Johnny Damon and Brian Cashman hug it out

Leave a comment

Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes that Johnny Damon and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman “met for about 10 minutes behind the batting cage yesterday.”
They reportedly cleared the air following unsuccessful offseason negotiations that saw Damon end up with the Tigers. In fact, according to Sherman “the two parted with a hug” and Cashman later called Damon “a great guy.”
Early in the offseason Damon and agent Scott Boras held out for more money and a longer contract than the Yankees were willing to offer the 36-year-old outfielder and by the time their demands changed Cashman had moved on to Nick Johnson and Randy Winn.
Damon eventually signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Tigers, which is a price the Yankees almost surely would have paid had he been willing to accept that same deal in November rather than mid-February. Johnson and Winn will make a combined $6.6 million this season.
“Everything is good now,” Damon said. “No problems.”

Report: Padres interested in Maikel Franco

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals
Getty Images
3 Comments

The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.

Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.

Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.