Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Braves and the Tigers are somewhat interested in Johnny Damon and would sign him if the price was right:
It’s not clear how many suitors are showing interest in Johnny Damon at the moment. But the Tigers and Braves are definitely among the group, multiple major league sources told FOXSports.com late Friday . . . Thus far, the Braves have taken a more passive approach than the
Tigers. They would be happy to sign Damon if he “falls into their lap,”
one source said Friday, but are unlikely to offer him a lucrative deal.
We’re approaching the point where specific rumors regarding Damon are becoming meaningless because if his price is so low that teams like the Braves are coming back into play — say$2-3 million for a single year — just about any team can afford him, even the ones who have never once been rumored to be interested.
Think of it like the going out of business sale at the local video store: you or I would never buy a copy of “Wicker Man” on DVD in the normal course, but if it was sitting alone on a shelf for $1.99, we’d probably think really hard about picking it up.
OK, that’s nuts, but Johnny Damon is still useful, and these prices, some team is going to decide that they can’t afford not to buy.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.