In an interesting twist to the Johnny Damon situation, Jon Heyman of SI.com says Damon turned down a $6 million offer from the Yankees.
In a last-ditch effort late last week after Damon himself called the team, Cashman, one of baseball’s best dealmakers, tried floating a contract of $6 million with $3 million deferred at no interest (with the promise it would be cleared with team boss Hal Steinbrenner, who was about to return from his honeymoon). But Damon wasn’t moved enough to respond.
So, if Damon couldn’t even respond to the Yankees on a $6 million deal, a team that was obviously his first choice, there is no way the Rays would be able to sign Damon at $4-5 million. The previous consensus was that the Yankees top offer was $2 million.
Then again, maybe Damon would be willing to give the Rays an “Ooooh-I-can-go-Caveman-again discount.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- The Rays signed former top pick Matt Bush. Before people get too excited, keep in mind that no team thought Bush was the top talent in the 2004 draft. San Diego chose Bush, a local kid, because his signing bonus demands were within their budget. [via Mark Topkin on Twitter]
- Joe Maddon made his strongest statement yet about Matt Joyce: “He knows there’s an opportunity now…[the starting right field job is] pretty much if he wants to go and grab it. It’s right there for him.” This supports our contention that Joyce will be the single biggest factor in determining where Ben Zobrist plays in 2010. [Tampa Tribune]
- Via meechone of The Fightins, we learn that Pat Burrell won a 1970 454 Chavelle Malibu SS at a recent auction for $60K. [Twitter]
- PECOTA has updated their 2010 projections with the Rays projected to score 826 runs and allow 712. That translates to 92 wins, which would be third in the AL East, but only one game behind the Red Sox and the Yankees. It is unclear what the standard deviation is for these numbers, but it is safe to assume that the Rays, Yankees and Red Sox are statistically even heading into the 2010 season. [Baseball Prospectus]
- The Blue Jays may have also expressed interest in Johnny Damon. [Twitter]
- Once again, don’t count on being able to watch too many Saturday games on TV. [Rays Report]
- The Rays are looking for a new PA announcer. If any of you apply, we would love to hear if you get a call-back and interview. [Rays Report]
- Rocco Baldelli’s list of suitors includes the Yankees, Rangers, Mariners and a fourth unidentified team. [Providence Journal]
- Fanhouse ranks the Rays as the top farm system. [Fanhouse]