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The Braves should make Johnny Damon an Adrian Beltre offer

Jan 5, 2010, 10:25 AM EST

Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution spends some time imagining Johnny Damon in a Braves uniform, observing that Atlanta could afford to sign him if they could do a one- or
two-year below $10 million. And he thinks that Damon would consider it because (a) he hasn’t received better offers; and (b) he’s told some
people he’d like to play for the Braves, who train near his Orlando
home.

My take: at this point there should be several teams calling Scott Boras with an Adrian Beltre-type offer:  one year at around $9 million with an option for year two. That may actually be high for Damon given his inferior defense and the relative lack of interest in him compared to Beltre, but in light of what happened with Beltre and Boston, Damon is suddenly in the realm of the doable for a lot of teams who might not have otherwise looked at him before.

O’Brien wonders whether if, at those prices, the Yankees might come back into the Damon raffle (“sweepstakes” is too grand a word for him).  It’s possible, especially in light of Boston signing Beltre — never underestimate the power of an arms race — but Brian Cashman’s “stand pat” talk seems a bit more convincing this year than it has in years past.

  1. Old Gator - Jan 5, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    The Borg have already stuck a fork – hell, multiple forks – in Damon. I like the idea of him on the Braves, watching him come trundling in from the outfield while Feesh popups (which is mostly what their batting order will be capable of generating this year with another flurry of spring training payroll dumps) keep falling in front of him. Any little advantage that keeps the Feesh just a fathom or two above the Gnats in the standings will be appreciated down here.

  2. Moses Green - Jan 5, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    The real fun of popping up in front of Damon is that you get to take 2nd base on his chicken wing flip back in.

  3. eaglealan64 - Jan 5, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    Last time I looked the Braves were in the NL so they don’t need a DH!!

  4. YANKEES1996 - Jan 5, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    I have thought since the WS that the Yankees would keep either Damon or Matsui. Scott Boras has done a good job keeping the Yanks and Damon apart but with the arrival of the new year there should be movement soon. Johnny wants to return to NY and we could still use him but he and Boras need to be realistic. The closer spring training gets the more Boras will begin listening to reason because Damon has no intention of retiring. The Braves, Yankees or whoever else looks at Damon is not going to be willing to give him the multi-year, big dollar contract he is looking for. So therefore my advice is get a fair deal and play where you want to play JD, not where Boras can get you a job!

  5. Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 5, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    Melky in LF, McLouth in CF, Heyward in RF. Where ya gonna fit Damon?
    And once Damon lowers his price to an ATL-affordable price, wouldn’t the Yanks be re-interested?

  6. Craig Calcaterra - Jan 5, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    Who says you start Melky? He could platoon with Diaz in right until Heyward is ready. Or he could be traded before the season even starts.

  7. Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 5, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    Because you traded your ace, a Cy Young candidate last year, for a bench player and a pocketful of hope. Gotta believe you show something for that deal.
    Benching Melky? Would be ballsy.

  8. Craig Calcaterra - Jan 5, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    I think the Braves viewed the trade more as a means of freeing up money and getting rid of an excess starter. No, I wouldn’t have approached it that way, but the Braves have always looked at things like that.
    They are likely happy to have Cabrera, but I don’t think anyone views him as someone who they’ll simply install in the outfield and let him play. Maybe if they didn’t have a CF, but Cox won’t likely move McLouth and his big Gold Glove.

  9. Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 5, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    Fair ’nuff

  10. YankeesfanLen - Jan 5, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    While Craig and Jason bicker, I still don’t quite remember when the Yanks didn’t “ease in” an outfielder until injuries (which are rare but not impossible during hot stove) intervened and then someone emerged. OTOH, apparently we’re on a youth kick.
    STILL think, and yes, hope, Johnny will be back.

  11. TigerS Boy ToY - Jan 5, 2010 at 1:53 PM

    JOHNNY, DID YOU STOP SIPPIN ON THE SCOTT BORAS KOOL AID YET, IF NOT SEND HIM AWAY NOW AND CALL CASH AND SEE WHAT CAN BE DONE ON A ONE YEAR DEAL.BIG GAME ANDY TOOK 5 MILLION GUARANTEED MONEY AND WITH INCENTIVES KICKED IN HE CLEARED ABOUT 10 MILLION. NOW, ANDY IS
    A YANKEE FAN FAVORITE AND HE WON A FEW RINGS HERE BUT I’M SURE
    CASH COULD DO A ONE YEAR 7 MILLION DEAL WHICH IS NOT BAD FOR A GUY WITH BAD WHEELS.

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  13. Kenalog - Feb 13, 2010 at 6:53 AM

    with ‘we leave it to you to decide’.

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