The White Sox and Tigers are getting down to brass tacks with Johnny Damon, and the lobbying has begun.
The White Sox sent A.J. Pierzynski and Ken “Hawk” Harrelson out golfing with Damon yesterday. Despite the fact that most mortals probably couldn’t stand playing one hole of putt-putt with those two characters, multiple reports came out yesterday suggesting that the White Sox have moved ahead of Detroit. Maybe Harrelson and Pierzynski were sandbagging and let the wookie win.
Tigers players are lobbying too, though they’re being a bit more reticent about it. Here’s Phil Coke:
“I wish I had his number,” Coke said, “because I’d be like, ‘Hey, man, quit messing around.”
Sadly, people listen to what they want to hear, not what they need to hear, so my guess is that Damon is a White Sox by Saturday.
UPDATE: Rosenthal is now walking the report back a bit, saying that indications that the Yankees and Happ are close to a deal but that it is not yet done.
10:29 AM: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees and J.A. Happ have come to terms on a three-year deal. The agreement is pending a physical. The financial terms are not yet known.
Happ just turned 36, but he has been effective enough to warrant a three-year commitment. The Yankees know this as well as anyone, having acquired him last year and watched him post a 7-0 record and a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts in New York. For the entire season he was 17-6 with a 3.65 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 193/51 in 177.2 innings between the Yankees and the Blue Jays.
With Happ back in the fold, the Yankees rotation now consists of Luis Severino, James Paxton, Happ, Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia, not necessarily in that order. A good group, assuming it stays healthy.