seems to be falling in our lap. The biggest difference between the noodle arm and Crawford is that apparently Johnny is a cheap FA now and Crawford will cost us more to obtain. At this price, I take Damon's bat and throw a late inning defender into LF. I like the lineup with him in 2010 and that he's only a short term fix.
Apparently Damon is getting Abreu'ed. Multiple sources, notably Joel Sherman, indicating that Damon's down to one year, $7m, partially deferred.
If that's the case, it could save the M's offensive bacon this winter.
Runs created per 27 outs:
- 6.8 - Damon
- 7.4 - Ichiro, #1 Mariner
- 4.9 - Gutierrez, #3
- 4.7 - Griffey, #4
- 4.2 - Lopez, #5
Every other Mariner in the starting lineup was below 3.9 per game.
Here is our food fight over Damon's range afield.
Matt has seen him more than I have, but my objection is philosophical. The next leadoff hitter I see, who does not have enough range to play left field even competently, will be the first one. But who knows.
We've had fun comparing Damon to Carl Crawford: they're very similar offensive players, one heavier on SB's, the other heavier on BB's. Crawford is considerably faster, but that's at least canceled out by Damon's walks.
In terms of RC/27, it's Damon 6.8, Crawford 6.3. wOBA has it about .375 to .367, again in favor of Damon.
Crawford of course brings a much better glove, but the point is, if you like what Crawford would do for the M's offense, you should like Damon's even a bit more. With Ichiro and Figgins already, the M's could use a 3 hitter drawing Edgar-like walks behind the speedsters.
Damon's a short-timer, is year-to-year in terms of those fancy 6+ RC's.
A stomach-turning thought as to his future salary: "I don't think he'll get a couple years after . He couldn't have a better season than he did [in 2009]." Unnamed GM. n other words, if the market is soft right now for him after two straight 6.8 run/game seasons, how could it possibly be better next year? Is Damon suddenly going to show something that he hasn't just shown?
But for 2010 he could legitimize the M's lineup. They'd even have a makeshift #3-#4:
1 Ichiro 7.4 RC/27
2 Figgins 6.0
3 Damon 6.0 assuming -15%
4 Bradley 7.0 (knock on wood; 9.4 in 2008, 5.4 in 2009)
5-9 Gutierrez, Griffey, 1B, not bad for the back half
.380 Evan Longoria
.377 Ryan Zimmerman
.376 Johnny Damon
.371 Justin Morneau
.368 Russell Branyan
.358 Chone Figgins
A cheap 1-year deal on Damon, plus the dice roll on Bradley, would give Capt Jack a chance for a stealth 2010 contender-class lineup until he gets his real lineup together in 2011-12.
for anything similar to, say, the Cliff Lee package, then I'll take the guy who helps us now and later...
But assuming that Tampa wants a ransom for him, Damon can help now...
Late-inning replacements when ahead 5-3 are definitely part of the package, as is Jack Wilson running 200 feet into the OF to take relays. Anybody remember Gorman Thomas throwing the ball literally underhand from LF? Mostly the SS just ran out to take the ball...
This is why Zduriencik has been playing possum with the free agents. He could have signed Nick Johnson for 8 mil/2 years or Bay for a king's ransom or (etc)...but he read the market correctly and recognized that there would be someone left standing when the music stopped in desperate need of a contract who could help the line-up. I hope he follows through and actually signs Damon...if he ends up in Oakland...he instantly makes them a contender...can't let that happen.
I do not like Damon. I hate the way he plays the field and I find him obnoxious personally even if he can still swing a bat.
But I could say the same thing about Milton Bradley, and for the price I was quite happy to add him to our lineup.
Damon gives us what, 4-5 RC/27 over his actual, on-roster replacement? For the 15-whatever million a year he wanted, at his age over multiple years? Not really in our plans. For 5-7 million on a one year deal? That's how contenders get minted, by getting great production values on their dollars and having legit bats in the lineup.
This is a play that could pay significant dividends this year, and has no long-term downside. I'd like to see us jump on it.
:- ) Bill James always wrote that he expected a good ML manager to surprise him with moves, and for those moves to turn out to be right, later on ...
If that is what Zduriencik has done, anticipate this syndrome of screaming deals going to the buyers (rather than to the sellers) at the end of the winter, I'll give him credit for master-class maneuvering on that front ...
Listening to Zduriencik on the radio, there is no question that he can (and usually does) politely walk away from deals that he doesn't like... he has been walking away from DOZENS of firm offers this winter, and he may be about to reap the benefits of his willingness to say no...
Anything that keeps Bradley off the field and in the DH spot without screwing the team over at the plate is a great thing for this team. There is hidden value in this move in that it increases the chance that Bradley stays healthy all year.