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Source: The Braves don't want Damon; may start the season with Heyward on the big club

Jan 27, 2010, 5:01 PM EDT

If there was any shred of hope in the Damon-Boras camp that the Braves may pick up Johnny Damon, consider it gone.

A team source tells me that the Braves discussed Damon recently, and the clear sense of the room was that (a) his arm just won’t play in the Turner Field outfield; (b) he’s just not versatile enough to move around, and the Braves want to be able to move around their outfielders this year; and (c) he’s going to want too much money.

On this last point, Braves brass thinks that Damon is going to go for $4-5 million, probably to the Athletics, and they’re not at all inclined to pay that price for him.  They’d reconsider if he went cheaper, but they just don’t care enough for him to think about making a bid.

And one last bit making Damon less necessary in the team’s eyes:  while everyone — myself included — assumes that the Braves are going to keep Jason Heyward down on the farm until Mother’s Day to keep his service time from running, the Braves are in no way predisposed to do this. To the contrary, they would love to break camp with him, and are taking a “it’s his job to lose” approach this spring.

Overall, the front office is quite optimistic about the team’s chances this year. More so than they’ll let on publicly for risk of creating unrealistic expectations. Whatever the case, I think the takeaway here is that it may be best to view whatever the team does this year as an act being taken by people who think that the Braves will be in the playoffs.

  1. Michael - Jan 27, 2010 at 7:12 PM

    I like what I just read. Damon isn’t a good fit for the Braves and I think he needs to go somewhere where he can DH. His arm is a horror and makes him a subpar defensive player.
    I also love the idea that the Braves realize that Heyward should play and grow on the job. The skill set is there and all he needs is some experience and then we can all sit back and enjoy a Hall of Fame career unfold.
    The Braves should be optimistic because if they learned anything during The Streak it is that nothing is a greater priority than good pitching. Even with the trade of Javier Vasquez this staff has great potential especially with the young guns, Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson. The guy I think might be the most pleasant surprise this year is righthander Kris Medlen who stuff is nasty and will blossom as a member of the rotation sometime this season.

  2. Spens - Jan 27, 2010 at 7:36 PM

    i post on the atlanta braves forums, and I have Jason’s picture on my nightstand.

  3. bbua - Jan 27, 2010 at 8:51 PM

    I think the braves management is a little too hopeful. There are health issues with several key players/pitchers. The defense is below average, outfield (even with Heyward) is probably the weakest in the NL. They do have great pitching but not sure how many runs they will score. It appears they will again finish 3 rd in the NL east.

  4. Vol4ever - Jan 27, 2010 at 10:15 PM

    The Braves can say what they want, but they are cheap!!!!! A glimmer of hope might give them 3rd place but I doubt it. They traded their best pitcher by far and kept one coming off surgery, let the best hitter walk and replaced him with a player with one leg in the nursing home. For the first time in 20 years I will not renew my season tickets. The decline has been coming the last 4 years.

  5. tlb - Jan 27, 2010 at 11:06 PM

    The braves will win the wild card this year!! The team is better than the marlins, cubs, giants and rockies and the cardnails, phillies and giants will win the respected divisons. The teams starting pitching has 5 guys who can all win 15 games, The defense is above average mcclouth is a gold glove centerfielder, heyward an diaz are both good outfielders, the infield is stong other than the corners who are average as chipper is getting older and glaus changes positons. The bullpen although it is old will be very effective and it is very deep. Wagner was lights out last year and is no more a risk than soriano’s health and he has incentive to have a good year for his 7mil option for next year, sotio only has a one year deal and he needs to perform to get a contact somewhere next year, Moylan is lights out in the seventh and oflaraty and dunn will take care of lefties, They also have depth with medlen, and some people like proctor and garcia who can be servicable relief corps tha will start in the minors. The team has the stongest bench, Hinske has great power plays all positons, Ross has great power off the bench, infante plays all positons well and is a good hitter, the last bench spot will go to conrad or blanco who has great speed. The line up is much improved we have mcclouth a full year, prado and escobar will only get better, Mccain’s vison is corrected, chipper will bounce back, glaus will be playing for a big contract next year and we will have freeman ready next year, heyward will be a huge upgrade on anderson. This team is 90-95 win ball club with the leagues deepest starting pitching and bullpen and bench. What do the phillies have after holliday and happ…. blanton, hamels, moyer are not scary!!

  6. jea2563 - Jan 27, 2010 at 11:10 PM

    ok bbua. how do you call their outfield the weakest in the nl? they have a 310 hitter in diaz, a allstart in mclouth, the best prospect in the game, lots of depth as well. cabrera, schafer and infante. they may not be the most well known but they all have potential to do great things.

  7. Braves4 ever - Jan 27, 2010 at 11:13 PM

    I think braves should send Heyward to AAA until May so he can get his swuing and timing going before facing mayor league pitching and importantly prevent him become a super two….with Diaz and Melky….Infante and Hinske backing up can hold the outfield for a while…..

  8. Braves4ever - Jan 27, 2010 at 11:18 PM

    I prefer Jermaine Dye over Jhonny Damon…..Braves lack of power last year…if the Glaus project doesnt work he can be plan B on the power hitting on the right side

  9. Braves4ever - Jan 27, 2010 at 11:40 PM

    Even Jhonny Gomes is a better fit than Damon!!!!

  10. Focker - Jan 28, 2010 at 1:37 AM

    “i post on the atlanta braves forums, and I have Jason’s picture on my nightstand.”
    Was this intended to make laugh? It did…

  11. hawkoberry - Jan 28, 2010 at 2:17 AM

    I just hope for everyones sake that the person with Jason Heywards pic on the nightstand is of female persuasion.

  12. Jonny5 - Jan 28, 2010 at 9:01 AM

    I’m thinking Damon is an Athletic or a Ray for 2010.

  13. piemanrocks - Jan 28, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    get all of the yanks

  14. Matt - Jan 28, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    This makes me sick. We could definetly use Damon, but not in right field. Im happy with Heyward possibly being there. Im not at all happy about Melky Cabrera. He is no better than Diaz, Francouer, Anderson, or Church. The Braves have only gotten worse than they were at the end of last season. Glaus is no better than LaRoche. Vazquez was ten times better than Kawakami. Wagner and Saito are old and less valuable than Soriano or Gonzo. Wren is a complete idiot. I feel sorry for Bobby and Chipper.

  15. bravobraves - Jan 28, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    what a mets fan

  16. Uncle Rico - Jan 28, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    Braves in 2010 will be:
    * better on offense than 09, w/addition of Glaus, Heyward, full yr of McClouth, a Mac that can see, & CHipper in his swan song.
    * probably a step down is starting pitchers w/loss of JV. But – still damn good & deep & versatile
    * better bench w/Hinske & Infante. should keep Blanco for speed
    * about the same in the pen
    what does this mean?
    they should compete for the WC, but a Div title is a stretch.

  17. Uncle Rico - Jan 28, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    Matt -
    you are a knucklehead…thank God you’re not running the Braves.
    Wren is no genius, but he can only play w/the money that Liberty Media gives him – which ain’t much.
    LaRoche is only reliable for 1/2 of a season, so even if Glaus is below avg, it’s a wash.
    Braves can’t afford to let ADD boy play in the dirt at 1B for 80 games.
    Yes, JV is better than KK, but they had to drop someone, & no one was stupid enough to take Lowe.
    Cabrera is very versatile & will surprise people.
    Plus – they got a great pitching prospect in return.
    Go back to your World of WarCraft life.

  18. Matthew Kriner - Jan 29, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    Oh jesus you will not belief that. My stupid kitten actually farted on my knee!? I mean what is the matter with that!? I feed this thing and I receive that in return. I even now will not really belief that. Anyways, you’ve got quite a few helpful facts there in your post. I knew Yahoo will bring me to some useful stuff today :) . Alright have to search for this pet now! Have a good evening you all!

  19. Ben - Jan 31, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    Isn’t that being a fair weather fan. Where are your tickets maybe I can upgrade?

  20. Ben - Jan 31, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    Isn’t that being a fair weather fan. Where are your tickets maybe I can upgrade?

  21. Ben - Jan 31, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    Isn’t that being a fair weather fan. Where are your tickets maybe I can upgrade?

  22. Aracelis Demny - Feb 3, 2010 at 5:39 AM

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