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Are the Mariners interested in Johnny Damon?

Dec 17, 2009, 5:30 PM EDT

The New York Post’s Joel Sherman tweets so. The Seattle’s Times’ Larry Stone expands, though there really isn’t anything there to illuminate how serious the Mariners’ interest really is.

The Mariners have been linked to everyone, it seems, so this could be anything from real interest to phony Boras-leverage-creation interest to some random mention of Damon’s name while a couple of Mariners’ interns were playing as the Royals in “High Heat ’99.

  1. Mark Runsvold - Dec 17, 2009 at 6:10 PM

    It doesn’t make much sense. It’s not a stretch to say Michael Saunders could equal Damon’s overall production in left field in 2011. And there are several players who could provide better offense immediately and be had cheaper. Granted, the Cliff Lee signing has put Seattle in more of a win-now mode for 2010 and that makes them less likely to put Saunders out there and let him figure things out. But Damon is just too expensive. There’s been talk of the M’s swinging a trade for Luke Scott, who is a better defender than Damon and at least his equal at the plate. Zduriencik watchers ought to know that’s the kind of move to expect.

  2. VA_Friar - Dec 17, 2009 at 6:16 PM

    Oh man, High Heat was an awesome series. Particularly HH 2K1.

  3. Peteinfla - Dec 17, 2009 at 6:52 PM

    Hey Mark. I agree that Damon is too expensive, typical of a Scott Boras client. But I can’t agree with the Luke Scott comparison. In reality Scott is a DH/1B, not a outfielder. And even with Damon aging, I think he still is a better outfielder than Scott. (Except for his awful throwing arm). Offensively, they are different, but they have similiar power numbers. Damon has a much better OB% and speed:.282 .365 .489 .854, Scott more of a straight slugger: .258 .340 .488 .828 . Advantage Damon. I don’t really think either on of them fit the defense first team that M’s have built, even if they do need another bat.

  4. Mark Runsvold - Dec 17, 2009 at 7:58 PM

    Scott has a career UZR/150 of 7.4 in LF. He’s on the wrong end of the aging curve, but he should still be expected to be average or slightly above. Damon, on the other hand, has been a defensive liability for the past two years and is older than Scott. He’s still playable out there, but may not be in a year or two.
    The offensive stats you cite are from last year, when Damon hit better than he ever has (at the age of 35!) and Scott hit a little worse than his career averages. Every professional projection I’ve seen, though, has Scott slightly outhitting Damon in 2010.
    Overall, the difference is probably 5 runs or so, but that’s 5 runs in favor of the cheaper player who’s a better fit for Seattle’s long-term plans.

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