Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Reports out of New York...

According to reports tonight, Johnny Damon is signing a 4 year, $53 million contract with the Yankees. Bad move for Johnny, good move for Boston overall. Damon is a terrific ballplayer overall, with very good speed and a strong bat. He also covers a lot of outfield territory.

On the other hand, he's not a "true" leadoff hitter in many ways, isn't the base-stealing threat he once was, and has been very injury-prone the last couple of years, breaking down in the latter part of the season. He also has a horrible throwing arm, and in Fenway that's typically less of a problem than it is in Yankee Stadium. He's also now inked for a long-term deal as a center fielder in a game that rarely lets center fielders age gracefully (though he could always move to right in Yankee Stadium with the short porch).

Depending on what trade comes down the pike next for the Sox (the rumor is that we pick up either Coco Crisp from Cleveland or Jeremy Reed from Seattle in exchange for pitching), this could work out OK. It's too bad that Scott Boras simply guides his clients where the cash is highest - Damon's reputation and back story here would have easily made him a lot more long-term cash on endorsements and the like. In New York, he's just another ballplayer. Here, he was Caveman Johnny, the "idiot" who helped Boston win their first World Series in 86 years.

There's a definite difference in value between the two.

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