Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Braves and the Tigers are somewhat interested in Johnny Damon and would sign him if the price was right:
It’s not clear how many suitors are showing interest in Johnny Damon at the moment. But the Tigers and Braves are definitely among the group, multiple major league sources told FOXSports.com late Friday . . . Thus far, the Braves have taken a more passive approach than the
Tigers. They would be happy to sign Damon if he “falls into their lap,”
one source said Friday, but are unlikely to offer him a lucrative deal.
We’re approaching the point where specific rumors regarding Damon are becoming meaningless because if his price is so low that teams like the Braves are coming back into play — say$2-3 million for a single year — just about any team can afford him, even the ones who have never once been rumored to be interested.
Think of it like the going out of business sale at the local video store: you or I would never buy a copy of “Wicker Man” on DVD in the normal course, but if it was sitting alone on a shelf for $1.99, we’d probably think really hard about picking it up.
OK, that’s nuts, but Johnny Damon is still useful, and these prices, some team is going to decide that they can’t afford not to buy.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.
In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler Austin–Greg Bird combo in 2017.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.
Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.