Damon: “We both are looking at other options now”


Via George King and Joel Sherman, both Johnny Damon and the Yankees are no longer considering a reunion. “We both are looking at other options now,” he said, calling the situation “unfortunate.” Brian Cashman added: “He called and I told him the truth. He is not the No. 1 option if and when I turn to DH options.” Sure sounds like it’s Raul Ibanez or bust now. Consider me unenthused.

Meanwhile, Sherman reports that the Yankees can’t afford both Eric Chavez and a left-handed DH even after the A.J. Burnett trade. It’s one or the other, though the brain trust is going to reevaluate things once the trade is made official. Great moments in posturing, right here.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. Yardisiak says:

    Why not just go with Laird as the backup corner IF? I understand Chavez is a lefty and all but how much does that really matter for a backup IF? Cheaper, has some upside(over Chavez), and is more versatile.

    • MannyGeee says:

      short term vs long term. Laird may or may not be Mr Right, but Chavez is Mr Right now…

      and given Zombie’s track record, I would say you still have a non zero chance of seeing Laird this year with the big club.

  2. Mike HC says:

    I definitely think Cashman has a chip on his shoulder when it comes to Boras. I don’t know if that came into play here or not, but just in general.

    • I am not the droids you're looking for... says:

      I was thinking perhaps more of a chip re Damon and the way things went the prior opportunity we had to sign him, right after his Yanks contract ended. Yes we can of course pin all that on Boras – and maybe JD really did get bum advice from him since it’s obvious that *someone* in the camp misread the market at that time. But if I had to guess I don’t think Cash has a problem with Boras so much as he does with Damon.

      My take, completely speculative, of what happened last time::

      -Damon wanted to re-sign
      -The Yanks were willing, but only at their price, and timeframe
      -Boras told Damon he could do better elsewhere
      -Cash told Damon he couldn’t, that the market wasn’t there
      -Damon didn’t believe him, trusting the (poor) advice from his agent
      -The rest is history, and now Cash sees no reason to do Damon any favors

      Seems silly if true. It’s clear to me that Damon is at least a little better than Ibañez. But either way at the margin I don’t think either player will make or break 2012 for the Yankees. If they do, it signals other problems I’d rather not contemplate!

      • ryan says:

        well could you really blame damon for listening to the advice of the best sports agent in history?

        • Mike HC says:

          Plus all the money Boras had already made him in his career.

          • MannyGeee says:

            yup, he had no reason to NOT walk off a cliff with Boras, considering all he’d done for him (including orchastrating his original Yankee Contract)… in his position, I thkn any one of use woulda went the Damon/Boras way in their position.

            • I am not the droids you're looking for... says:

              I don’t disagree with what you guys are saying. Just speculating about Cash’s MO here.

              That said, I think what it does is render all the more meaningless any claim JD ever makes about where he really wants to play. Not that we necessarily needed that reinforced! But still…if he wanted to play for the Yanks, he could have. Likely this time too.

          • Gavino says:

            Yeah… That chump Bernie shoulda not stepped in and told Boras to chill while he set himself up to become a Yankee immortal at huge dollars. The Red Sox offered him so much more!

            I mean c’mon, man! Damon listening to Boras in this situation (not saying he did or did not) means taking out non-immediate money factors from the overall equation. JD himself knew how big coming back to NYY would be, and not just for this year’s salary. Whatever 000s more SB could have added to it were completely outweighed by how it would have set him up for the future.

            That future would not, of course, include Boras.

            Maybe Boras played a part, maybe he didn’t. But Damon coulda worked a deal by going around him that woulda set him up for the future.

            Like the real Franklin, Benjamin gets better as he ages…

      • Mike HC says:

        I think it is about Boras and also about his clients. All one and the same.

        As for Damon and Boras specifically, I think Boras has done a great job for Damon overall. Has every decision been the right one, no, but Damon ended up playing for the Yanks and Sox and made huge dough.

      • kenthadley says:

        this is my opinion also. Cash is sticking it to Damon to either take his price (one mil) or tell the Pirates he always wanted to play for Pittsburg.

        • CJ says:

          We also don’t know what Damon/boras are asking for. If they are insisting at 1/5 that explains the problem. I don’t think Damon is worth more than 1/2.5.

      • Cris Pengiucci says:

        It’s clear to me that Damon is at least a little better than Ibañez.

        I think that seems clear to most of us. However, is he worth the price difference? Is he willing to be a 7-hole, part-time hitter? I think it has more to do with money and team fit than with JD and/or Boras. Of course, we don’t know what kind of salary Johnny is willing to accept, but I doubt it would be the ~$1M we’ve been hearing that may be offered to Ibanez.

      • Gavino says:

        I think this is the best analysis anyone here – or elsewhere in the media – have offered. Good work.

        You can go on your way…

  3. dean says:

    I don’t see the point in signing either really …..if money is that tight then save it for the trade deadline

  4. RetroRob says:

    Ibanez will be cut from the team by late May.

  5. ryan says:

    do you think Ibanez would get a major league deal?

  6. yeah, the “can’t affrod both” has got to be a smoke screen. We are talking, what…$3-4M total for Chavez and Ibanez?

  7. DM says:

    I posted a link to this last night in another thread — when it actually broke. For those interested, the debate ensued there.

  8. Mickey Scheister says:

    I still like the MiL Branyan signing, he’ll likely out produce Raul and/or Johnny. Other interesting LH option, Matsui. An all around option, Manny!

    If my name had the word Cash in it, I would..sign Chavez and Manny, give Russell B the DH to start. If Russell impresses, they could trade Manny or if/when Russell gets hurt they’ll have an in house replacement. If Russell stinks up the joint Vasquez for 50 games while Manny is serving his suspension wouldn’t kill the team. Finally, Laird would replace Chavez when he uses his 15-45 day DL-cation. Low cost and high production.

  9. Steve S. says:

    Damon rules, Ibanez drools.

    Sincerely, Jon Heyman

  10. Countryclub says:

    If you believe the reports, Hal OKd the Kuroda deal even though it put the Yanks over their budget for 2012. How much over, we don’t know. But Kuroda’s deal is more than what they’re getting back from the Pirates for AJ in 2012. So it makes sense that they would still be over budget even after moving AJ.

    • MannyGeee says:

      Budget Smudget…. its all monopoly money. The end goal is a fictional 189M in 2014, and any alleged budgets till then is a smoke screen. If they are saying they cannot afford the last MILLION, then its a play to get all these guys to sign MiLB contracts and earn their way on the roster again (like Freddy/Colon/Chavez did last season).

  11. will says:

    Color be unenthused as well. Ibanez? what? Now, i agree with the whole damon is chasing 3k thing, but in the grand scheme i still think he’s better than ibanez..

    Oh AJ why couldn’t you just had taken the abreu deal ? Douche!

    IF th DH position really is some scrub, this is going to be sad. Sadly only scrubs seem to be available.

    We basically traded a non performing batting slot for another pitching stud, who may or MAY not be Phil hughes like

    Who’s to say pineda will be any different than what phile hughes has shown so far? BOTH lack finishers

    • RkyMtnYank says:

      Pineda’s already been more than Hughes. And since when can’t Pineda finish off hitters? His k’s say otherwise.

      • will says:

        Hughes finished off hitters his first year too…

        • MannyGeee says:

          not sure if Trolling. or if still butt hurt by losing Montero in the Pineda deal

          • Mr. Sparkle says:

            Or maybe just looking at Pineda’s second half? If you’re thinking Pineda’s a sure thing, you should think again. MLB history is filled with pitchers who had strong first seasons and regressed afterward…regardless of whether or not they had a “live arm.”

            I’m not saying it’s going to happen and I hope to be wrong, but I’m in the camp where I’m not writing his name into the #2 slot in ink quite yet.

    • CJ says:

      The cash ninja will have to make a trade for a non scrub dh like Seth smith or chase headley. Also the $4 million spent on freddy Garcia is really bad now.

      • will says:

        I bet they regret that more than anything

        • Steve (different one) says:

          I don’t know, all it takes is one injury and you will be thrilled to have Garcia. I think they were regretting it Before they knew they could trade AJ. Now? They have a reasonably priced insurance policy.

      • Sweet Dick Willie says:

        If they didn’t sign Garcia, it is highly unlikely they would have traded AJ. Doing so would have given a rotation spot to Hughes, and if he didn’t perform, Warren/Phelps would be next.

        Doubt Cashman would have depleted the starting pitching depth in one off season by trading/not signing Noesi, AJ, Bartolo and Garcia.

        • CJ says:

          How do you manage Freddy Garcia if Hughes wins the 5th starter? This is not fantasy baseball. Freddy is old with a history of arm issues, he can’t be a 6th man when he’s needed or mop up long man. He needs a long time to warm up and will need more than 1-2 days rest even if he pitches 2 innings. And he is a serviceable starter for $4 mil, trade him. Phelps, Warren betances will be 6-7 starters based on who is pitching well in AAA and when they are needed.

          • Steve (different one) says:

            That might still happen later, but I would think they want to be sure everyone finished ST healthy. Garcia may have also been insurance for Nova, who finished the year hurt.

    • Jesse says:

      It was basically his wife that rejected the A.J trade to LA because she’s afraid to fly. That’s why Burnett put all the West Coast teams on his 10-team no trade list.

  12. Women's Lib is Ms.Guided says:

    My theory is that the Burnett savings are earmarked for their Soler bid.

    Since Ibanez is willing to take $1M he can battle with Branyan. Hall is more versatile than Chavez and Laird will be called up if ARod goes on the DL anyway. This team is fine without Damon’s need to get regular ABs and without Chavez’s brittleness and noodle bat.

  13. CJ says:

    Hearing the Yankees cry poverty makes me sick. Can afford Chavez
    Or a dh but not both. I knew they were going to say there is no savings from AJ, it went to Kuroda.

    • RkyMtnYank says:

      Yea, I can’t see what difference a couple of mill. makes for a couple of one year deals unless the league is pressuring them or something. It wouldn’t affect them hitting the 2014 189 mark.

  14. JohnnyC says:

    Maybe it’s a minor thing but I’m surprised that Girardi’s first day in camp is today (and his flight was delayed till this afternoon). We note how some players make the effort to show up days earlier than required and yet Joe is a straggler. Guess he knows his team and NRIs by rote. No need to observe the back fields.

    • MannyGeee says:

      meh. lets not pretend that Girardi has had more than 2 weeks off since October. Managers work all season long, and I am not positive he needed to be there to see Pineda and Joba get off the plane and play long toss.

      Wonder how many other managers have been in FLA/ARI already, that would make Girardi a ‘Straggler’. Bobby V is still at the god track, guaran-damn-tee you that

    • Steve (different one) says:

      This might win the award for most egregious Girardi bashing ever….Yeah, the players show up early to get in shape so they can, you know, PLAY. Why exactly does Girardi need to be there early? I don’t love Girardi but give me a break.

  15. infernoscurse says:

    id take brandon laird over eric chavez, its not like chavez set the world on fire with his bat, hes bound to get hurt also and we should think about adding a RH 3rd baseman that can hit lefty pitching since Arod seems to struggle against them LOL

    • MannyGeee says:

      You’llsee Laird before the ASB, I promise that. and I think Laird has the opportunity of a lifetime this spring to outshine Chavez (or at least out-health him) and make the team out of ST.

      remember, NO ONE is gonna give Chavez a ML deal, so hes gotta pay to play.

    • CJ says:

      Nunez at 3rd with ARod IN the lineup at DH is not that bad. If ARod is on DL again that’s a different story, Laird or Chavez won’t help much if that’s the case.

  16. This is all absolutely ridiculous. The Yankees need to make Andruw Jones their everyday DH and forget about spending money elsewhere. When you look at Jones’ numbers from last season, they are more than reputable considering the amount of games he played. If he takes at-bats everyday, I think he could easily hit at least .260 with 20+ homers, and bat-in between 50-60 RBIs. That’s more than enough for what the Yankees need from their DH.

  17. infernoscurse says:

    raul ibanez is randy winn pt 2

  18. Now Batting says:

    Damon acted the whole 2009 offseason like an ass. Holding out for a better offer then saying he always wanted to be a Tiger, etc. No wonder Cashman doesn’t want to deal with him.

  19. Steve says:

    Another interesting piece from Sherman in the Post today…….he writes that the Yankees merely hope Hughes does well so that he can up his trade value. They ideally want a 2013 rotation to be CC, Pineda, Nova, Betances and Banuelos. 2 things: 1) it’s pretty asinine to want 2 rookies to be in your rotation unless you are a bad team trying to develop kids (and not in NY – where the imperative to win is extremely strong) and 2) if this is true, then I think it was lousy of the Yankees to sign Freddy and promise him he wouldn’t have to compete for a spot when he could have signed a multi-year deal elsewhere. I find it also hard to root overly hard for Hughes to do well if he’s absolutely not going to be part of the team’s plans for the future

    • Greg says:

      I disagree on the first point. The Yankees need to develop starting pitching within their organization. It is imperative these days to do so. I mean, look at the Rays and Giants.

    • KL says:

      Actually it is really SMART. Betances and Banuelos would be ready in 2013. You sound like the George in the 80s. We can’t have rookies in NY when we try to win every year. Trade them! Sorry, but today is different because of the payroll tax. The Yankees have to develop young pitching. I also think they would trade either Nova or Hughes for a position player.

      And no way does Freddy Garcia get a multi-year deal from anyone. At this point in his career, Garcia should have to compete for a spot.

    • DM says:

      I don’t have any problem ending the Hughes saga. But I’m not optimistic about Betances succeeding as a starter in the big leagues. I wouldn’t be surprised if he struggles in AAA this year. I see a set-up guy in him at best. He’s got the heat — but not much else. A thrower, not a pitcher. I always thought the “Killer Bs” thing was hype. It’s really the Killer B — Banuelos. He was only true blue-chip prospect of the three.

    • Steve (different one) says:

      How do you know they promised him he wouldn’t have to compete for a rotation spot?

    • CJ says:

      Another asinine Joel Sherman article. “ideally the Yankees want banuelos and betances in rotation in 2013″ of course they do ideally, they want them do be lights out in 2012 and be cheap and productive big league starters in the future. That says nothing. In a perfect world…ideally they would also like to see Zoilo Almonte develop into a 20-20 RF to replace Swisher in 2013. “Ideally” cmon Sherman!

    • Jesse says:

      Eh, if that’s what they think, that’s what they think. Personally, I think Betances will end up in the bullpen. I bet Hughes has a UUUUUGE year.

  20. AC says:

    Thought there was a previous thread for this? My comment yesterday was taken off the board.

  21. CJ says:

    Where do Vlad and Damon think they are going at this point? How many options could there be for them? Barring any trade options that cashman has that we dint know, offer vlad and Johnny 1/2.5 first who calls back us dh.

    • MannyGeee says:

      too much scratch for either of them TBH.

      You draw up ONE ST invite for the 3 (including Ibanez), and the first one to the table with their pen gets the job.

  22. Greg says:

    I disagree about Raul Ibanez being compared with Randy Winn. Randy Winn was not a guy who hit for power which Randy Winn is.

  23. knucklehead says:

    garbage bin players should just shutup

  24. Joe Kinlan says:

    I’m not sure I understand the fixation with Eric Chavez. His offensive and defensive statistics are both pretty mediocre in recent years. I guess there’s an argument that he’s capable of better production than we’ve seen, as the sample size is pretty small because of all the time he’s spent on the DL.

    But that raises the question, why would you back up an injury prone veteran third baseman with an even more injury prone veteran third baseman?

    Since there isn’t any significant offensive production to replace from last season’s backup third baseman’s role, I’d have expected the Yankees to seek a young and inexpensive slick-fielding option.

    • knucklehead says:

      you want another ramiro pena?

    • knucklehead says:

      with bench players you look for consistency. chavez is consistently mediocre = good. you understand now? little twirp.

      • MannyGeee says:

        I would further your arguement by saying Chavez was slightly better than average defensively when healthy. while only league average with the stick, add that to his glove and he is a worthy bench piece…

        that said, keeping him on the field is the trick with Zombie.

        • JobaWockeeZ says:

          The last time Chavez sniffed league average wit the bat was 2006. Since he can only play 30 games before dying I too am questioning why everyone fell in love with him.

    • Joe Kinlan says:

      I’m wouldn’t call Ramiro Pena a slick-fielding third baseman, either. He was actually a career shortstop in the minors.

      But Chavez .676 OPS in 2011 (his highest since 2008, incidentially) shouldn’t be hard to replace with a more durable third baseman who plays better defense. That’s not a lot to ask at all.

  25. Steve says:

    Greg, I agree, but 2 rookies in the rotation? They will have serious ups and downs – and that’s if they’re even ready. I don’t see how you can win with 2 kids like that in the rotation………and the whole idea of trading for Javy Vasquez was so that Hughes would have a cushion so he wouldn’t have to be great. There would be inordinate pressure on the first 3 pitchers to be great.

    I’m really tired of Cashman making these types of comments. Since the day of the trade he’s not said one positive thing about Pineda. All his comments end up doing is inflaming fans who are already upset about the deal. Mostly, though, I’m annoyed because Cashman should say this stuff in private to Pineda. In public, at least praise the kid – just once.

    eboland11 Cashman said regardless of speculation, Pineda not likely to be slotted as No. 2 starter. has only two pitches; needs to work on changeup

    • Steve (different one) says:

      Hilarious. You’re right; the Yankees have not shown they love Pineda. They only traded the crown jewel of their system for the guy. He’s just managing expectations, relax….

  26. Steve says:

    KL, we have no idea if they are ready by 2013 and even if they are, they will have major ups and downs. Excuse me, but I never said trade them, so do not put words in my mouth.

    Garcia absolutely would have gotten a multi-year deal – and off of last year’s performance, I find it hard to swallow that he would have to compete for anything. The Yankees never should have promised him that he wouldn’t have to, anyway.

  27. Paul VuvuZuvella says:

    I saw another quote from Cashman somewhere that said…”Bubba Crosby is my 5th OF and DH against RHP.”

  28. jsbrendog says:

    The Yankees prefer Raul Ibanez to Johnny Damon because of cost. Damon is seeking about $5MM while Ibanez will likely be in the $1.5MM-$2MM range


    there’s your reason. damon isn’t $4 mill better than ibanez and at
    $5 mil if he falls off a cliff you cant cut him as easily. ibanez at $1 in this instance is the better value

  29. DM says:

    Dear Ted,

    “The preference would be to find someone from the left side that can do some damage against right-handed pitching,” Cashman said. “But at the same time, in the event we have injuries that hit in season, (I’m looking for a player) that my manager could put out for defense. I’m not saying a quality defender, I’m saying someone that, for an extended period of time, can still provide some kind of defensive component to protect us in the event we have injuries as we move forward. That would be the criteria we’re looking at.”

    • jsbrendog says:

      dude, I agree with what youre saying with the cashman quote but it does seem like youre a little unhealthily obsessed with ted nelson. just do what a lot of us do, ignore all of his comments.

      • DM says:

        I’d agree except for his dishonesty and penchant for being a clueless and automatic contrarian to the points made by others here. When you unravel the “logic” of Ted’s arguments, there’s nothing there but a blind rationalization for a his personal and emotional preferences. But I get your point. Better things to do. I’ve flattened him (and one other who made silly comments about Hughes and Nova’d demotion) enough already. The truth always wins out in the end.

    • DM says:

      So much for 1-way full-time DH types, huh? I literally made this same case for Ibanez last night. Cashman is right on the money. Flexibility and coverage for rest and injury. Options for Girardi.

    • CJ says:

      That type of player is only available by trade. Chase Headley, Seth Smith, Gerard Parra, Andre Ethier, Billy Butler, Daniel murphy, Lucas Duda.

      • DM says:

        “I’m not saying a quality defender, I’m saying someone that, for an extended period of time, can still provide some kind of defensive component to protect us in the event we have injuries as we move forward.”

        This sounds like Ibanez to me.

        • Midland TX says:

          And not Damon.


          From Damon’s perspective, there might be a club that would value his bat at $5MM, but he’s not going to get that from the Yankees as the 24th man and platoon DH.

          I think his “we both agreed to see other people” comment is pretty funny.

          • DM says:

            Yep — and not Matsui either. You wouldn’t ask either of them to play LF on a regular and extended basis if Gardner broke his wrist sliding into 2nd. At least Ibanez is physically capable of doing that — as he showed last year. The Yankees could lose a CF and a corner yet still not be crippled with Jones and Ibanez on the roster. Nice depth.

  30. DM says:

    “I’m not saying a quality defender, I’m saying someone that, for an extended period of time, can still provide some kind of defensive component to protect us in the event we have injuries as we move forward.”

    This sounds like Ibanez to me.

  31. G says:

    Just see if Ibañez can play at a tolerable level for half the year. The Indians will inevitably be 15 games back from the Tigers by the deadline and probably more than willing to dump the remainder of Hafner’s contract. It’s a bit too pricey to take on all year, but by that point it’d be affordable and offer a pretty big upgrade.

  32. pistol pete says:

    What is the love for Chavez and Ibanez, both are severly over the hill. Chavez can’t stay healthy and Ibanez appears finished. To take up two spots for these two dinasaurs is beyond explanation for me. Once again it appears the Yanks are shopping at Walmart, makes no sense. I don’t understand the hate Cashman has for Damon. Damon and Laird are a far better duo for the two remaining spots than Ibanez and Chavez and at relatively speaking the same price. Ibanez numbers were awful last year with a 289obp and awful numbers away from the friendly confines of Phillys home park. He was absolutely useless vs leftys and can’t run or play the outfield anymore. I don’t get it, please explain why we’re signing Randy Winn again.

  33. Beezie NY says:

    I have to respect Cashman on this one, some of these players think they are divas and need to be told the truth, play up or shut up. For the past 3 or so years Damon has been cocky and overpaid IMO for a player that was done in the field when we originally signed him to play CF.

  34. Frank Spero says:

    cashman is an asshole damon is a good guy he should get him back m

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