Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Johnny Damon had a fantastic 2009 and everyone and his brother figured he’d be back with the Yankees in 2010 (and 2011 at least). So far though, that hasn’t been the case. At the end of January, Damon is still looking for a job and the original offer from the Yankees of 2 years and $14 million probably looks mighty sweet right now.
I think the main problem with Damon is half his age and half the idea that a chunk of his production is perceived to be a by-product of the new Yankee Stadium. Damon hit 24 home runs last year, 17 of which were at Yankee stadium. However if you look a little closer, you’d see that he actually had a higher batting average on the road (.284 to .279) and a lot of his other stats are almost perfectly split.
I think Damon has some years left in him. He cannot throw (but then again he hasn’t been able to in years) and he may not be a spring chicken, but he’s still a solid player with excellent instincts and a good attitude. While I do agree him looking for a 3 or 4 year deal worth about $13 million a year or so is crazy, I’m finding it surprising he has not yet gotten an offer around 2 years and maybe about $20/21 million. The fact the Yankees low-balled him shows they either have a budget for once or just think he’ll eventually return for less than half his original asking price once he sees no one out there seems to be throwing much money his way. Word is that the Oakland A’s have strong interest, but after spending $10 million on Ben Sheets it’s doubtful the A’s have much more financial room.
You would think SOME team would relish the idea of these numbers: .282 batting average, 24 hrs, 82 rbi, 107 runs, 12 stolen bases and a .365 on base percentage. I’m sure you wouldn’t be able to count on another 24 home runs, but I think that 17/18 aren’t out of the question. He wouldn’t be anyone’s main guy, but he’d make an excellent #2 or #6 hitter.
So now a guy who has had a great baseball career, had a great 2009, was an important part of the Yankees huge success last year and has a dedent amount of baseball left in him cannot find a job. He’s on the outside looking in.