Damon still waiting for a deal
From the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo:
Johnny Damon said he’s not anxious but he is certainly surprised to be waiting to hear where he’ll be playing next season, considering the productive season he had with the Yankees and of course his World Series exploits and the memorable baserunning play.
“Well, I knew I’d have to wait until some of the bigger hitters like Jason Bay and Matt Holliday went places, and now I’m just waiting to see what’s in store for me,’’ Damon said. “I knew I’d probably have to take a pay cut, just based on the way the economy is in this country and baseball, but I thought I had a productive season and I think I showed people I can play and still do something at a high level.’’
Damon said he proposed a $10 million-a-year deal to the Yankees, but they were thinking more along the $6 million-$7 million range. Right now, he said, he’s not willing to take almost a 50 percent pay cut.
Asked whether he feels he’ll be a Yankee if his demands come down, he said, “I don’t know. I haven’t had any conversations with them recently. Nothing would surprise me, but there’s nothing there right now.
“I’m just kind of going on with my life. I haven’t made a lot of appearances in the offseason like I did after we won in ’04 with the Red Sox. I’m just trying to get in the best shape possible and see where that takes me.’’
Damon, who hit .282 with 24 homers and 82 RBIs last season as the No. 2 hitter in the lineup, feels there is interest in him. One team mentioned is the Braves, which would be ideal since Damon lives just a few minutes from their Disney spring training complex.
“Atlanta would be great,’’ he said. “I’m wide open. There are a handful of teams who, in my opinion, could win and I’d like to see what kind of availability there would be with those clubs.’’
Supplementing Cafardo’s piece is the following from ESPN’s Buster Olney, who writes that “[s]ome executives with other teams are absolutely convinced that Damon will wind up back with the Yankees, but for that to happen, he’ll have to take a major financial hit.” He also adds that the Yankees are currently operating under the assumption that the 36-year old outfielder won’t be returning, therefore, if Damon suddenly chooses to head back to the Bronx due to a lack of legitimate, attractive offers, he will ultimately “have to pick up the phone to make it happen, and soon.”
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