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With Holliday signed, Damon still looking for new deal

Jan 10, 2010, 9:59 AM EDT

Johnny Damon, the unfortunate victim of the lengthy Matt Holliday negotiations, is still awaiting his next contract.

“Well, I knew I’d have to wait until some of the bigger hitters like Jason Bay and Matt Holliday went
places, and now I’m just waiting to see what’s in store for me,” Damon
said. “I knew I’d probably have to take a pay cut, just based on the
way the economy is in this country and baseball, but I thought I had a
productive season and I think I showed people I can play and still do
something at a high level.”

He told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that he approached the Yankees
with an annual salary of $10 million, but they were more comfortable
with a contract in the $6-7
million range. Not willing to take a pay cut, he hasn’t had any
conversations with the Bombers lately. While further talks wouldn’t surprise
him, he’s “just kind of going on” with his life. One possible destination that has emerged
is the Braves, whose Disney Spring Training complex is just a few
minutes from his home in Orlando.

“Atlanta would be great,” he said. “I’m wide open. There are a handful
of teams who, in my opinion, could win and I’d like to see what kind of
availability there would be with those clubs.”

The Braves could have a unique opportunity to take advantage of the
market and sign Damon on an Adrian Beltre-type deal, but if his price
drops far enough, I’d never say never on the Yankees. Gee, it’s like
they knew it would take Matt Holliday forever to sign, leaving Damon
grasping at straws to find a lucrative deal before Spring Training.

  1. jimbeetle - Jan 10, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    Hmmm, the Braves are currently carrying six outfielders on their 40-man roster and don’t have a DH slot. The Yankees are carrying four OFs with the no punch, late-inning replacement speedster Gardner penciled in at LF.
    I don’t think the Yankees are planning to open the season this way. Haven’t heard any other speculation on where they plan to pick up anybody so still think Cashman is lurking in the weeds when it comes to Johnny. At this point it looks like they need each other.
    How ’bout Yankees and Damon for one year at $8.5 mil or so with a club option for year 2?

  2. YankeesfanLen - Jan 10, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    Agreed, and still think the biggest strength of all this is the 1-2 Jeter Damon punch. Just don’t like the look of the lineup as much without it.

  3. Fast Eddy - Jan 10, 2010 at 2:54 PM

    Wait until Spring. Someone will need an outfielder.

  4. geek - Jan 10, 2010 at 6:58 PM

    Damon may still be a productive clutch hitter but his age and salary comes with a medium to high risk factor. He is not a huge liability in the field but not a solid asset.
    A 1 year contract is as far as I would be willing to offer and I suspect most other teams are looking at him along the same lines. The Yankee’s have some talent in AAA that is promising and the existing line up is far from shabby.
    Damon will sign with someone but not at the salary level that either he or is agent had in mind.

  5. mike h - Jan 10, 2010 at 7:52 PM

    Sounds great. I wish Yanks would go for it. I think Johnny D would.

  6. Shelby - Jan 10, 2010 at 10:20 PM

    He betrayed Boston fans for the almighty dollar, so now he’s having to wait and hope. It may have been a while back, but he couldn’t have gone to a more hated team, or slapped Red Sox fans any harder in the face. Karma, anyone?

  7. Jim - Jan 10, 2010 at 10:53 PM

    Total Karma. Sox fans loved him and he even said at one point he would retire before playing for the Yankees. I am a lifelong Red Sox fan and hope he ends up in Kansas City or some other small market team and fades into retirement. Johnny Damon, looks like Jesus, throws like Mary and acts likes Judas.

  8. Old Gator - Jan 10, 2010 at 10:57 PM

    And has Biggeth Dicketh for an agent.

  9. Prosolution - Jan 11, 2010 at 5:06 AM

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  10. Mike Garner - Jan 11, 2010 at 8:46 AM

    Shelby – He didn’t “betray” the Sawx at all. He started is career with the Kansas City Royals, then played for the Oakland Athletics before signing with the Boston Red Sox. He’s no more a Red Sox
    than he is a New York Yankee. He’s a hired gun. He played more years for Kansas City than he did for Boston.

  11. Moses Green - Jan 11, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    The headline for this story only needed an ‘er’ at the end to be true.

  12. CommonNow - Jan 11, 2010 at 10:35 AM

    The Yanks have him by the long haired ones. Expect Yanks to sign a one year $7.5 million deal with incentives to $9 million.

  13. Jaguar49 - Jan 11, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    Mike Garner, objectively you are correct. Damon did not betray the Red Sox or their fans. But there are certain things to which objectivity is irrelevant — the Red Sox-Yankee rivalry is a great example. He could have gone anywhere will no ill feelings on the part of Red Sox fans — anywhere EXCEPT to the the Evil Empire. Maybe it makes no sense, but it’s just a fact.

  14. Fast Eddy - Jan 11, 2010 at 11:53 AM

    That would be at the very top of his salary potential. People scoffed at giving Holliday a 7 year deal. Any deal for this old timer over 3-4 million is too much.

  15. Ron - Jan 11, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    Sour Grapes seeing Yankees win in 2009 ?
    Karma ? What Karma ? He won a championship in New York just like in Boston and Yankee fans and his teammates loved him too……
    If 2009 in the end Johny still loved his time in the big apple.
    I agree with one point Johnny stuck the knife in the Banana Republic Red Sox Nation. But not for your reasons as Boston didn’t want him enough just like Clemens Boggs Pedro Manny and soon Papi.
    No Johnny stuck the knife in by helping the Yankees win in 2009 and steal the glory from Boston being the team of the decade.
    Decade 00’s New York 2 titles 4 pennants Al East 8 of 10 years
    Boston 2 titles 2 pennant AL east 1 out of 10 years
    No matter how much you want to fantasize about 2004 it is dead now as the Yankees are team of the decade with same number of titles and twice as many pennants and finishing in front of Boston in the division 8 of 10 years. No argument can be made for Boston now
    except by idiots. A real study of the facts puts Boston 2nd to the Yankees again even after 2004 and 2007.
    Best part of it is that now that the Yankees are team of decade in 1990’s and 2000’s and all time with 27 titles 2004 does not matter to us now. 2004 is dead to Yankee fans now it hurt a while but now it is dead cause after 2009 we’re best of decade and better than Boston again.
    So the Red Sox Nation is a Banana Republic once again.

  16. Ron - Jan 11, 2010 at 2:10 PM

    So thanks to Johnny Damon from all Yankee fans in helping the Yankees win number 27 in 2009 and becoming team of the decade 2000’s jsut like team of decade 1990’s.
    Great Thanks from all of New York Johnny to help the Yankees be team of decade and making the Red Sox Nation once again a banana republic.
    Thanks Johnny !!!! Hope your are back in 2010 but if not thanks for the ride and sticking the knife in Bostons team of decade hopes (if the Phillies won) with a crucial double steal in the series to break the Phillies backs.

  17. MAK - Jan 11, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    I still dont get it. Damon has come down on all demands Cash wont budge. This smells of baby Boss. George would never let a player who means and meant so much to his club to walk for a few million. Its bad enough we let Matsui go, when we could have at least offered one yr. The best one two punch in baseball is Damon to Jeter. How the hell is that gonna be replaced, not to mention damaging the chemistry.
    Lets hear it Cash, is it baby boss, or not

  18. spyware sweeper - Jan 23, 2010 at 8:13 PM

    This is truly perfect :) Thanks for putting this out there :)

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