UPDATE: Uh oh. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told The Journal News moments ago that Heyman’s report of a deadline is “not true.” Considering Heyman’s involvement, it’s probably worth noting now that Damon is a Scott Boras client.
3:51pm: It appears free agent outfielder Johnny Damon could be close to finding a home for the 2010 season.
Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman said this afternoon that Damon “has days” to accept a low-salary offer from the Yankees and the Newark Star-Ledger’s Marc Carig received a text from the 36-year-old outfielder stating that he “should have a
team in a week.” Exciting stuff.
Damon batted .282/.365/.489 with 24 home runs, 82 RBI and 107 runs scored last season for the Yankees but he’s drawn very little interest this winter for a variety of reasons. Clubs are beginning to factor in things like defensive metrics and the outfielder ranks poorly by such measurements. He’s looking at a large dip in pay from the whopping $13 million that George Steinbrenner and Co. paid him in 2009.
In a less-notable move on Friday, the Rays acquired right-hander Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for minor league right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A’s on Wednesday.
This is the second trade involving the righty since the start of the season. The Athletics acquired 28-year-old Font from the Dodgers in late April, but were underwhelmed by his performance after he racked up 11 runs, five home runs, four walks and nine strikeouts in his first 6 2/3 innings of relief. While the rookie has yet to prove himself at the big league level, he posted a much more respectable pitching line with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, going 10-8 in 25 starts with a 3.42 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.9 SO/9 in 134 1/3 innings. It’s still unclear whether the Rays intend to give him another opportunity in the majors this year or use him as depth in the minors.
Bayer, 24, is still a ways away from cracking any major league roster. He advanced to High-A Charlotte prior to the trade and allowed eight runs, two homers, six walks and six strikeouts in his first four innings.