It seems like everyone caught Johnny Damon Fever over the weekend. It started on Friday, when we heard that the Yankees and Damon had been talking, and grew more intense when Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees made an offer with a deadline attached. Brian Cashman denied such an offer, but things stayed heated when Marc Carig heard from Damon that he’d have a team in a week. That was only the beginning of the latest Damon saga.
Bill Madden weighed in on the matter on Saturday, giving his version of the exchange between team and player.
Still, as recently as a couple of days ago, there was renewed dialogue between Damon, Boras and the Yankees in which the Yankees made one last attempt to have a good Yankee remain a Yankee.
“Tell us your bottom line for what you’re willing to play for,” they said, “and if it’s in the realm of where our budget needs to be we can go to ownership (Hal Steinbrenner) and see if something can be worked out.” But instead of giving them a number, Boras came back with more of his patented “mystery team” hogwash, claiming he had a couple of other offers they were still considering.
That mystery team, it appears, is the Oakland A’s. Buster Olney tweeted about that this morning, noting that the A’s could see Damon as their Plan B, should they miss out on Ben Sheets. Still, I don’t see why the A’s, with their spacious ballpark and roster full of outfielders and a DH, would bring in Damon should they fail to sign a pitcher. Again, it sounds like that could just be a leverage play by Boras in order to extract the most possible dollars out of the Yankees.
I really hope that Damon isn’t just being overly optimistic when he says that he’ll have a team this week. I caught Damon Fever a few weeks ago, and really I’d just like to get it out of my system and move on. But, like a nagging cold that you seemingly can’t shake all winter, the Damon saga continues in waves. It’s almost flu-like now. The sooner it’s over, the more I can enjoy the rest of the winter.