Tampa Bay Rays Photo Day

Johnny Damon turned down the Red Sox because he thought the Tigers wanted him

10 Comments

Remember last August when the Red Sox claimed Johnny Damon on waivers and some talk of a trade happened?  There was a day or two’s back and forth on that, as Damon had a limited no-trade clause that prevented him being traded to the Red Sox without his approval. Ultimately he said no to the idea and rejected the deal.

Today Damon tells Alex Speier of WEEI why he did so:  because he thought that the Tigers wanted him back in 2011. Except at the time Damon claimed that the determining factor was whether he’d get playing time down the stretch, not whether he’d be brought back for 2011.

Not that this is a giant issue or anything. It’s not like the Red Sox would have kept him either, and he’d probably still be in Tampa Bay right now.

But to the extent Damon’s current claim implies that the Tigers misled him or something, it seems to be a bit too much.  To take Damon’s word for it, he inquired last year if the Tigers were going to play him in 2010. He was satisfied with their answer.  As such, he shouldn’t be saying that it was anything the Tigers told him about 2011 that kept him from OK’ing a trade to Boston.

Phillies sign outfielder Michael Saunders

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Michael Saunders #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to first after being walked during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 3, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Getty Images
4 Comments

The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.

Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.

The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Getty Images
9 Comments

It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.