Detroit offers Damon two years, $14 million (UPDATED)

Scott Boras reaffirms he is king among agents.

Scott Boras reaffirms he is king among agents.

You can curse Scott Boras all you want and blame him (and his ilk) for baseball salaries spiraling out of  control. But we just found out again why he’s the best agent in baseball.

According to FoxSports.com, Boras has coaxed a two-year, $14 million offer out of the Detroit Tigers for free agent outfielder Johnny Damon. If the report is accurate, you can forget about the Braves landing Damon for left field and, more important, the leadoff spot in their batting order.

Johnny Damon hit .282 and a career-high 24 homers in 1989.

Johnny Damon hit .282 and a career-high 24 homers in 2009.

The Braves’ offer reportedly was for one year for somewhere between $4 million and $5 million, including deferred payments, according to our David O’Brien.

After not extending an offer the entire offseason, general manager Frank Wren clearly was eager for Damon to sign, even having Chipper Jones make a recruiting phone call to the player in hopes of luring him to Atlanta.

But it’s doubtful the Braves would add a second year to their offer, especially with Damon being 36 years old. Part of the Braves’ pitch was that their spring training home in Orlando is near Damon’s offseason home, but the Tigers also train in nearby Lakeland.

FoxSports reported that Tigers owner Mike Ilitch authorized the two-year, $14 million offer, doubling Detroit’s previous offer of one year for $7 million. Damon has spent his entire career in the American League (Kansas City, Oakland, Boston New York).

Bottom line: It was a nice effort, even if belated, by Wren to improve the lineup. But he can’t be faulted if the Braves don’t match Detroit’s offer.

UPDATE: There’s no comment yet from the Tigers on their reported offer to Damon. But here’s a link to an interesting story from a long-time pal of mine, John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press. It seems when Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski was asked four weeks ago if he was interested in Damon, the answer was no. Things apparently changed only after owner Mike Ilitch got involved. That would jibe with the Fox report that Boras, “seemingly has succeeded in reaching out to Ilitch, who previously signed several of the agent’s other high-profile clients, including catcher Ivan Rodriguez, right fielder Magglio Ordonez and pitcher Kenny Rogers.”

221 comments Add your comment

DoolyDawg

February 11th, 2010
4:31 pm

juvenal

February 11th, 2010
4:31 pm

twice as much $ to live in detroit?

WestOfAthens

February 11th, 2010
4:31 pm

Doh, it’s all over now!

KnightInATL

February 11th, 2010
4:33 pm

LMAO!! 2 yrs and $14MM?!?! Dave Dombrowski still hasn’t learned. He continues to handcuff his franchise. That offer is laughable.

Clay

February 11th, 2010
4:34 pm

There goes Johnny.

Andrew

February 11th, 2010
4:34 pm

Wow, I guess that why Detriot has been a miserable franchise for the past few decades

Richham

February 11th, 2010
4:35 pm

Frank Wren was used as a pawn again in negotiations with another team, although I think the Braves simply made a token offer. No one expected him to end up here unless everyone simply told him to take a hike.

Braves Fan1

February 11th, 2010
4:35 pm

Didnt the Tigers dumb Granderson who made $5m a year to free up salary room?? now they try and bring a guy in who is older, slower, less of an arm for $2m more? no wonder why Detroit is the **it capital of America.

Nachos

February 11th, 2010
4:35 pm

Crumpytizers are yummy.

juvenal

February 11th, 2010
4:36 pm

i live north of most of you, i wouldn’t live in the ATL for twice as much money(I have lived in St. Louis, woudn’t live there again, either, & i’m sure IT’S a lot nicer than motown)

Brad

February 11th, 2010
4:37 pm

We really don’t need him, it would be nice but he is not a must have…and he is not worth 14 mill for two years ROFL Go Braves! Looking forward to great pitching next year.

BUY TICKETS PEOPLE

February 11th, 2010
4:38 pm

and watch the games on TV

drive revenues to our team or hush

goski99

February 11th, 2010
4:39 pm

you can say “Detriot has been a miserable franchise for the past few decades” all you want but the played in the WS in ‘06. When was the last time the Braves did?

extremus

February 11th, 2010
4:39 pm

Oh well, so much for that. As much as the Braves need a table-setter at the top of the order, I don’t believe Damon is close to being worth that kind of money. But who knows, if Schafer rebounds better than expected from his injuries and struggles last season, it would be one of those “best moves that never happened” for Atlanta. Here’s hoping.

NC Dawg

February 11th, 2010
4:40 pm

Heyward to play now for sure.

Einstein

February 11th, 2010
4:40 pm

Hooray for Detroit! Hooray for Scott Boarass, too. This just saved the Braves a few $$$ as well as providing the opportunity for some of our minor league talent. I believe the Braves will be better in ‘10, not because of retreads, but because of our younger talent…who will actually improve with experience.

jay

February 11th, 2010
4:41 pm

I know it was a gamble that Damon and Boras took, but $14 million from the Yanks was a better offer.

Well, at least the Braves tried. They wanted until it looked as thoug Damon was in their price range, and there was interest from both sides. It just wasn’t a fit.

In a few months, we’ll look back and say, “It was a good move not signing Damon.”, kinda like we did with Griffy Jr. last season.

dangerousdan87

February 11th, 2010
4:41 pm

The Detroit front office must get caught up in ebay bidding wars and overpay for Al Kaline memorbilia too.
Good deal for Damon. Stupid move for the Tigers.

Mr. Papagiorgio

February 11th, 2010
4:42 pm

Hey Juvenal…good, keep yourself up north…that’s the way we like it.

tide fan

February 11th, 2010
4:42 pm

I didn’t want to see a four hopper throw from left to second anyway. Give me Diaz/Cabrera, McClouth,
and Heyward. We’ll be fine. Detroit is an armpit and the Tigers stink. Damon would have been
ok for about 3 mil, and nothing more.

Duh

February 11th, 2010
4:43 pm

Had Wren just given Damon 2 years and 8-10 Million a month ago this wouldn’t even be an issue and Damon would be a Brave.

Bob Horner stayed hurt

February 11th, 2010
4:43 pm

I wish we could reincarnate Brett Butler…..he was an awesome lead-off guy…..oh well..$14 million for 2yrs….(but you have to live in Detriot….I guess it’s worth it..I’d do it in a heartbeat)

Bill

February 11th, 2010
4:43 pm

Why shouldn’t Diaz bat in the leadoff spot?! We don’t want a 20-25 HR guy (McLouth) essentially batting cleanup for the 7,8 and 9 spots in the lineup – do we?

MZ_03

February 11th, 2010
4:44 pm

Alright!! Go Tigs! hopefully this will help so we don’t collapse the last month of the season again.

Rob

February 11th, 2010
4:45 pm

@ Goski99
Braves were in it in 99, won it in 95. When was the last time the Tigers won it?

ryan

February 11th, 2010
4:46 pm

Thank you, Detroit!!!

Best news all winter.

ITP Brave

February 11th, 2010
4:46 pm

Thank you, Detroit.

Maybe now we can use that money for an actual hitter, like Dye.

Rob

February 11th, 2010
4:47 pm

Sorry, the Braves were in in it 91, 92 and 96 as well

Innocent Bystander

February 11th, 2010
4:47 pm

If 2/14 is what it would’ve taken to get him, then it’s better off we don’t spend that kind of $$$. Boras certainly does his job extremely well, and I am certainly glad the Braves don’t bother with his clients most of the time.

BossLady

February 11th, 2010
4:47 pm

WOW, That’s Boras for you. I wish he could have negotiated my contract this past October. I knew it all along, I knew it. I knew it.

PMC

February 11th, 2010
4:47 pm

Ok. Plan B…. no biggie. Damon would have been gravy. The meat and potatos are there, Damon would just provide a very nice professional hitter and they don’t have to many of those right now.

MiaBchBravesFan

February 11th, 2010
4:48 pm

Best signing the Braves never made in the past year; on par with the non-signing of Rafael Furcal.

The Braves would’ve been hamstrung with Damon. Frankly, I offer this declaration: if the Braves have no shot whatsoever in signing Jermaine Dye, then shut the door and go to Orlando with what you have.

With McLouth and Prado, the lead-off issue is not as critical as the (lack of) power issue. If Chipper and/or Troy Glaus are hurt or low on power, it will be the bad parts of 2009 all over again.

The Braves going into the season thinking that Chipper and Glaus are the ironclad answers to their power woes speaks to the same idiocy, Frank!, from last year when the Braves stood pat with Jeff Francoeur and an OF that had many more question marks than The Riddler’s costume.

If I were Frank Wren, I would be checking to see what the Cubs and Indians are offering Dye. If it is more than what the budget allows, move on; however, if he is willing to take what the Braves were going to settle on with Damon. . .

I will stake my life on the fact that Dye will provide the lineup with exactly what the Braves need THIS season to get over the hump. You will have a complete team with good power coverage in the lineup in case of injury – which most assuredly will happen.

Again, am I the only one who sees this??????????????????????

AlternateReality

February 11th, 2010
4:49 pm

You gotta hand it to the agents, and question the common sense of the owners, when one team offers more than twice as much as any other team is offering.

Blue

February 11th, 2010
4:50 pm

Andrew; really? For 20 years? Look at 2006…I would hardly call that miserable. They have also been very competitive since then. Certainly not miserable.

ryan

February 11th, 2010
4:51 pm

Write it down…

I’ll take a rookie Heyward over the veteran Damon, given the savings.

And I’ll take the bouncebacks that you’ll get from Chipper and McLouth to make up the difference in numbers.

Oh, and don’t be surprised if Kawakami has a better season than Vazquez.

Blue

February 11th, 2010
4:52 pm

Juvenal; last time I checked, $14 million is not twice as much as $4.5-$5 million…more like three times. And yes, although Atlanta is WAY more desirable place to live, are you going to tell me that you would not put up with Detroit for an extra 9-10 million????

Space Monkey

February 11th, 2010
4:52 pm

It would have been nice to have someone other than Chipper with some plate discipline.

Just Pat

February 11th, 2010
4:53 pm

I’m just glad that Damon will most likely sign with the Tigers and stop all the speculation. *yawn* Was really getting tired of hearing his name every other post.

retired on the lake

February 11th, 2010
4:56 pm

ryan
February 11th, 2010
4:51 pm

Write it down…

I’ll take a rookie Heyward over the veteran Damon, given the savings.

And I’ll take the bouncebacks that you’ll get from Chipper and McLouth to make up the difference in numbers.

Oh, and don’t be surprised if Kawakami has a better season than Vazquez.

I SECOND THAT EMOTION!

Paddy O

February 11th, 2010
4:56 pm

If he goes, he goes. The Braves offer was wise. I’ll be OK, but I would probably put Prado then Escobar at the top of the order, still need to relegate McLouth to 6 or 7. I would have enjoyed watching Johnny play, though.

MiaBchBravesFan

February 11th, 2010
4:57 pm

PMC: The meat that is the pitching is there. The potatoes that are Chipper, Glaus, and McCann cannot mash with the big boys in Philly. Need another power bat that’s cheap.

Again, until he signs with another team, I will stump for Dye’s 27 taters from last year as a very solid solution to the otherwise iffy and potentially debilitating lack of power in this lineup. And yes, I am not going to rely on poor Heyward to carry the power load for this suspect middle of the lineup.

JRP

February 11th, 2010
4:58 pm

Who says he has to live there to play there? And for that kind of money, I’d live there..

Tailback U

February 11th, 2010
4:58 pm

Where are you Otis Nixon ?
We need another nose powdering , ground covering greyhound
like you in CF again.
By the way I hope you didn’t pick up any new bad habits in prison
or injure yourself in the softball leagues last year.

Blindog

February 11th, 2010
5:00 pm

What does Matt Diaz have to do to prove he can handle left-field,give him a chance and he will hit 15-20 homers,35 doubles and hit around .320,the guy can really hit…Diaz,McClouth and Heyward, now lets play ball!!!

AlternateReality

February 11th, 2010
5:00 pm

Miami Beach, check oot Tom Verducci’s Inside Baseball colummn in SI.com. It’s about why some of the older FAs aren’t getting signed and it comes down on Dye pretty hard.

MiaBchBravesFan

February 11th, 2010
5:01 pm

Paddy O: Uh, McLouth is not going to be at the bottom of the lineup. He’s got his eyesight fixed, and his hamstring is on the mend. He and Prado represent the most speed the Braves have, with Cabrera a distant third. Prado and McLouth will be at the top two spots of the lineup – period. Diaz – when he plays – will be on the lower third.

Lefthanded67

February 11th, 2010
5:01 pm

Is it February 23 yet??? I am tired of the business side, lets play some baseball!!!

KnightInATL

February 11th, 2010
5:02 pm

This also opens the possibility that we can become a BUYER at the trade deadline if necessary.

Roundabout

February 11th, 2010
5:07 pm

Just like the guy from SI said…..The Braves are cheap….Here’s to all you Hope’ers….Hope the aging bullpen holds up…..hope Glaus can play first base…..Hope Hinske will be a good luck charm….Hope Hudson’s arm holds together…..Hope you finish better than Third Place…….

Brvaesfan101

February 11th, 2010
5:08 pm

Braves lose out on a player again what’s new.