Thursday, January 28, 2010

Damon's Dilemma

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.


  1. The Jays should sign him. They're searching for another outfielder, so why not?

  2. I think Toronto makes more sense, and unless the White Sox waive newly acquired Andruw Jones, they have no room for Damon. You forget that the White Sox want to keep Flowers up all season, so he also fit in at DH.

    I can see Detroit as a destination, but they do have some decent and expensive OFers already.Damon wold be stealing time from Jackson, not what they want.

    Going to the Jays would allow Damon a chance to see the Yanks and Red Sox more often and could help "dampen" their chances of being a wild card team by adding to their losses. He fits in perfectly ahead of Hill in the Jays lineup of:

    Damon - Hill - Lind - Wells - Overbay - Encarnacion - Snider - Buck - Gonzalez.

    Not a bad lineup if you ask me, and a ton better than putting Bautista at the top and sitting Snider.

  3. how bout mah braves?

  4. The Reds could use him more so than any other team, the top of their lineup is always a mess - this year is no different.

    However, they don't have the money to pay him.

  5. My comment is that Scott Boras misread the landscape of the baseball economy for a 36 year old player that has a pop gun throwing arm who did have some leg problems during the 2009 season.

  6. Anyone referring to Yankee Stadium II as Coors East needs to do a little research. It was actually a below average run scoring environment this year, short porch in left or no...

  7. Baltimore.Bet the farm.

  8. Don't be surprised if JD is traded by mid season,possibly back to the NYY's.

  9. "..Anonymous said...
    Baltimore.Bet the farm."

    I don't own a farm...can I bet the condo ??

  10. White Sox wouldn't have resigned Ramon "I can't hit but I caught the perfect game" Castro if they were intending to keep Flowers up.

    Would love to have Damon on the White Sox but can't see Kenny spending the money when he wouldn't sign Thome for <$2M.

  11. The Mets should sign him to play First. Yeah he'd be a horrible defender, but at least we know he ownes a firstbasemans mitt and he's not Daniel Murphy. Tatis can be his late inning defensive replacement and platoon caddie.

  12. The ChiSox didn't sign Thome because he's strictly a DH and his bat has slowwed a bit. He's first-class, beloved by the fans and the organization, but it would be counter-productive to have him on this years' roster.

    Damon, on the other hand, can DH and play OF, adding to the versatility that Ozzie covets. He's a winner and still has game and can be had at a bargain price, considering what he brings to the table. He's the kind of guy, and in the kind of circumstance, that Kenny would normally pounce on. Wouldn't surprise me to see it happen...

  13. Detroit has plenty of room for Damon. Jackson could always stay in the minors for a month or two and he could easily replace Magglio or Clete Thomas in right field. He could also play as a DH in Detriot

  14. It's sad to me that Damon has been so thoroughly reduced to the sort of contract he will get. The man is one of the best base runners in MLB, he can hit, he has potential to steal 30 still. He has a flimsy arm in the OF, but he doesn't make many errors.

    People point to the 12 SB last year as a physical decline. I look at it differently. Jeter had a great OBP. How do you steal second when it's occupado? Damon probably had 30-50% less steal opps.

    I really hoped Cashman would bring him back. I hope Johnny has a great 2010 season and earns a solid contract for 2011.

  15. While Jeter may have had a great OBP and a good year I hardly think that his success resulted in 30-50% less chances for JD

    Lets face it, hes getting kinda long in the tooth and his agent overvalued his client. The time when an older declining outfielder with marginal defensive skills receiving top dollar is in the past. His agent played a game of chicken and at this point it looks like it will cost JD several million dollars

  16. The Sox should be all over him. But since Boras is the agent...and Williams really does not like dealing with him, I think the Sox will take a pass on him. Unfortunate but what can you do.

  17. I would really like to see Damon on the jays playing left. Lind's defense really leaves something to be desired.

  18. mat said: "...He fits in perfectly ahead of Hill in the Jays lineup of:

    Damon - Hill - Lind - Wells - Overbay - Encarnacion - Snider - Buck - Gonzalez. "

    Would there be an outfield in MLB with worse defense than Damon/Wells/Snider/Lind?

  19. Hey Anonymous (10:35am) check this out babe...

    Yankee Stadium II led all parks in HR Factor this season. I'm pretty sure this helped Damon's power numbers.

    I think it's safe to say that you need to do a little more research.

  20. Hey Rob (3:17pm) check this out babe...

    Anonymous (10:35am)comment was, "It was actually a below average RUN SCORING environment this year" Notice the Run Scoring and HR Factor.

    I think it's safe to say that you need to learn how to read first.

  21. First off, please do your own research and don't use my website references against me.

    Back to the point, "Sure, he played in Coors East which inflated his POWER NUMBERS" What do runs have to do with power numbers? What is the first stat you think of when referring to power numbers? I think of Home Runs.

    As stated by the Banter, Damon had a career high 24 home runs to go along with 36 doubles (third best of his career). His slugging percentage was .490, ~.050 points over his career average. You don't think the new stadium had anything to do with this?

    No one is arguing that the most runs are scored at Coors, no one is arguing about run scoring at all. Now that I learned how to read, maybe you should learn to comprehend... BABE