Update: Wait! Maybe the White Sox aren’t out of it, at least according to what Kenny Williams told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times:
“If circumstances change in the next 24 hours I certainly will be
willing to revisit it,” Williams said. “Jermaine Dye cashed in big
time for something like this, taking less money to win a championship,
and maybe Johnny wants to do the same.”
“It’s the nature of the beast, but this has gone on long enough. We
have a have a pretty good club as is. Would Johnny Damon add to it?
He’s proven that. He was icing on the cake as far as we’re concerned.”
We’ve waited this long, why not another 24 hours?
4:51 PM: ESPN Chicago’s Bruce Levine reports that the White Sox have pulled their offer to Johnny Damon:
“It became clear to us in our recent negotiations that the money
that we were offering was not going to be good enough for Johnny at
this time,” White Sox general manager Kenny Williams told
ESPNChicago.com. “At this particular point, we feel it’s necessary to
withdraw our offer.”
The White Sox made a $6 million offer for Damon, according to major league sources.
Meanwhile, Buster Olney tweets the following:
Heard this: Scott
Boras is now working a two-pronged approach on the Tigers. No. 1 —
he’d like to get Detroit to remove all deferred money out of
their one-year, $7 million offer. Or No. 2, he’d wants Ilitch to
actually give Damon legitimate second year in their offer.
I call it “pleading” in the headline because it cannot properly be called a negotiation when one person wants concessions but has utterly no leverage and nothing to give up in return. The White Sox are out of the picture. The Tigers have made a one-year deferred-money offer. Take it or leave it, Boras.
Earlier today Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski, while confirming that the team has made an offer to Damon, said that there is an end in sight to the Damon drama. He didn’t explain what that means exactly, but I hope that end is a phone call to Boras this evening in which Dombrowski says “you have until noon tomorrow to either accept or reject the offer we have on the table. After that, we delete you from the speed dial.”
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.