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Scott Boras says Johnny Damon will sign by May 1

Apr 2, 2012, 5:58 PM EDT

Johnny Damon Reuters

ESPN’s Buster Olney heard from Scott Boras today and quoted the agent as saying that Johnny “Damon will be signed by May 1st; just don’t know where.”

Olney also said that Damon is looking for at least 450 plate appearances, which would be enough to get him at least 100 hits closer to 3,000. Damon is sitting at 2,723 hits right now.

There’s been much speculation that Damon’s quest for 3,000 has made him a less attractive option as a free agent, but while it’s true that Damon is no star, he’d be an upgrade for several teams in left field or at DH. He hit .261/.326/.417 with 16 homers, 73 RBI and 19 steals for the Rays last season. With Tropicana Field playing as such a pitcher’s park lately, that was good for a 110 OPS+. It’s surprising the Indians haven’t made a play for him, given their interest in a pretty similar player in Bobby Abreu.

  1. icanspeel - Apr 2, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    I kind of don’t get the logic of someones quest for 3,000 hits to be a turn off.. I mean don’t you want a player to strive to get as many hits as possible? I’d be more concerned if he didn’t care about reaching 3,000

    • byjiminy - Apr 2, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      I think he just means he might be resistant to a bench role

      • jyoung1891 - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:23 PM

        Or more eager to swing at a borderline pitch and put the ball into play, rather than taking a walk.

    • Lukehart80 - Apr 2, 2012 at 6:25 PM

      I know there was some talk last year that Damon was expanding his strike zone, swinging at more bad pitches, less interesting in drawing walks because he was desperate to raise his hit count. I don’t know that there’s any way to prove that, but it’s worth noting that his walk-rate was just 7.9%, after sitting above 10% for five straight seasons. Drawing walks has been a big part of his value, and if he’s less willing to do that, he’s a less valuable player.

    • stac266 - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:17 PM

      Plus the draw it would bring for the fans. Who wouldn’t want to see a player get his 3000th hit.

      • jlove42 - Apr 3, 2012 at 1:27 AM

        Sure, they will put butts in the seats for 1-4 games 3 seasons from now. Big deal. Don’t forget that he sits 2723, so whichever team signs him this season doesn’t even get a piece of the 3000 hit fun.

    • marshmallowsnake - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:21 PM

      I think that people think that he will strikeout more because he will be swinging at everything trying to get those hits and his production will suffer.

  2. proudlycanadian - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    I am sure that Damon will sign a contract by May 1st; however, the other party will be a “Mystery Team” and the name of the team will consequently be blank.

  3. mybrunoblog - Apr 2, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    Even if he signs on may 1 he will need a few weeks at triple a to get his swing back. Doubt he sniffs 450 AB’s. More like 300 at most. Sorry Johnny the crystal ball does not see 3000 for you.

  4. gcbball3 - Apr 2, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    as a tribe fan im praying everyday we bring damon in, to play left and maybe even hit leadoff or second, we need his veteran presence, and his stick, if not him make the trade for abreu happen or sign vladdy but damon is our best option, and the tribe have a shot to make the playoffs with their starting pitching alone so come one bring in someone who can help us score some runs pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee sincerely a long time suffering, browns, cavs, buckeyes, and indians fan

  5. foreverchipper10 - Apr 3, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    Depending on how Chipper recovers from his surgery I could see the Braves making a movie here. With Chipper out Prado slides over to third leaving Eric Hinske/Matt Diaz playing left. Damon would be an upgrade over those plus I personally like Hinske coming off the bench as a pinch hitter as he seems to do well in that role. All speculation but I can see it coming if he would sign a 1-year 1MM deal or something of the like.

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