Johnny Damon has been unsuccessfully trying to land another job since the Indians released him in August, so not surprisingly he’s hoping the Yankees give him a call with Curtis Granderson out.
Damon appeared on Michael Kay’s radio show today and said, among other things, that he has “tons of interest” in rejoining the Yankees. He also admitted that it’s unlikely.
Damon says he’d be willing to play for the minimum salary and then exit gracefully if the Yankees decided to part ways once Granderson gets healthy, although even then it’s probably a long shot that they’d be interested after he hit just .222 with a .610 OPS in 64 games for the Indians.
UPDATE: As expected, general manager Brian Cashman ain’t interested. “We will focus on what we have at this time.”
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.