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.
Giants reliever Hunter Strickland has been activated from the 60-day disabled list, the club announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, third baseman Pablo Sandoval was shifted to the 60-day disabled list, where he’ll remain for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his right hamstring. Right-handed reliever Dereck Rodriguez has also been placed on the 10-day disabled list after suffering a hamstring strain during Tuesday’s brawl against the Dodgers.
Strickland, 29, had been shelved with a fractured right hand since mid-June. The right-hander sustained the injury after punching a door and underwent surgery to repair the fifth metacarpal in his pitching hand. He only missed the minimum after making a speedy recovery, however, and finished his recent rehab stint with 5 2/3 innings of two-run, 10-strikeout ball for the Giants’ rookie, High-A and Triple-A affiliates.
Prior to the incident, Strickland logged 13 saves in 28 opportunities with a 2.84 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 in 34 appearances. According to comments from club skipper Bruce Bochy, the Giants don’t plan on wasting any time before deploying their former closer, but will make him available in high-leverage situations as soon as possible. It’s worth noting, too, that the team still has a viable closer in lefty reliever Will Smith, who picked up 10 saves and engineered a 3.10 ERA, 1.8 BB/9 and 12.8 SO/9 in 20 1/3 innings since Strickland landed on the DL this summer.