Folks, Scott Boras is at it again. The sports agent everyone loves to hate is once again in the spotlight as baseball’s winter meetings commence.
What has he done this time? Well, several things. But in what interests us as Yankees fans, he’s asking for a relatively long-term deal for outfielder Johnny Damon.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Yankees are going into the meetings planning to bring back Johnny Damon, as well as Hideki Matsui and Andy Pettitte. Their priorities probably lie with Damon and Pettitte since they are more crucial to the team as a whole. Matsui has proven that he deserves to wear the pinstripes, especially in his World Series performance, but I just don’t see them picking him over Damon. This is my own personal opinion of what will happen, not what should happen. I would personally make all three equal priorities of mine, and if Pettitte decides to retire, scratch him off and pursue John Lackey.
So, anyway, back to Mr. Boras.
The Yankees are probably looking to re-sign Damon to a one-year deal. I think that’s fair, after all he is 36 years old. While he’s proven that age is just a number, who knows how long he can remain healthy? If a team is desperate, they might offer him a two-year contract, but I think that a one-year deal is what he should be realistically looking for.
The Yankees could offer him arbitration, but I read somewhere that it would be $15 million. If they offer him arbitration, he’d definitely be in pinstripes next year, simply because other teams might not take much of a risk on a 36-year-old outfielder. However, I don’t see the Yankees paying $15 million for Damon. It’ll probably be in the $10 million range. But I’ve been wrong about these things before, so don’t hold me to this.
Scott Boras, of course, doesn’t think that this is the case. In true Bora$ $tyle, he is aiming for a multi-year deal for his client. Multi-year means 3-4 years. Do I need to point out the insanity here? Yes, he’s a Type-A free agent. Yes, he’s always a valuable member of the team. Yes, he’s still got it. But who in their right mind would offer a 36 year-old outfielder whose legs aren’t getting any younger and whose arm isn’t getting any stronger (not that it was particularly strong to begin with) a 4-year contract?
Personally, I think this whole “multi-year” thing is a load of bull. Scott Boras knows he won’t be able to get 3-4 years for Johnny, but Scott Boras wants to get him as much money as possible, as any agent would. By asking for a multi-year contract, Boras is driving up the asking price. Teams will respond with “we won’t give him more than one year, but here’s what we’ll pay for that one year”.
Scott Boras clients usually go to the highest bidder. Whether or not these players are happy with their current teams is insignificant. So, knowing that he can only get one year, Johnny Damon will probably go to whatever team pays him the most.
Will Johnny Damon be in pinstripes next year? In my opinion, it’ll all depend on how firmly Brian Cashman puts his foot down. As much as I’ve loved seeing Damon’s performance this past season, I don’t think the Yankees should pay more than $10 million for him. If Johnny Damon doesn’t come back to us, then I guess we’ll have to pursue Matt Holliday.
I wouldn’t mind seeing Matt Holliday in pinstripes.