A major league source has informed FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi that the Tigers and free agent outfielder Johnny Damon are not far from agreement on a contract.
Whether it’s a one-year, $7 million deal or a two-year, $14 million pact, it appears we’re close to the end of this saga. The Rays and Braves are still technically in the running for Damon’s services, but it’s doubtful those clubs will want to engage in any sort of bidding war for a player that has gone unwanted for so long.
Damon, 36, batted .282/.365/.489 with 24 homers and 107 runs scored last year for the
Yankees, but he has drawn very little interest this offseason mostly due to his lacking defensive abilities.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Marlins, Mets, and Yankees have had discussions about a three-team trade in which Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto would go to the Mets. It’s not known which other players were discussed in the deal, but Rosenthal notes that the Mets wouldn’t be willing to part with Noah Syndergaard if they are only getting Realmuto in return.
Realmuto, 27, was the best offensive catcher in baseball in 2018, batting .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs and 74 RBI in 531 plate appearances. He has two more years of team control remaining until he becomes eligible for free agency, adding to his value.
The Mets’ catching corps currently includes Kevin Plawecki and Travis d'Arnaud, so Realmuto would be a significant upgrade. Such a trade would be the club’s second big splash of the offseason as the Mets finalized a trade to acquire second baseman Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz from the Mariners earlier this month.
Interestingly, the Mets and Yankees haven’t made a deal involving major league players since December 2004, when the two sides swapped pitchers Mike Stanton and Félix Heredia, Rosenthal points out.