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Monday, February 01, 2010

Henning: Agent: Damon wants to play for Tigers

Yeah…and I want to play for Pill Wonder. So what of it?

Johnny Damon, the free-agent outfielder who helped the Yankees to a world championship in 2009, would be happy to talk with the Tigers.

“Johnny believes the addition of him to Detroit’s lineup would make the Tigers a winner,” Scott Boras, Damon’s agent, said during a Monday phone conversation.

“He’s batted .363 at Comerica Park, he has a .412 on-base percentage at Comerica,” Boras said.

Boras added, quoting Damon before Damon signed earlier contracts with the Yankees and Boston Red Sox: “I told you I could make the Yankees a winner, and I told you before I left Oakland (where he played in 2001) I could make a Boston a winner.”

Boras says Damon has the same disposition toward the Tigers in 2010: “I can make the Detroit Tigers a winner,” Boras said, citing Damon’s words to him in December.

Damon, 36, has a career .288 batting average, 207 home runs, and needs only four more RBIs to reach the 1,000 mark. His career on-base average is a robust .355.

Repoz Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:22 PM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rumors, sabermetrics, tigers, yankees

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   1. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:30 PM (#3452155)
.355 is not all that robust
   2. BDC Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:32 PM (#3452157)
How about "gracile?"
   3. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:35 PM (#3452158)
I heard a radio interview with Damon last week and he said initially he was hoping for four years from the Yankees ("four would be great, ten would be better"), but his first serious proposal after things settled down was 2 years, $13 million per. The Yankees wouldn't bite, and countered with 2 years, $7 million per. The two sides were never even that close again.
   4. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:38 PM (#3452159)
Agent: "Damon wants to get paid to play baseball in the Major Leagues...pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease"
   5. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:48 PM (#3452166)
Boras added, quoting Damon before Damon signed earlier contracts with the Yankees and Boston Red Sox: “I told you I could make the Yankees a winner, and I told you before I left Oakland (where he played in 2001) I could make a Boston a winner.”
You joined a team that had won the AL East every year since 1998. And then they lost the division in your second year with the team, and missed the playoffs in your third year with the team.
   6. left coast bomber Posted: February 01, 2010 at 11:52 PM (#3452170)
“He’s batted .363 at Comerica Park, he has a .412 on-base percentage at Comerica,” Boras said.


Yeah, against Detroit pitching. Does this just fly over the heads of every GM who falls in love this type of stat?
   7. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 02, 2010 at 12:09 AM (#3452182)
Which specific Detroit pitchers was he facing? Good ones? Bad ones?

And isn't it a pitcher's park?
   8. O Tempura, O Morays ('Spos) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 12:33 AM (#3452199)
I can make you mine, taste your lips of wine
Anytime night or day
Only trouble is, gee whiz...
   9. Unintentionally_Ignorant Posted: February 02, 2010 at 12:39 AM (#3452203)
I think by "Tigers", Boras means "ANYBODY"......
   10. Shibal Posted: February 02, 2010 at 12:55 AM (#3452208)
Tigger could use a left-handed bat in that lineup.
   11. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: February 02, 2010 at 12:56 AM (#3452209)
Why didn't he make the Royals and As winners? Huh, Boras, huh?
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 01:38 AM (#3452229)
WTF isn't Chi (AL) in on Damon?
   13. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: February 02, 2010 at 01:55 AM (#3452244)
.355 is not all that robust


It is if you come up through the Kansas City system.
   14. Zipperholes Posted: February 02, 2010 at 02:03 AM (#3452250)
Is there any chance he can play CF? Damon brings almost nothing that they don't already have in Clete Thomas - an average hitting, left-handed corner OF. They have no CF candidates who have proven they can be MLB regulars at that position -- Jackson, Raburn, Wilkin Ramirez, Casper Wells.
   15. Accent Shallow can never go back to New York Posted: February 02, 2010 at 02:13 AM (#3452261)
Is there any chance he can play CF?


Well, he played some CF in '08 (285 innings worth), although UZR hated him, and the scouts weren't thrilled. He was only forced into that position by Melky Cabrera being beyond terrible. In '09, he played exclusively in LF, and he didn't look good. I'd be surprised if anyone planned on him playing CF in anything other than an emergency in '10 and beyond. (Then again, Kenny Williams did put Griffey in CF long after anyone thought he could play it, so stranger things have happened)
   16. Something Other Posted: February 02, 2010 at 02:40 AM (#3452281)
I assume Ryan Raburn will be sending a nice #### you card to Damon shortly.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 02:47 AM (#3452286)
Damon brings almost nothing that they don't already have in Clete Thomas - an average hitting, left-handed corner OF.

How is Damon an "average hitting corner OF"? His wRC+ have been 121, 107, 131, 132 ('06-'09). wOBA .362, .340, .373, .376. That was 9th among MLB LFers, and would be 16th among LF/RF combined (>400 PAs).

And Clete Thomas!? C'mon. His best proection is a .330ish wOBA, vs. .350ish for Damon.
   18. Shock is here live. Shock is not a cat. Posted: February 02, 2010 at 02:57 AM (#3452295)
If he played CF I'm sure that his terribleness at that position would more than out-weigh the positional advantage he'd get by playing it.
   19. Zipperholes Posted: February 02, 2010 at 02:58 AM (#3452296)
How is Damon an "average hitting corner OF"? His wRC+ have been 121, 107, 131, 132 ('06-'09). wOBA .362, .340, .373, .376. That was 9th among MLB LFers, and would be 16th among LF/RF combined (>400 PAs).

Thanks for the info. I guess I'm expecting Damon to decline pretty quickly soon and Thomas to improve - maybe overestimating. Do you have Damon's home/road splits for wOBA?
   20. Textbook Editor Posted: February 02, 2010 at 03:04 AM (#3452300)
Damon does not have the arm (nor, probably, the range) for CF in Comerica; it's a pipe dream to think otherwise.

Honestly, though--if Amaro could get some sucker to bite on a trade for Ibanez while eating a bit of salary for the rest of the deal, I'd offer Damon 3 years x $5-6 million to play LF at Citizen's Bank Park. Even if you ate half the remaining Ibanez deal ($15 million over 3 years), you might be able to get Damon for not much more than the salary relief you get from dumping Ibanez, and Damon would be far better overall to have over the next 3 years.
   21. My Name is Neo (Mr. Anderson) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 03:10 AM (#3452303)
Damon is obviously desperate. I wonder when he's going to realize he's been jobbed by Boras.
   22. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 03:44 AM (#3452317)
Damon is obviously desperate. I wonder when he's going to realize he's been jobbed by Boras.


Please. How was he "jobbed by Boras"? According to Damon the only hard offer he got from the Yankees was 2 years, $14 mil. Is he going to get significantly worse than that from the team he eventually signs with?
   23. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: February 02, 2010 at 04:09 AM (#3452328)
Well, yeah, seems fairly likely. Are you arguing with yourself?
   24. Darren Posted: February 02, 2010 at 04:18 AM (#3452332)
How much worse? 1/6? He won't lose much.

Damon's big problem was that the Yankees decided pretty early on that they weren't going to pay him his apparent market value. Since then, nobody else has really been into him either (which of course suggests that it wasn't his market value after all).
   25. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 02, 2010 at 04:39 AM (#3452342)
Can Damon play first base? If he could, he might make sense for the Mets.
   26. CWS Keith plans to [omitted] at [omitted] Posted: February 02, 2010 at 04:42 AM (#3452344)
WTF isn't Chi (AL) in on Damon?

They should be on Damon at any price around around one year, $6 million. You could probably justify going even higher than that, but (a) I don't think the Sox have that much money left and (b) I doubt he's getting that much, particularly with so many teams seemingly dropping out over the past few weeks. Who even has a stated interest in Damon at this point -- there's the Rays... anyone else? It seems like none of the Damon-to-Detroit talk is coming from the Tigers.
   27. Banta Posted: February 02, 2010 at 04:55 AM (#3452351)
Can Damon play first base? If he could, he might make sense for the Mets.

Yuck. I'd rather see what Murphy can do. I concede this isn't particularly rational, but I don't know how much more Damon really has to give. I can imagine the two putting up very similar stats next year.
   28. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 02, 2010 at 05:36 AM (#3452366)
That's a legitimate opinion. Damon is 36 years old and would be playing a new position. Damon would be better but probably not substantially so.
   29. AJMcCringleberry Posted: February 02, 2010 at 07:47 AM (#3452383)
Can Damon play first base? If he could, he might make sense for the Mets.

Can Bay play right? Get Frenchy out of the lineup.
   30. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: February 02, 2010 at 08:39 AM (#3452389)
Please. How was he "jobbed by Boras"? According to Damon the only hard offer he got from the Yankees was 2 years, $14 mil. Is he going to get significantly worse than that from the team he eventually signs with?


The claim from Cashman was that Boras instructed him not to even bother making an offer if it involved a pay cut, or words to that effect, suggesting that anything below $13m per wasn't worth the discussion. That was clearly unrealistic fairly early into the offseason, and I suspect that Boras overplaying his hand meant that Cashman moved pretty quickly onto Granderson, Johnson, and finally Winn. At each stage, Damon might have been an option (well, not to play CF, but Gardner can do that quite well).

Not that it completely stopped the Yankees and Boras/Damon talking, but it probably was a factor.
   31. Avoid Running At All Times- S. Paige Posted: February 02, 2010 at 12:25 PM (#3452404)
My guess is that damon and boras looked at abreu's deal and thought that set the market and acted accordingly. They were probably aiming for 22 over 2 years. Given abreu's deal, that's not so crazy.
   32. My Name is Neo (Mr. Anderson) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 12:48 PM (#3452407)
It's Boras' job to read the market correctly, and in this case he failed to do so. Telling the Yankees (and the rest of the industry) not to make an offer if it was less than $13 million was a disastrous tactic. Now Damon is out of work, no deals imminent. This one won't go into Boras' scrap book.
   33. Justin Turner Overdrive Posted: February 02, 2010 at 12:56 PM (#3452410)
At this point, the Damon situation seems kinda like the baseball version of this commercial
   34. Dr. I likes his panda steak medium rare Posted: February 02, 2010 at 01:41 PM (#3452422)
.355 is not all that robust


It strikes me as a pretty good number, but this is a matter of opinion. As a point of reference, .355 was roughly league average for a lead off hitter in the AL last year. Link. That mark is also pretty much average (or better) for an AL outfielder as well. Link.

For the last 6 years, Damon's OBP has been higher, averaging .366. The low over that time period was his .351 in 2007. Most of what is bringing down his career average are a few low OBP seasons in his 20's. I don't think this really represents the player that he has become, as many of these numbers were posted more than 10 years ago. My view is that Damon is an above average MLB hitter for an outfielder who has been a better hitter in his 30's than he was in his 20's.
   35. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 01:49 PM (#3452426)
The claim from Cashman was that Boras instructed him not to even bother making an offer if it involved a pay cut, or words to that effect, suggesting that anything below $13m per wasn't worth the discussion.


And, yet, Damon said that Cashman DID make an offer less than $13m per -- specifically, $7 million per, for two years.

So even if Boras told that to Cashman, what harm did it do?
   36. My Name is Neo (Mr. Anderson) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 01:53 PM (#3452429)
And, yet, Damon said that Cashman DID make an offer less than $13m per -- specifically, $7 million per, for two years.



At that point, don't you think Boras and Damon should've figured out that $13 million per was never going to happen - anywhere? Johnny should've gotten his head out of the sand and accepted that deal.
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 01:59 PM (#3452431)
At that point, don't you think Boras and Damon should've figured out that $13 million per was never going to happen - anywhere? Johnny should've gotten his head out of the sand and accepted that deal.

Or at least negotiated. The way he was going to get 2/18 or 2/20 was to get two teams bidding.

By shutting down the Yankees conversation, they made it much less likely that a bidding situation would arise, and encouraged the Yankees to act on other options.
   38. Dale Sams Posted: February 02, 2010 at 02:53 PM (#3452461)
At this point, the Damon situation seems kinda like the baseball version of this commercial


Can he play soccer? Milos looks like he'd fit right in with the English National Team.
   39. Styles P. Deadball Posted: February 02, 2010 at 02:54 PM (#3452462)
By shutting down the Yankees conversation, they made it much less likely that a bidding situation would arise, and encouraged the Yankees to act on other options.


Does anyone have a ballpark thought on just how far the expected offers drop once the rest of MLB is sure the Yankees aren't interested?
   40. joeysdadjoe Posted: February 02, 2010 at 03:43 PM (#3452512)
I still think Boras kept Yankees LF vacant so he would have something to play STL off of on Holliday negotiations.Even if it wasn't going to happen.Like Tex last year.
   41. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: February 02, 2010 at 03:52 PM (#3452521)
They should be on Damon at any price around around one year, $6 million.

Yeah, that isn't going to happen. He'd be an upgrade on Juan Pierre, for sure, but that ship has already sailed.

For better or for worse, the White Sox are done making moves for the offseason.
   42. Ray (CTL) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 06:58 PM (#3452661)
At that point, don't you think Boras and Damon should've figured out that $13 million per was never going to happen - anywhere? Johnny should've gotten his head out of the sand and accepted that deal.


Whatever. The "bash Boras" stuff is particularly silly here, when we don't even know yet what Damon will end up signing for. Either way, it's not a crime for a player to try to get what he thinks he's worth.

I'm trying to think of a list of Boras's failures, where his client ended up doing something boneheaded and getting a seriously lower deal. I can't think of any off the top of my head.
   43. Buddha Posted: February 02, 2010 at 07:14 PM (#3452698)
Johnny Damon is a good left handed bat who gets on base. The Tigers desperately need one of those at the top of the lineup.

A five person outfield of Ordonez, Guillen, Damon, Jackson/Thomas, Raburn would be fine offensively, and a little challenged defensively unless Jackson is as good as the Tigers seem to think he is.

The idea that Thomas is as good as Damon is absurd. Both are left-handed, both have some speed (although Damon is probably faster and a better baserunner), and both have a little pop. But Thomas has a number of holes in his swing, which is very long to begin with, and doesn' get on base nearly as often as Damon.

Sign Damon to a one or two year deal for $7 per and get on with it. Unless they think that they have more pressing needs in a guy who can back up Inge and Sizemore (like Adam Kennedy). Hell, sign em both, it ain't my money.
   44. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: February 02, 2010 at 07:29 PM (#3452716)
And, yet, Damon said that Cashman DID make an offer less than $13m per -- specifically, $7 million per, for two years.

So even if Boras told that to Cashman, what harm did it do?


According to Boras & Damon, that offer was contingent on the deal with Nick Johnson falling apart.

I don't think rejecting that offer is going to come back to bite Damon in the ass, but if they had been willing to negotiate earlier, he probably could have gotten more money (they countered the Yankees' proposal with 2 years, $20M, which I think the Yankees would have done if they didn't already have Johnson).

Of course he's not signed yet so maybe he will get more than we expect, but it's hard to see where that will come from.
   45. DL from MN Posted: February 02, 2010 at 07:58 PM (#3452755)
Are the Yankees keeping LF open for Carl Crawford? He seems like the kind of player Cashman would like.
   46. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 08:19 PM (#3452784)
Are the Yankees keeping LF open for Carl Crawford? He seems like the kind of player Cashman would like.

Maybe. Or maybe Jesus Montero if the catching thing doesn't work out. Or maybe Granderson if Gardner shows he can hit a little and play a plus CF.

I think they're just maintaining flexibility (position and budget). They already have 3 corner player locked up for a while (ARod, Tex, Swisher). I don't think they want a 4th.

I also think they are restraining spending so as not to provoke further revenue sharing in the next CBA.
   47. JPWF13 Posted: February 02, 2010 at 09:14 PM (#3452853)
My view is that Damon is an above average MLB hitter for an outfielder who has been a better hitter in his 30's than he was in his 20's.


I think it's just that he's become more consistent, his age 27 season just being inexplicable (I tend to think he was playing hurt), he really hasn't been any better as hitter in his 30s than he was at ages 25-26. Considering that back at ages 25-26 he could play a decent CF he was much better player then

of course at age 27 his BABIP drop 60 points...
when his bat recovered his throwing arm went...
   48. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: February 02, 2010 at 09:53 PM (#3452895)
The A's could use another outfielder.

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