Saturday, February 20, 2010

Johnny Damon's puzzling choices

I'm happy Johnny Damon finally found a new job, accepting an $8 million offer to play baseball for the Detroit Tigers this year. But he's made some strange decisions during this round of free agency.

Here's what I find so bizarre. If Damon ultimately was willing to accept $8 million from the Tigers for one year, why couldn't he accept $14 million over two years from the New York Yankees? Did he and agent Scott Boras simply overplay their hand, thinking Damon could get the money and years he wanted with another team? Or did he find the Yankees offer so insulting that he just couldn't accept it? Granted, it was a drastic pay cut, but it was two years guaranteed, which would have kept Damon from having to go through the free-agent circus again in 10 months.

The $8 million doesn't make much sense from the Tigers perspective either, especially considering they just traded the younger, more versatile and cheaper Curtis Granderson to the Yankees. It seems like they overpaid, probably out of fear they would lose Damon to another team. But the Chicago White Sox openly withdrew their offer on Friday so who were they really competing with? Boras is known for creating a mirage of competition for his players where none exist. But with spring training starting, the Tigers probably could have shown a little more patience and gotten Damon for a better price. Very strange indeed.

Thanks to Googie Man via en.Wikipedia for the photo.

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