UPDATE: Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets “I’m told by someone who knows Damon well that he’s not considered retiring.” That makes more sense, of course, as many of you in the comments have suggested that this could very well be a negotiating ploy.
The real question is whether O’Brien knows this because the Braves are negotiating with Damon to become their leftfielder on a nice and cheap contract.
Wait, I think my fandom is showing again.
10:00 A.M. Bob Klapishch of the Bergen Record reports that Johnny Damon’s offseason has been so discouraging that he has contemplated retirement. Short of that, he has a choice of either taking $2 million on a one year deal from the Yankees — assuming they’re offering it, which they probably are — and begging someone like the Braves to take him on.
One can’t help but wonder if Damon’s best bet at this point wouldn’t be to simply say that he’s not signing anywhere, make a big show of getting in shape on his own this spring, wait for contenders to find out that they have holes in their lineup after the season starts, and then sign a Pedro Martinez-style midseason deal.
OXON HILL, MD — Bill King has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
King, one of the iconic voices of Bay Area sports, was known for his handlebar mustache and his signature “Holy Toledo!” exclamation. King broadcast A’s games for 25 seasons, from 1981 through 2005. He likewise broadcast Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors games and got his start as an announcer for the Giants in the late 1950s after they moved to San Francisco.
King passed away in October 2005. With the Frick Award, however, he has now been immortalized among baseball broadcasters.
The Rockies have signed free agent outfielder/infielder Ian Desmond for five years and $70 million.
Desmond, 31, played his first season as a full-time outfielder with the Rangers in 2016. Before that he was the Nationals shortstop. He’ll almost certainly be an outfielder in Colorado, or else will play first base, as the Rockies have Trevor Story at short. Desmond hit .285/.335/.446 with 22 home runs, 86 RBI, 107 runs scored, and 21 stolen bases in 677 plate appearances, though he was much, much better in the first half than the second half.
The Rangers had placed a qualifying offer on him which he rejected, so the Rockies will have to give up their first round pick in the 2017 draft, which is 11th overall. That’s the highest pick a team can surrender under the qualifying offer system, as the first ten picks in the draft are protected.