Scott Boras "caved on the third year" for Johnny Damon, but it was too little too late

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That’s what Mark Feinsand of the Daily News reports, however it still wasn’t enough to get a deal done for Damon as the Yankees wouldn’t pay him $13 million per, even for two years.

Assuming this is true, this is a case of Boras seriously misreading the market for his client, and ultimately doing him a disservice. Damon wanted nothing more than to play for the Yankees, telling Feinsand “I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do. I know there
are some teams interested, but the Yankees are the best organization
I’ve been a part of so far in my career.” No one, outside of Scott Boras, believed that Johnny Damon was worth more than a two year deal. While it was too much to expect the Yankees to negotiate hard on a two year basis at the 11th hour, isn’t it highly likely that something could have gotten worked out if Boras had gone to Brian Cashman talking about two years a week or two ago?

Now it’s almost certainly elsewhere for Damon. Maybe he’ll get that $13 million. I doubt it, but it could happen.  But that’s cold comfort when he so obviously wanted to stay in pinstripes.

Why Ryan Zimmerman skipped spring training

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All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.

The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.

It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.

It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.

Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉