UPDATE: The White Sox pull their offer to Damon; Boras pleads with the Tigers

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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.”

Bud Norris exits outing with right knee soreness

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Angels’ right-handed reliever Bud Norris made his 23rd appearance of the season on Friday, and after just three pitches, he was done for the night. He worked a 2-1 count to Marlins’ Dee Gordon in the eighth inning, then promptly exited the field after experiencing some tightness in his right knee. Neither Norris nor manager Mike Scioscia believe the injury is cause for major concern, and the 32-year-old right-hander admitted that it may have had something to do with his lack of stretching before he took the mound. For now, he’s day-to-day with right knee soreness, with the hope that the issue doesn’t escalate over the next few days.

While the Angels are lucky to have avoided serious injury, they’ll need Norris to pitch at 100% if they want to stay competitive within the AL West. They currently sit a full nine games behind the league-leading Astros, and haven’t been helping their cause after taking five losses in their last eight games. Friday’s 8-5 finale marked their third consecutive loss of the week.

 

When healthy, Norris has been one of the better arms in the Angels’ bullpen. Through 23 2/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.66 ERA, 3.4 BB/9 and an outstanding 11.8 SO/9 in 23 outings. The righty hasn’t allowed a single run in four straight appearances, recording three saves and helping the club clinch four wins in that span. This is his second setback of the year after sustaining a partial fingernail tear on his pitching hand during spring training.

Video: Max Scherzer sets record with 13-strikeout outing

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Max Scherzer is a force to be reckoned with. The Nationals’ right-hander delivered a season-high 13 strikeouts against the Padres on Friday, locking down his fifth win and his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the year.

More remarkably, it was also the 53rd double-digit strikeout performance of Scherzer’s career, tying Clayton Kershaw for the most 10+ strikeout appearances by an active major league pitcher. Chris Sale is a distant third, with 43 to his name, though he’s been making considerable strides to catch up so far this spring.

Scherzer took the Padres to task on Friday night, whiffing 13 of 31 batters during his 108-pitch outing. He started strong, catching Allen Cordoba swinging on a 1-2 count to start the game and keeping the game scoreless until Ryan Schimpf unleashed a home run in the fourth inning. That was the first and final run the Padres managed off of Scherzer, who retired 14 consecutive batters following the blast and came one out shy of a complete game in the ninth inning. (Fittingly, Koda Glover polished off the win with a final strikeout, bringing the total to 14 on the night.)

It’ll take more than one stellar start to advance Scherzer and Kershaw on the all-time list, however. Their 53-game record ranks 13th, about 159 games behind second-place Hall of Fame hurler Randy Johnson and a full 162 games shy of the inimitable Nolan Ryan.