Want to know why Johnny Damon, who hit 24 homers and scored 107 runs last season, hasn’t signed with a team as of February 9? Because he’s holding out for a two-year contract. Or so says FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi.
Damon, 36, has drawn interest recently from the Tigers, Braves and Rays, though none of those clubs seem interested in his current asking price. His agent, Scott Boras, is even trying to sell the outfielder to the city of Detroit, telling the Detroit Free Press Tuesday that Damon loves the Detroit Red Wings, especially hometown hero Steve Yzerman. Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski doesn’t appear to be biting.
“We continue to monitor everything,” Dombrowski said Tuesday, when asked
generally about the market. “I am not sure if we are close on
Boras claims to have “four or five” offers on the table. It’s a little hard to believe, though, isn’t it?
Update #2 (6:21 PM EST): Make that $37.5 million, per Heyman.
Update (6:02 PM EST): The deal is for “around” $37 million with deferrals that lower the present-day value, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that free agent 1B/OF Mark Trumbo is close to a deal with the Orioles. He first reported that the two sides were back in touch earlier on Thursday afternoon. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the deal is expected to be for three years and under $40 million.
Trumbo’s market hasn’t developed as he expected. The slugger turned down the Orioles’ $17.2 million qualifying offer back in November. Then the Orioles reportedly made a four-year contract offer to him in December but pulled it off the table. Most recently, a report indicated that Trumbo lowered his expectations to a three-year deal in the $40-50 million range.
Trumbo, 31, led the majors with 47 homers for the Orioles this past season. He also hit a solid .256/.316/.433 with 108 RBI in 667 plate appearances. With Trumbo back in the fold and some slight offensive upgrades made, the Orioles figure to have a formidable offense in 2017.
The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.
Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.