Scott Boras is still spinning on Johnny Damon, telling USA Today that he is “negotiating with a number of teams” and then adding that, “There are three teams out there that if they don’t have Johnny Damon, they’re not winning the division. He’s the difference in these teams making the playoffs or not contending.”
Now, it would seem that Boras is talking about the Tigers, Braves and … the famous “mystery team” that Boras has often used in negotiations. Word out of Detroit is that the Tigers could have already signed Damon if they were willing to go to a second guaranteed year but they are – not surprisingly – reluctant to do that. If Damon would take one year, he’d probably already be packing for spring in Lakeland.
What’ll happen? I’d bet on a one-and-one (one year, one option) with the Tigers but who knows? We’re literally weeks (and fast approaching days) from spring training and Damon has no team. Not exactly the way he saw this winter unfolding.
• Alex Rodriguez’s 500th home run ball sold at auction for $103,579. Not a bad haul for the guy who caught it, but milestone baseballs – like everything else in the economy – seem to have dropped in value. Barry Bonds’s 756th home run ball sold for about $750k while Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball from 1998 went for a cool $3 million.
• Normally a list of players invited to Mets spring training wouldn’t merit much notice here but one catcher – Francisco Pena – deserves a mention on a Yankees blog. Francisco is the 20-year-old son of Yankees bench coach Tony Pena. Tony is one of the good guys in baseball and the Mets haven’t exactly had overwhelming success at catcher since Mike Piazza, so here’s hoping Francisco has a good spring.
• Don’t forget that the World Series trophy will be at the Westchester County Center tomorrow from 11-2 for fans who want to come and see it (and take pictures). Admission is free, parking is $4. For more info, click here.
• Barring some crazy news, that’ll probably do it for the blog today. Check back over the weekend for more Pinch Hitters and some Super Bowl predictions, as well as anything that might break. I know it’s been slow for a while around here but the good stuff is just around the corner.