The White Sox and Tigers are getting down to brass tacks with Johnny Damon, and the lobbying has begun.
The White Sox sent A.J. Pierzynski and Ken “Hawk” Harrelson out golfing with Damon yesterday. Despite the fact that most mortals probably couldn’t stand playing one hole of putt-putt with those two characters, multiple reports came out yesterday suggesting that the White Sox have moved ahead of Detroit. Maybe Harrelson and Pierzynski were sandbagging and let the wookie win.
Tigers players are lobbying too, though they’re being a bit more reticent about it. Here’s Phil Coke:
“I wish I had his number,” Coke said, “because I’d be like, ‘Hey, man, quit messing around.”
Sadly, people listen to what they want to hear, not what they need to hear, so my guess is that Damon is a White Sox by Saturday.
The New York Yankees have traded third baseman Chase Headley and pitcher Bryan Mitchell to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Jabari Blash. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the first to report the trade. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report that Blash was coming back in return.
Headley, a third baseman, hit .273/.352/.406 for the Yankees last year. He, of course, played for the Padres from 2007 through the middle of 2014, when he was dealt to New York. Mitchell has pitched 48 games for the Yankees, most from the pen, over four seasons, with an ERA of 4.94 in 98.1 innings. He doesn’t strike out many and he walks a lot. He throws hard.
Blash, an outfielder, has hit .200/.323/.336 with eight homers in 279 big league plate appearances. Blash has shown a lot of power potential in the minors, but has not yet put it together in the bigs. Given what the Yankees have in their outfield at the moment, he’s going to be organizational depth or, perhaps, a chit in a future trade.
This would seem to be an exercise in salary clearing by the Yankees in anticipation of another move, as it takes about $13 million off of their payroll. Which is about how much was added to their payroll for 2018 in the Giancarlo Stanton deal. That could get Todd Frazier back for them, perhaps. Or it could help them retain CC Sabathia or go after another starting pitcher. The club likewise maintains an interest in getting under the $197 million payroll threshold which would trigger yet another year of 50% luxury tax payments for the Yankees.