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Mike Ilitch may be Johnny Damon's only hope

Feb 3, 2010, 12:20 PM EDT

Mike Ilitch.jpgReally he may be Scott Boras’ only hope, as outlined by Morosi in his latest FOX column.  After recounting the well-known story about how Boras failed to accurately read the market for Damon, Morosi traced Boras’ steps:

Boras retreated to a bunker in his Newport Beach
lair and broke the emergency glass over a seldom-used manual:
How to create a market for stars using duct tape and chicken
wire … two weeks before spring training.

It’s been some time since Boras has delved this deep
into his playbook. He didn’t need to go to extraordinary
lengths at this time last year, when it was widely assumed that
Manny Ramirez was going to be a Dodger. 
This is different. Boras is trying to find a new lead suitor
at a time when many teams are finalizing their rosters for the year
ahead.

So, he’s doing for Damon what he did for Ivan Rodriguez
in 2004 and Magglio Ordonez one year later. In each case, the
handbook prescribed the same first step.
Get Tigers owner Mike Ilitch on the phone.

And it has to be Ilitch, because GM Dave Dombrowski and others in the Tigers’ front office have already said no-way on Damon.  The owner and his money trumps, however, and given his track record, I could see him finding an extra couple of million for Damon and Boras.

I’m kind of torn about it. On the one hand, I kind of like Johnny Damon as a player, I hate seeing him twist like this, and I think that at his current price — which I figure is going to be a year and maybe $5 million — he’d be a nice addition to the Tigers. On the other hand, I really would like to see Scott Boras get burned in spectacular fashion once in a while because, well, just because.

I try to limit my schadenfreude intake as much as possible, however, so I suppose I’ll root for the former outcome and hope that Damon and the Tigers hook up soon.  And then we can all get on with our lives.

  1. ecp - Feb 3, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    I have zero understanding of why the Tigers would trade Curtis Granderson and his $5.5 million 2010 salary ostensibly for cost-cutting purposes, then turn around and pay an older, defensively challenged Johnny Damon $5 million to play outfield for them instead. But that’s just me.

  2. moreflagsmorefun - Feb 3, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    Good point, as a Yankee fan I would love for them to bring back
    Damon, it’s not as if they really have a better option.I don’t
    know if a one year 5 million deal is too much for the cost saving Yankees.The one thing I’am glad is the Yankees scraped up the nearly half billion dollars last year for CC, Tex and AJ, who knew
    cracker jacks were so in demand at the stadium.Stay tuned folks.

  3. YANKEES1996 - Feb 3, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    Craig, I agree completely with your need to see Boras get burned. I would love to see his a$$ get burned so bad that he would have to undergo a years worth of skin grafts, it stinks though that it is at Johnny Damons’ expense!!

  4. Mister Beepo - Feb 3, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    Its not just you. Don’t forget that they let Polonco get away too. Signing Damon makes no sense what so ever!

  5. BC - Feb 3, 2010 at 1:21 PM

    Love the photo – Illitch looks like a spokesperson for Hair Club For Men!

  6. john pileggi - Feb 3, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    Damon seems like a good guy. Perhaps he decides to do a one year at a bargain price and resolves that Boras is not what he needs at this stage, when he tries again next year.

  7. YankeesfanLen - Feb 3, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    This is the only interesting game of musical chairs left before P&C report and we’re not near The Rest of the Story. Having been a proponent of keeping Johnny in the Universe (to which people here seem to agree) this is becoming a remake of the Abreu situation from last year, but no where is this Feb 11th going to be a (somewhat) happy ending.
    If true that the Yankees did offer $6M last week, how would, could, should $5M from the Tigers help? The Granderson salary dump would then make NO SENSE if offered from the folks at Comerica.

  8. J-Bo - Feb 3, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    Johnny should haved dumped Boras and did all his dealings himself he would have made a better deal less Boras’s commission.

  9. Talex - Feb 3, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    5 million? Let’s see:
    There is no market for Johnny Damon.
    There are zero suitors for Johnny Damon.
    There is no one to bid against with Johnny Damon.
    Spring training is only 2 weeks away.
    If any club gives Johnny Damon 5 million … well, they are idiots!

  10. 2cents - Feb 3, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    Cash is wating for someone else to offer the bottom line deal and then he swoops in to match it. Or offer two years at a mill less per year. (1 year $5m…2 year $8M). 2010 could be a tough year to start looking for a job again. Damon is a Yankee and Boras gets his taste but not his thunder…thought worthy?

  11. Jonny5 - Feb 3, 2010 at 4:07 PM

    Wouldn’t it be funny if Damon doesn’t work in 2010??? That should make me laugh for hours. HOURS! Boras screwed the pooch this time LOL!!

  12. PaulieWorld - Feb 3, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    me thinks ilitch needs another face lift like damon need to pop a couple more roids. both are physical freak shows …. oh this is about baseball … my bad

  13. bh0673 - Feb 3, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    Come on, Damon is a quality player and even with his weakneses he was a fan favorite in NY. He will me missed in NY and that could work against Winn and/or Granderson if either gets off to a poor start. To throw a roid shot at Damon really is in poor taste. Sad part is he really is one of the good guys.

  14. Rays fan - Feb 3, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    Would it be sipping too much Schadenfreude brandy to hope spring training starts without him, he then dumps Boras, and then signs with a team?

  15. OmbreduNord - Feb 3, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    Damon…reminds me of Kirk Gibson. Intangible benefits?

  16. BIGBRUCE11047 - Feb 4, 2010 at 1:50 AM

    I cannot believe that Johnny Damon hasn’t landed with a contending team let alone no one. He has a few good years left in him and if he stays in the American League he could DH for several years. The Yankees are stocked with outfielders or outfield prospects so I can understand him being released but there is the Angels, Detroit, Cleveland, and the Rays of Florida. Somebody please sign him to a contract as I will miss seeing him play. He gives 110% all the time he plays.

  17. Citizen Arcane - Feb 4, 2010 at 5:58 AM

    Granderson played himself right out of Detroit last year. With two declining years since his banner year of ’07, the Tigers, with bad contracts on the books, couldn’t afford to keep him on the mere hope he rebounds. If he didn’t, who would want him for ’11 and ’12 at $8.25M and $10M, respectively? The upshot, if Granderson had a year like last year, is Detroit would be stuck with him for three years for a total of $23.75M (he makes $5.5M this year). Plus, he’d be due another $2M if Detroit passed on its $13M option for ’13.
    So, for the next one or two years, even if it’s a wash financially, I’d rather have Damon in left (and suffer the liability) and let Jackson and Raburn roam center than have kept Granderson. Detroit’s lineup is desperate for hitters, particularly from the left side of the plate, and it needs a lead-off man as well. Damon’s undeniably a better hitter than Granderson and a much better lead-off man. Granderson strikes out way too much and can’t hit lefties.

  18. OKCyankeefan - Feb 4, 2010 at 9:49 AM

    Maybe if Sizemore retires to start a modeling gig, the Tribe could use Damon! Don’t lose hope, JD!
    On, and lest we forget, Damon made more $$ over the last 3 years then all of us will make in a lifetime, so hold off on the pity parties.

  19. Hunter - Feb 4, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    I agree.

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