Results tagged ‘ Johnny Damon ’

Yankees’ DH won’t be Damon

Johnny Damon told the New York Post that he and the Yankees won’t be reuniting, calling the situation “unfortunate.” Damon had hoped to be the left-handed DH bat that the Yankees are looking for, but general manager Brian Cashman told Damon that wasn’t going to happen. 

“He called and I told him the truth,” Cashman told the newspaper. “He’s not the No. 1 option if and when I turn to DH options.”

The Yankees are in a holding pattern until A.J. Burnett passes his physical with the Pirates on Sunday, but are expected to chase veteran Raul Ibanez as a DH instead. They’re also interested in bringing back Eric Chavez as a corner infielder.

- Bryan Hoch

Yankees could trade for a DH

In a conference call with reporters discussing the Michael Pineda trade, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that he’d be more inclined to trade from his pitching depth to acquire a designated hitter than to sign one on the open free agent market.

When the Yankees officially announce the signing of right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, they’ll have seven starters vying for five spots. CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Pineda, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett and Freddy Garcia are also in that mix. 

“Maybe I use our excess pitching to find a bat,” Cashman said. “That’s a possibility. … We stretched the payroll to get (Kuroda) done, so I’m not sure what we have financially. I think we’ll look at the trade market first and foremost and see where that takes us.”

Among the DH options out there, the Yankees have reportedly heard from Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Vladimir Guerrero and Raul Ibanez, but are not thought to consider any of them an urgent priority. 

- Bryan Hoch

Roundup: DH-types coming off the market?

The free-agent market has definitely thinned, now that less than one month remains before the start of Spring Training. But as of Friday, several big names remained in the veteran corner outfielder/designated hitter category.

That may change soon.

The Rays, an industry source told MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, are nearing a one-year deal with Johnny Damon and are also in the mix for his former Red Sox teammate, Manny Ramirez

But Tampa Bay may have some competition for Ramirez’s services, since sources told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan that the Rangers and Angels are also interested. Sullivan notes that it’s the Rangers and Rays that are the front-runners at this point, with the Angels seemingly lagging behind.  

Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com heard from sources that Vladimir Guerrero, like Ramirez and Damon, could also be close to signing, saying the Orioles and Angels have interest. The Rangers, Sullivan added, also haven’t closed the door on bringing back Guerrero.
The problem is the soon-to-be-36-year-old — coming off a season in which he batted .300
with 29 homers and 115 RBIs as Texas’ full-time DH — may still be
trying to land an everyday job.

Here’s more from around the league…

* The Red Sox were trying to reel in free-agent closer Rafael Soriano
on a lucrative one-year contract, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com and
MLB Network. If they would have succeeded in that, they could’ve dealt
current closer Jonathan Papelbon to the Athletics or White Sox. Boston also made Yankees closer Mariano Rivera an offer this offseason, so there’s seemingly concern in Beantown about Papelbon.

* When Prince Fielder hits free agency at the end of the 2011
season, the slugging first baseman expects to yield a contract of at least eight
years and for about $200 million, Heyman added.

* The Reds have been all about locking up their own players this
offseason, and they still may not be done. Regarding unsigned starter
Edinson Volquez, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told the Cincinnati
Enquirer, “We’re looking at both — one-year and multi-year” deals.
Volquez, arbitration-eligible for the first time, made $445,000 in 2010. Bronson
Arroyo
, Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto and Joey Votto have all inked
multi-year deals with the Reds this offseason. 

* The Cardinals signed veteran infielder Nick Punto
to a one-year contract. The 33-year-old switch-hitter will serve as a
utility infielder and an insurance policy at third base for David Freese.

* The Mariners reduced the signing bonus of Dominican shortstop Esteilon Peguero, from $2.9 million to $1.1 million, according to Baseball America.

– Alden Gonzalez

Johnny Damon back in pinstripes?

The Yankees have expressed some interest in a return engagement with Johnny Damon, according to a report by Newsday’s Ken Davidoff. 

Citing four sources, the report said that Damon and the Yankees have been discussing a role where Damon would get some at-bats as a designated hitter and fill in at left field. The Yankees have already committed to making Jorge Posada their full-time DH next year.
It is uncertain if Damon would accept a role with limited playing time, and a deal was said to be “not close and far from guaranteed.” But Damon loved his time in New York, coming over from the Red Sox and spending four seasons in pinstripes. The report said that Damon has communicated with Alex Rodriguez about the possibility of coming back to the Yankees.
 
Damon and the Yankees parted ways after the ’09 World Series victory over a difference in dollars, and the 37-year-old outfielder eventually landed with the Tigers for one year at $8 million – compared to the two-year, $14 million offer the Yankees had made at one point.
But New York had already moved on by the time Damon decided, signing Nick Johnson in what would turn out to be an ill-fated move to replace him in the lineup.
– Bryan Hoch

Best of Boras

One of the annual events at the Winter Meetings has become the State of Scott Boras address. It usually isn’t planned ahead, it just sort of happens. Today, the circumstances were ripe. Boras was at the press conference announcing the signing of Carlos Pena with the Cubs, so the assembled reporters gathered with him in the hall once that was over.

Boras discussed the latest on free agent clients Adrian Beltre, Magglio Ordonez and Rafael Soriano, while also talking about Prince Fielder’s uncertain future, and a lot more. Here is a sampling.

Beltre: “Well that’s a very busy market for Adrian. We’re in the middle of lot of negotiations with a lot of teams for him and they’re ongoing. “

The Angels are a team that could be a fit for Beltre, and Boras maintains — contrary to recent reports — that his client still has interest in the Oakland Athletics.

Magglio:”Actually we had a workout today with Magglio where he got a chance to illustrate where his baseball abilities were at, just to show he’s 100 percent. That took place this morning. Teams got to see that. I really don’t know [how many teams] because I haven’t gotten the report. I know that Detroit was there for sure.”

The Red Sox are a team that could compete with the Tigers for the services of Magglio Ordonez.

Soriano: “The closer market is always an interesting one in the sense that teams never ever want anyone to know that they’re interested in a closer. Mainly because there are few closers who are the sure 90 percent closers available and they never get to free agency. It’s almost like a dynamic where you don’t want anyone to know in your organization that the candidates you have to be a closer are not efficient for the role because you may end up with them. unlike starters, because there are five of them. Clubs I think are very cautious about interest in closers because it has such an impact on those who may have to do the job if they in fact don’t get the contract with the closer that’s a free agent.”

Prince: “I can’t really address that. I think that, in each situation, a general manager has got to look at the probability and whether the ownership wants the player to stay vs. the prospects and/or draft picks they may get. In each scenario, it really depends on the judgments of the variables given to the general manager. sometimes ownership gets to reflect on what goes on in the marketlplace and they may evaluate their positions on what they want to do with their existing players. We’ve certainly, had discussions last year. Doug and I met at the GM Meetings. We continue to talk. Whether mark and I are going to sit down, I don’t know. Doug and I are going to have meetings further about prince’s short term and potentially long-term situation.”

Fielder is eligible for free agency at the end of the season and Adrian Gonzalez, who was just traded to the Red Sox, is likely to sign a contract worth roughly $154 million over seven years.

Strasburg: He began his rehab oh, a month and a half, two months ago. Working out every day. Our Sports fitness people are working with him daily. He’s well into … the doctors say it’s obviously going to be the middle of next year before he’s going to be looking to get back to things.

There was a bit of controversy about Strasburg’s mechanics following the revelation he had to have surgery.

“I think we’re going to leave that to the Washington Nationals. There’s a lot of things that have been said. But we’ve been through the Tommy John situation with a  whole host of pitchers in my career. To suggest when you’re a young thrower with all that ability, to determine when that occurred or why that occurred … certainly the medical staff has, with the certainty that many prognosticators have placed out there, they’re not quite so certain that’s the case.”

Manny Ramirez: “Manny has certainly told me we’re out looking for a one-year contract. But remember, too, that this is Manny Ramirez. We’re talking about a contract that certainly will have incentives in it. But I think there are short-term contracts for players, and there are short-term contracts for players who have a historical history of being a great player like Manny.  We found out Manny had some medical maladies that had to be surgically repaired in the offseason, that we did not know about and that he played with during the season. I think it had a pretty big impact on his performance. He’s ready to go. he’s a guy that’s got his full health. Obviously, he’s looking for a situation that allows him to DH and play a bit, that he really thinks will aid him to stay in the batter’s box.”

Carlos Beltran:  Carlos is doing well. obviously having gone through his surgery early in the season last year helped him. His return to play, he’s doing fine. He’s working out with a conditioning plan daily. His plan right now is to be a New York met. He has a no trade clause. If anything were brought to him, I think it would depend on what the situation were. I would say certainly now that his expectation would be to be a Met next year.”
 
The Red Sox have had least had mild discussions with the Mets about Beltran.

“He has a no-trade clause, so whatever decisions that he and Jessica make are going to be around the idea that any other information will come forward. I can only say that’s something the Mets would have to bring to Carlos. To date, Carlos’ plan is to be a Met, because he does control whether he is a Met or not. For those reasons, unless something unforeseen happens, I would say he will be a Met.”

Johnny Damon: “I think Johnny’s open to playing on winning teams. He definitely wants to be a part of an organziation that’s got a chance to do something. I think any club that he feels has a chance to win, he’d be interested in.”

Ian Browne

Roundup: Tigers snatch V-Mart from Red Sox

The arbitration deadline was expected to rule the day, but
it wound up being the Tigers that made the big splash. In a rather surprising
turn of events in this offseason, coveted free-agent catcher Victor Martinez
said no to the Red Sox and wound up agreeing to a four-year,
$50 million contract
with the Tigers.

The agreement, which a baseball source confirmed to MLB.com, is probably still pending a
physical and should be completed shortly.
At that point, the Tigers would officially be able to add Martinez to a middle
of the lineup that includes fellow Venezuelan Miguel Cabrera.

Here’s more from around the league Tuesday …

* After a bounce-back year that saw him make $3 million, Aubrey Huff inked
a two-year contract reportedly worth $22 million with the Giants. The
deal also includes a club option for 2013.

* Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers told MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert that
of all the clubs expressing interest in outfielder Justin Upton, only
“two or three” teams
have the players to make a deal work. Towers
says he seeks Major League-ready players in return, not just prospects.

* The Yankees prefer to give standout free-agent closer Mariano Rivera
just a one-year deal worth upwards of $18 million, according to Yahoo! Sports.
But Rivera, 41 next week, seeks two guaranteed years at that rate.  

* As for the Yankees’ other aging pitcher, Andy Pettitte is leaning towards a return to the Bronx, according to the Twitter account of Newsday’s Kevin Davidoff.

* And as for the free-agent pitcher the Yankees hope to land, an industry source told Yahoo! Sports on Monday that New York offered Cliff Lee a six-year contract worth nearly $140 million. But Lee seeks a seventh year.

* Jarrod Washburn, the 36-year-old left-hander who sat out all of last season, “continues to generate interest as a free agent,” according to Yahoo! Sports. The Brewers are believed to be one of the teams that have contacted his agent.

* Arbitration Day is in full swing. So far, Jayson Werth, Adam Dunn, Adrian Beltre and Paul Konerko have been among the ranked free agents being offered arbitration, while Derek Jeter, Mike Lowell, Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon have been among those who have not. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. ET.

– Alden Gonzalez 

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