Oh, you didn’t hear? It might as well be a secret since the Johnny Damon front has been pretty quiet over the past few days. In his Sunday column for ESPN.com, Buster Olney provides an excellent timeline of events during the negotiations with the Yankees, writing that “it’s laughable that the Yankees are taking flak for not working out a contract” with the 36-year-old outfielder.
The Reds appear out of the running after signing Orlando Cabrera and if Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com is correct, you’d have to think the odds of him joining the Athletics would take a hit if they sign Gabe Gross as a fourth outfielder. This leaves only a precious few with the ability to sign him. The Rays remain in the mix, but in his weekly column for the Chicago Tribune, Phil Rogers handicaps the Tigers as the favorite.
Mariners starter Félix Hernández will come off of the disabled list to make his final start of 2018 on Wednesday against the Athletics, MLB.com’s Greg Johns reports. Hernández has been on the disabled list since September 8 with a right hamstring strain.
Hernández, 32, has endured the worst season of his 14-year career. He’s 8-13 with a 5.46 ERA and a 121/57 K/BB ratio over 151 2/3 innings. Hernández wants the opportunity to finish 2018 on a good note. He said, “I feel good. No problems. It’s 100 percent. I just want to finish strong and show them I can still pitch. It wasn’t a big injury. They just wanted to give me some rest.”
Hernández is under contract for one more year at $27 million. He has been the face of the franchise for the last decade, but if he doesn’t show he’s capable of beating major league hitters by the end of spring training next year, the Mariners may not be able to afford to give him a spot in the starting rotation. Despite a second-half slide, the Mariners were competitive in the AL West this year, entering the All-Star break 58-39, five games out of first place. With some roster fine-tuning, the Mariners could give the Astros and Athletics a run for their money. Hernández’s involvement with that effort remains to be seen.