Damon, Matsui, Pettitte fail to get arbitration offers from Yankees

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The Yankees declined to offer arbitration to any of their free agents, a group that included Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Xavier Nady.
Damon and Pettitte were the candidates to get offers. Damon, a Type A free agent, could have brought in two draft picks had he left. However, he also had a case for a $15 million+ award in arbitration and he might well have accepted the offer. The Yankees would like him back, but probably at something much closer to $9 million-$10 million per year.
Pettitte is a Type B free agent. It’s very unlikely that he’ll sign with another team this winter, so the offer wasn’t really necessary. He figures to either re-sign with the Yankees or head into retirement.
Matsui, who finished 2009 with 28 homers, 90 RBI and an 876 OPS, was an unranked free agent, leaving nothing to be gained from offering him arbitration. Nady, on the other hand, was a Type B free agent, even though he received all of 28 at-bats last season.
The Yankees can continue to negotiate with every player on their list of free agents. Damon, Pettitte and Matsui are all candidates to return, while Nady, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Eric Hinske are expected to depart.

Braves designate Josh Collmenter for assignment

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Last night Braves reliever Josh Collmenter surrendered three homers and seven runs in the 10th inning of a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He came into the game when it was tied 5-5 so, yeah, ouch. Today Collmenter is on his way to no longer being a Braves reliever as he has been designated for assignment.

Collmenter made 11 appearances for the Braves, going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in 17 innings. If he doesn’t latch on someplace else he can take heart that his final act in the big leagues was striking out former MVP Andrew McCutchen. If only he hadn’t surrendered consecutive homers to David Freese, Jose Osuna and Jordy Mercer just before that. Oh well. Take the good with the bad.

Right-hander Matt Wisler, who has been no great shakes in the bigs himself, was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before today’s series finale against the Pirates. He’s currently throwing mopup duty for Bartolo Colon, who got shelled for seven runs in four innings.

Given how Colon is going, maybe the Braves will be thinking about some more transactions soon.

Wanna feel old? Dusty Baker’s son Darren is graduating from high school

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Remember Darren Baker, the son of Nats manager Dusty Baker? If you do, it’s because you remember him as a three-year-old bat boy for the San Francisco Giants who, during Game 5 of the 2002 World Series, was almost run over at home plate only to be saved by Giants first baseman J.T. Snow. Simple math makes it obvious that the kid is now 18, but it still feels weird that so much time has passed.

Now Darren is graduating from Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California, so father Dusty will miss the Washington Nationals weekend series against the San Diego Padres to attend the ceremonies and festivities. Baker will rejoin Washington when they begin a three-game series in San Francisco on Monday. In the meantime, bench coach Chris Speier will assume managerial duties.

Time flies, man.