Johnny Damon is the Prototype Scott Boras Client

Friday, December 18, 2009

If you are looking for a single individual that epitomizes the Scott Boras method of free agency, look no further than Johnny Damon. Johnny Damon loves money. His goal in free agency is to grab as much money as possible regardless of where it leaves him. Money is what matters to Johnny, to hell with the rest.

Let's travel back in time to the 05-06 offseason when Johnny Damon was a fresh free agent. Johnny was the face of the Boston Red Sox. He was a lynchpin in the Red Sox 2004 curse breaking World Series Champions. He was universally loved by all Red Sox fans and universally hated by all Yankee fans. Of course Johnny Damon was going to stay in Boston. Life was seemingly perfect, how could he possibly want to leave when the Sox offered him a solid contract and when he was already quoted in the papers saying that he would never play for the Yankees. Money, that's how. Johnny jumped to New York for the additional cash. It was essentially the singular difference between what Boston and New York were willing to offer and he jumped at more cash.

Now flash back to the present. Johnny Damon has won over Yankee fans. Yankee fans want him to stay. The Yankee brass wants to offer him a fair contract (2 years and say 20 million). Johnny however wants as much as he can possibly get from anyone. He desires a 4 year deal. He desires 13$ million a year. It doesn't matter that he's lived comfortably in New York, that he's just won a World Series and that they potentially can contend for the next two years for two more World Series Championships. Nope, he cannot be Andy Pettitte and sign a fair market deal, he must wait for Boras to convince some team to break the bank for him. When the bank is broken, he will be wearing a new uniform and trying to win over a new fanbase. If nobody breaks the bank then, and only then, will he be back with the New York Yankees.

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Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of Johnny Damon or of Scott Boras. This is not a very objective article. You sound like a scorned ex-lover.

Try sticking to facts or interviewing Damon or Boras or his staff directly.

Everything else is just hot air.

Lynn Possible said...
12:48 PM  

A) I'll definitely request and interview with Scott Boras and Johnny Damon. I'm sure they'll grant it given all the press they will get from this blog.

B) What isn't factual? He did in fact say he would never play for the Yankees. But when the Yankees offered a superior contract based on dollar value he ran to the Bronx. Now the Yankees are offering what they deem is a fair market deal and he's (reportedly) looking for three years 11-13$ million a pop, which is kind of ludicrous given his age and regression in the Outfield. The rest is speculation.

I'm certainly not a scorned lover. I could care less if he's in the Bronx next year or not. It's obvious money was his prerogative when he signed with the Yanks now, and it's obvious it's his prerogative now.

Simon said...
1:17 PM  

I agree with you Simon.

Craig said...
1:19 AM  

Until you have a direct quote from Damon or Boras, or an interview with either, all you have is speculation (ie, your "humble" opinion"), not factual reporting.

Try these facts.

The Yankees made Petitte crawl back last year at a below market rate - $5.5 million base with incentives that could have brought the deal to $11.25 million (he earned $10.5 million - source: Good for Petitte that he got the raise he deserved in his new contract ($11.75 million base).

Nick Johnson made $5.5 million in the 2009 season for the Washington Nationals and Florida Marlins (source: The incentives in his new Yankee contract give him the opportunity to earn $6.5 million in 2010.

Why is Damon not afforded the same treatment as Petitte (a "true" Yankee) and Johnson (a "once upon a time" Yankee with a history of health issues) This is the same Johnny Damon whose clutch performance during the World Series (.364/.440/.455 and three key stolen bases, none caught stealing) helped bring the Yankees their first title in nine years.

Fair market value? How would you feel if your employer offered you a pay cut (anywhere from $7-$10 million per for 2 years versus the $13 million per year he made in his last contract) after you had one of your most productive years and your work history doesn't suggest any reason for a performance recession in the near term?

Now if the Yankees only wanted to offer a 2-year contract and Damon was demanding a minimum of four then I can understand why the Yankees would want to move in a different direction. But the Yankees can afford a few million more (these are the Yankees not the Pirates after all) for a proven performer.

Lynn Possible said...
1:01 PM  

I forgot to add...

If the Yankees are looking to upgrade defensively, then again I can understand why they would be willing to let Damon leave. If they jump in at the last second and win the Jason Bay sweepstakes though, then clearly defense isn't the issue either. Could they be laying in the weeds for Matt Holliday?

Lynn Possible said...
1:49 PM  

The argument "how would you feel if your employer asked you to take a paycut" is the most invalid argument in planetary history. The difference between taking a massive paycut at 65K and making 13$ million and taking a paycut are incomparable.

You're making my point for me. Pettitte came back at $5.5 million because that's what he was worth on the open market and he wasn't a money whore. He wanted to play for the Yankees and he took the salary with incentives that they offered him. And this year they rewarded him after a year of consistency by a better contract.

They upgraded the defense by adding Granderson. Damon would have likely DHed most games with Melky in left.

He's 36 years old and he wants a 3 year deal. His production was solid last year but Nick Johnson at half the price put numbers almost as good as Damon did.

Also you have failed to mention his leaving the Red Sox in the past.

Simon said...
4:39 PM  

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