All dressed up with nowhere to go...
As of 1/29/2010, 10% of eligible Americans are unemployed. Johnny - which to my surprise is actually his given name - Damon stands squarely among them. (I know, not many in that group have earned $97m over the last 14 years but bear with me during my attempt at dramatic introduction). It is clear that Damon wants to play, but does anyone want him to play for them?
It does not help that his agent, Scott Boras, has held out for a two-year deal, but in my professional opinion, I would jump at the next (first?) offer of $5m* or more per year for two reasons.
1) Damon is worth this much. Sure, he played in Coors East which inflated his power numbers, but, still, the man can hit. He tied a career high in home runs (24) and posted a career best OPS+ (126). He was also 12-12 in stolen base attempts proving that although he is not the speedster he was, he can still get the job done.
As a model of constistency, he has played in at least 141 games in every year since 1996 but has never been K'd more than 98 times in a season (2009).
2) Not many more teams, if any, have a need for his services.
In my mind, the only three teams that could possibly entertain the thought of Damon starting in the outfield would be Detroit, San Diego, and Washington.
The only two teams willing to offer the starting DH role would probably be Tampa Bay and Chicago. Toronto (Randy Ruiz), Oakland (Jack Cust), and Seattle (Griffey) all seem committed elsewhere.
Kansas City and Cleveland might be interested in him as well but would probably have to dump bad contracts first (Jose Guillen and Travis Hafner, respectively).
So where does he end up?
My top three choices:
1) Chicago White Sox - Right now, Andruw Jones would be the team's starting DH.
2) Detroit - He might actually be an upgrade defensively over Carlos Guillen in LF.
3) San Diego - I thought they were going cheap this offseason until they signed John Garland.
*This offseason Vlad signed for $5m, Matsui signed for $6.5m, Mike Cameron signed for $7.7m. To me these players are extremely similar. Boras can save face if he gets a deal at least equal to that of Vlad.