Blog Entry

Tigers, Braves, White Sox woo Damon

Posted on: February 11, 2010 6:38 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2010 7:14 pm

A long, cold winter appears poised to thaw for outfielder Johnny Damon, who is mulling offers from Detroit and Atlanta with the Chicago White Sox in the mix as well, according to sources with knowledge of the talks.

Damon, who helped freeze himself out of the Bronx by declining a Yankees offer earlier this winter, now has multiple options as the start of spring camp draws near. He is expected to make a decision in the next few days.

Detroit's offer, confirmed by sources on Thursday, is believed to be for significantly more money than that of Atlanta, which extended an offer at mid-week. Agent Scott Boras, who has a history of coaxing Detroit owner Mike Ilitch into financial territory beyond where Tigers baseball people are comfortable (see Pudge Rodriguez and Magglio Ordonez), reportedly has received an offer from Detroit with variations that could be worth $7 million over one year or $14 million over two.

The Braves' offer, according to multiple reports, is in the neighborhood of $4 million for one year with a portion of that deferred.

That Atlanta's pitch to Damon would be lukewarm makes sense because, in the National League, Damon would have to play full time in the outfield, where scouts say his skills have deteriorated. Damon, never blessed with a strong throwing arm, was moved from center to left field by the Yankees in 2009.

In Detroit -- or, with the White Sox -- Damon could serve as a designated hitter. Though, the Tigers also have an aging Carlos Guillen, so Damon likely would get some outfield time as well.

In the Detroit and Atlanta scenarios, Damon would fill a specific need: Leadoff hitter. In Chicago, Damon would help fill top-of-the-order needs as well, but the White Sox also acquired Juan Pierre from the Dodgers earlier this winter. 

The Braves believe they've never had a true leadoff hitter. Detroit, which lost the AL Central lead on the last weekend of the 2009 season, since has cut loose Placido Polanco (who signed with Philadelphia) and traded Curtis Granderson (Yankees). The White Sox, who used Chris Getz and Scott Podsednik atop the order last year, also have long felt they've lacked a true leadoff hitter. Thus, Pierre, and, perhaps Damon (who, at the very least, would give the White Sox another needed lefty bat).

The Braves could be attractive to Damon for a couple of reasons: President John Schuerholz was the general manager in Kansas City when the Royals made Damon their first-round pick in 1992, and they train in Orlando, Fla., where Damon makes his off-season home. Furthermore, Orlando is a short flight from Atlanta, one that Damon could easily make on Braves off days during the season.

The Tigers' money, though, is expected by many in the industry to make Damon overlook all that.

Meantime, Damon, 36, would arrive with flashing caution lights in at least some areas: He's older, his defense has eroded some and there is some sentiment that his offensive numbers last year were inflated by new Yankee Stadium's hitter-friendly demeanor. While he equaled a career-high with 24 home runs, 17 of those were at home. The other seven all came in AL East division ballparks.



Since: Mar 9, 2007
Posted on: February 12, 2010 7:05 pm

Tigers, Braves, White Sox woo Damon


*The actual distance Johnny Damon can throw. No scale needed.

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: February 12, 2010 12:28 pm

Tigers, Braves, White Sox woo Damon

"Why should Tigers even be thinking about Damon?   Why trade Granderson and let Polanco walk to then pay $7 or $14M for a so-so hitter who is aging and can't play the field because lack of any arm?"

I hate to say this, because i loved Granderson as much as any other Tiger fan..But the guy had reached his pinnacle.  And his pinnacle was not good enough for what the Tigers needed from him. Great defensive CF with solid pop in his bat.. He'll never be a leadoff hitter, which is what the Tigers needed.  And he can't hit lefthanders to save his life.  Watching him flail away at Lefties last year was painful, especially given the progress he had appeared to make against them the year before!

He was never going to have higher trade value, and I believe the deal DD made is going to be looked at as an absolute steal, 5 years down the road.  It solidified the Tigers in all aspects, BP, SP and potentially in CF for now and the future.

Polanco is hard to see go.  Again, a great little ballplayer who solidified 2B for the Tigers in a genius move by Dombrowski. But let's face it.  He's getting up there in age.  He had a very poor first half of the year at the plate, last year.    We already have enough useless contracts on the books from guys who are past their prime or not even able to compete at the ML level.  He wanted a multi-year deal that the Tigers just could not offer. It's sad to see because the guy really was a GREAT Tiger, but...It was time to move on.  We have a prospect in Scott Sizemore.  It's time to see what he can do.

 Bringing in Damon the Tigers FINALLY have someone who could potentially bat leadoff and actually DO some of the things required of a leadoff man.  We haven't had a true leadoff man since TONY PHILLIPS!

Just thinking about what Damon can do for Cabrera's numbers..... Yikes!

Since: Jan 4, 2010
Posted on: February 12, 2010 10:49 am

Tigers, Braves, White Sox woo Damon

This is a good job of the Sox getting their names in the mix for Damon.  They don't really want him, saying they do drives the price up for the Tigers.  This way if the Tigers get him they have less for other players who aren't way past their prime.  I just hope Kenny Williams doesn't get burned again like he did with Rios.  That move was only done to prevent another AL Central team from getting Rios last year but wound up kicking us in the pants.  Kenny please don't sign Damon, we don't need him.  Save the cash in case some injury pops up and we need to sign or trade for someone who commands a decent size contract.  
I know this is off topic, but here's a Thank You to Frank Thomas for being a great clean player and giving us a great hitter to watch all those years!  Good luck big man.

Since: Mar 21, 2009
Posted on: February 12, 2010 10:27 am

Tigers, Braves, White Sox woo Damon

Damon will be a positive addition to any of those three teams, but I see Chicago as having the best chance for the playoffs.
they win hands-down on their pitching staff alone.  It seems they are now going for more runs and more power.

You can refer to him as a hired gun if you like. This is almost a badge of honor, as its good to see a player who will snub their nose at ownership. It is so often the other way around.

As for his weakened arm, yes, he is as likely as not to bounce the ball to the plate, but he is usually well on target. How often have we seen those strong arms get the ball there, but up the line or to the far left or right of the catcher. I do not see him playing left field as much of a risk. Neither did the Yankees who played him there every day.

His left-handed bat, his savvy for stealing bases and his clubhouse comraderie speak for themselves.

Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: February 12, 2010 10:16 am

Tigers, Braves, White Sox woo Damon

When Yankees claim this guy is too expensive to sign you know he does not have any game left.  They rather have Nick, the walking DL, Johnson be the DH says a lot.  

Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: February 12, 2010 10:12 am

Tigers, Braves, White Sox woo Damon

Why should Tigers even be thinking about Damon?   Why trade Granderson and let Polanco walk to then pay $7 or $14M for a so-so hitter who is aging and can't play the field because lack of any arm?

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: February 12, 2010 10:00 am

Tigers, Braves, White Sox woo Damon

Are you serious?  The Braves have the least possibility of going to the playoff out of the three.  Have you forgotten that the Braves play in the NL East?  With the two-time defending NL Champion Phillies who just happened to pick up Roy Halladay this off-season.  Oh yeah and the Mets have all their injured players back and the Marlins are bringing back a very young team that won 87 games last year.

The White Sox and Tigers play in a weak AL Central.  The Indians and Royals have no chance because they're both rebuilding this year (the Royals always seem to be rebuilding).  The Twins are always good, but never great.  The Tigers, even without Granderson and Polanco, still have a solid lineup and a decent staff.  The White Sox have probably the best chance because they have one of the best starting rotations in baseball with Peavy, Buehrle, Danks, and Floyd. 

The Braves are probably the best team out of the three, but they have by far the toughest road to get to the playoffs.

Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: February 12, 2010 9:26 am

Tigers, Braves, White Sox woo Damon

I think it would be a great move by the Tigers to pick up Damon its only two years and the guy wins wherever he goes Detroit needs some of that Damon luck .  He also has a great Ave. playing at Comerica sure he's 36 but many older  players still have great seasons, him being a lefty is also huge. Were in a weak Division that we can win  if we let him go to the Sox we will regret it. Damon can still play and who do we have thats better?   plus the Tigers have have alot of money comming off the books next season all those bad contracts Damon might be that last peice we need to win the division get him and if it dont work out who cares its only 2 seasons.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: February 12, 2010 9:21 am

Tigers, Braves, White Sox woo Damon

Not sure who a bigger douche bag is, Scott Boras who probably cost Damon another ring at equal money of that other guy (forgot his name) that was/is T Owens manager...

Since: Feb 2, 2010
Posted on: February 12, 2010 3:05 am

Tigers, Braves, White Sox woo Damon

You're a fcking Dummy. The White Sox dont have a shot at going to the playoffs? have you looked at thier revamped lineup and the addition of Peavy. The AL central is weak. The Braves are going to fall short again this season, Even if they do get in as a wild card they're still trash.

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