SP depth. But as of right now, their unber-strong lineup would take a big hit with jusy one guy going down.

          (basically me paraprasing one of yesterday’s posts)

    • YankFanDave says:

      I don’t know if they can’t afford to lose him but I’d take Damon at 20/2 over Johnson. His D is not an issue since he could play DH. He has more power, better run production, greater speed, and a better BA than Johnson; and his OBP is above average.

      • Steve says:

        I’m willing to bet, that if Johnny does indeed sign elsewhere, and IF Nick stays healthy, which is always the primary concern with Nick after all, Nick Johnson will out-homer Johnny Damon this season. Even if he doesn’t he could still be just as productive. Some people are seriously overstating Nick’s supposed lack of power.

        • YankFanDave says:

          I like Johnson but there is nothing supposed about his lack of power That is just not his game or skill set:
          Nick Johnson
          home run season high total: 23
          season over 20 hrs: 1
          seasons over 10 hrs: 4
          career season hr average: 11.1/season
          hr total last year: 8
          avg last three full seasons played: 15.3

          Johnny Damon
          home run season high total: 24
          seasons over 20 hrs: 2
          seasons over 10 hrs: 11
          career season average: 13.8/season
          hr total last year: 24

          Where is the power surge going to com from? I’m not knocking him, it is just a fact he has never had much power. Damon has shown decent, not spectacular, power in KC, Boston and NY. Johnson showed modest power at best as a Yankee and no more than that in Montreal, Washington and Florida.

  22. [...] original here: Report: Damon came crawling back | River Avenue Blues Tags: 2009-at-417-pm, 2009-at-438-pm, analysis, johnny-damon, minors, News, polls, [...]

  23. ecksodia says:

    If they signed him to that 2/20 deal, how much would the Yankees have had to spend on other players? I’m actually surprised they didn’t sign him, I thought they had around 7 million left to sign another SP.

    Although I would love having Damon’s bat in the lineup, the likelihood that his offense (not to mention his defense in the field) will regress, and that we have, at the very least, league average hitters and above average defenders in LF, suggests that it’s better if we use it all on starting pitching. But then if his price drops to 2/16, 2/14… Who knows?

  24. [...] with Nick Johnson, apparently Damon recognized the urgency of the situation. He reportedly offered to come back for two years and $20 million, but the Yankees, already knee deep in the Johnson negotiations, stuck to their two-year, $14 [...]

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