Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Have Damon And Boras Lost Their Collective Mind?

Good morning Fackers. I know Johnny Damon's endless search for a contract is well beyond played out at this point, but I'd like to take a moment to call attention to the lunacy of the recent and rather pathetic attempts at public relations and spin that Scott Boras is attempting to execute on behalf of his client. They fly in the face of all rational thought. I'm not sure if these two are crazy like foxes or just plain crazy, but I'm fairly certain it's the latter.

Nearly two weeks ago, I questioned whether the recent misplays of Scott Boras are indicative of the super agent losing his touch. Monday, Tim Dierkes at MLBTR questioned whether Boras has failed unsigned clients Johnny Damon, Jarrod Washburn, and Felipe Lopez this off-season.

Boras has been reduced to an embarrassingly transparent PR blitz in Detroit, one of a few remaining potential landing places for his client. Boras has had success in the past duping Detroit into overpaying for convincing Detroit to sign his clients, so he's really turning on the charm here. He's largely bypassing general manager Dave Dombrowski and appealing directly to owner Mike Ilitch.

In an advertisement interview with the Detroit Free Press yesterday, Boras stated "Johnny came to me about Detroit. He told me, 'If I can't play for the Yankees I want you to let the Tigers know I want to play for them. I can make that team a winner.' " He further explained that Damon has long been a fan of the Detroit Red Wings, who incidentally are owned by none other than Mike Ilitch. If that weren't enough, Boras went on XM yesterday afternoon to hammer his talking points further; Jason tweeted most of the details.

Meanwhile, Damon appears to be working an angle with his other remaining suitor, the Braves, telling the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the Braves "are definitely at the top of my list". Is that the top of the list next to the Tigers, above the Tigers, or just below the Tigers?

Yet according to Boras, Damon has passsed on "four or five" offers since it became apparent that he wasn't re-signing with the Yankees. If this is true, it's apparently because he's holding out for a two year deal.

To which I say: are you out of your minds?!?! Look, I understand that Damon and Boras are trying to get the best deal possible. I understand that Damon will likely be forced to sign a contract that pays him less than what he'll be worth next year. I understand that there's pride involved here, and that Damon's assets were frozen for a time last year as the result of some bad investments, so maybe he does need the extra money he's holding out for.

But at some point these two have to wake up and smell the coffee. As much as they try, they cannot create the market they want for Damon's services. Spring Training starts in a week and Damon's suitors are limited. The Reds apparently have bowed out, and aside from the two teams listed above, the Rays are the only other possible landing spot. They're trying to outwit GMs who aren't likely to be outwitted. We're not talking about the types of guys who would hand a job to Mike Jacobs.

Damon should just take his best offer and sign. He's already cost himself millions by refusing the Yankees' offers. There's no way he's getting a two year deal now, and given how badly his market crashed this off-season, he's probably better off signing a one year deal and having another go at it next year anyway. Boras can't seem to handle more than one client at a time this off-season, so the sooner Damon signs, the sooner Boras might be able to salvage what little interest is left in Jarrod Washburn before he decides to retire, and the sooner we'll be freed from the siege of daily Damon updates.


  1. Fox Sports:

    "Boras, who told The New York Times that the Yankees never even made Damon an offer, needed to shop his client to other teams more aggressively.

    Damon, 36, had a higher adjusted OPS last season than Bobby Abreu--a career-high adjusted OPS, in fact. Abreu, who is five months younger than Damon, re-signed with the Angels for $19 million over two years without even becoming a free agent. Damon is scrounging for a job.

    Raul Ibanez, 37, signed a three-year, $31.5 million free-agent contract with the Phillies in an even worse economy last off-season.

    Mike Cameron, 37, signed a two-year, $15.5 million free-agent contract with the Red Sox this off-season."

  2. Boras also told the Yankees not to bother making n offer if it was less than 3/$39M. According to Cashman the Yankees did make offers - I believe it was initially 2/$22M then 2/$14M, then 1/$6M. All of them are likely better than what Damon will eventually sign for.

    Ibanez signed before the market bottomed out last year. Abreu had to take a one year make-good contract - much like Damon will - in order to get that extension. Cameron isn't the offensive player Damon, but he's good offensively and is an elite defender at a premium position. He's not an apt comparison.

    Regardless, the point isn't what other players sign for. It goes without saying that Damon will have to take less than he's worth this season. The whole point is that he and Boras are desperately make a futile attempt to create a market that just isn't there. In doing so they've repeatedly passed up contract offers, each one poorer than the last. I don't see this ending well.