Where will Damon end up? Atlanta, maybe?
If Johnny Damon doesn’t return to the Yankees — most of you believe he will — then, perhaps the National League awaits. In his latest, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports notes that the Giants and the Braves, the two teams that have been connected to Damon the most this winter (outside of the Yankees), “could view him as a strong fit,” given the offense he provides. However, while either team could use Damon’s bat, Rosenthal adds that both would prefer a better glove in left than Damon’s (the Giants need offensive help, though, so the defensive issues could become secondary).
Rosenthal concludes with a prediction regarding Damon’s destination, choosing Atlanta as his most likely landing spot. “[A]n eventual outfield of Damon, Nate McLouth and top prospect Jason Heyward would be formidable, with Matt Diaz spelling Damon and Heyward against left-handed pitching,” he writes. But, to sign the Yankees’ former outfielder, Rosenthal believes the club would have to trade a player to free up payroll space. Of course, I don’t think it’s any surprise that Melky Cabrera is the name KR offers as the likeliest to be moved if they do, indeed, pursue Damon.
The Nationals have also expressed an interest in Damon, however, in view of the value Damon would likely place on winning, the Giants and the Braves seem like options that he might be more willing to engage, as either team could make it to the playoffs next year. Still, Rosenthal doesn’t believe that Damon will receive a $19 million deal similar to that of Bobby Abreu’s, so if his price comes down enough, perhaps a return to the Bronx could still be arranged.
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