November 23, 2009

Pay Johnny good

In a surprise development free agent outfielder Johnny Damon wants more money. No friends, that’s not a mistake, Johnny wants more. I know, I know… I’m as shocked as you are.

My favorite mercenary is looking for the highest bidder again and with Scott Boras as his agent, he’ll probably get what he wants. He will then have the nerve to tell us all that (fill in the blank) was always where he wanted to play; his first choice all along.

Sure Johnny. Whatever you say Johnny.

According to the NY Daily News, Damon prefers to stay with the Yankees, and while he has made that wish very public, sources say he isn't about to give the Yankees a big discount to stay there.

Of course not. We’re talking Johnny Damon, who would sign up to play for Cuba in the World Baseball Classic if he could get enough money from Castro.

The Daily News also reports Damon has told friends all year he would take a shorter deal from the Yankees than he would elsewhere… but it is believed he would want a higher average annual salary if he were to take less years.

Translation - pay me four years worth of salary for two years worth of work because "I love New York."

Johnny made $13 million in 2009. Granted he had a fair offensive season, but let’s not forget that 17 of his 24 homeruns came in the band box known as Yankee Stadium. I guess the Yankees and Damon deserve each other. Where else can he continue to command more money than say…? Bobby Abreu and put up mediocre numbers.

Per Ken Rosenthal – Boras will use Bobby Abreu’s contract as a starting point and Boras will argue that Damon deserves more. Abreu is signed for two years and $19 million.

I have to say the thought of Damon being compared to Abreu makes my skin crawl. The Angels wanted Abreu back. Abreu wanted to come back. They got a deal done… no testing the open market, etc. Deal done. Again, the Yankees and Damon deserve one another.

He’s quoted in the NY Daily News as saying… "I want to continue to be on a team that can win and to play in front of great fans - and we know that the Yankees fill both of those," Damon said. "I think everyone knows my desire to come back. Still, every time I've been a free agent, I've ended up switching teams. It's the nature of the beast. If people are interested, I'm going to listen."

Translation… money talks and Johnny walks.

Johnny can bank all the money he wants; that’s his prerogative. It’s just time people realized that he’s all about the money. Come on Johnny… just say it. You could actually care less where you play as long as that team offers you the most money; you’re as loyal as a dog in heat.

Johnny’s not the kind of guy you’d want dating your daughter. Johnny’s the kid in elementary school who pinky swore with one hand and had his fingers crossed on the other. He’s the kid that swindled other kids out of their lunch money and became the teacher’s pet by bringing her an apple that he picked off a neighbor’s tree.

I can’t wait to see Teixeira, A-Rod and Johnny posing together for photo next year. We’ll get to see three of the phoniest smiles in all of sports.

What’s the world coming to? Next thing you know Paul Loduca will think he can come back and play in the major leagues next year.

Hot Stove Predictions Final Installment - Pitching

For my last installment of Hot Stove Predictions, I am taking a look at pitchers. All categories are covered here – be it starters, relievers or wanna-be’s.

Before, I get started, I have to correct an early prediction I made. In true bone-head like form, I predicted the Angels would sign Tony Pena, thinking Pena was the same one that once pitched for Arizona before being traded to the White Sox. Turns out that he’s not a free agent and the one that is a free agent is Tony Pena, Jr. the Kansas City Royal who was converted from shortstop.

In any case – I have no idea where Junior will end up and I can’t say I care much eith... and with that, I will now revise my Angels pick to 30 year old Rafael Soriano, last seen pitching for the Braves. Hopefully, there’s not a Rafael Soriano, Jr. out there to make me more confused than I already am.

Soriano has the kind of power arm the Angels always seem to covet. Soriano would give the Angels bull pen a huge boost.

As for the rest… there are so many pitchers on the open market, I thought it would be easiest for me to just list them. It’s not a comprehensive list, but there are still a lot of names here:

Starting pitchers
Miguel Batista (39) - Diamondbacks
Erik Bedard (31) - Type B - Braves
Daniel Cabrera (29) – Cardinals
Aroldis Chapman (22) – Yankees
Doug Davis (34) - Type B – Mariners
Justin Duchscherer (32) - Type B – Cubs
Jon Garland (30) - Type B – Twins
Rich Harden (28) - Type B – Mets
John Lackey (31) - Type A – Angels
Braden Looper (35) - Type B – Royals
Jason Marquis (31) - Type B – Yankees
Pedro Martinez (38) – Dodgers
Brett Myers (29) – Rangers
Vicente Padilla (32) - Type B – Dodgers
Carl Pavano (34) - Type B – Diamondbacks
Brad Penny (32) – Giants
Andy Pettitte (38) - Type B – Yankees
Joel Pineiro (31) - Type B – Nationals
Horacio Ramirez (30) – Reds
Ben Sheets (31) – Astros
John Smoltz (43) – Rockies
Jarrod Washburn (35) – Brewers
Todd Wellemeyer (31) – Cubs
Kip Wells (33) - Nationals
Randy Wolf (33) - Type A – Mets

Mike Gonzalez (32) - Type A - Tigers
Kevin Gregg (32) - Type A – Astros
Fernando Rodney (33) - Type B - Phillies
Rafael Soriano (30) - Type A - Angels
Jose Valverde (32) - Type A - Rays
Billy Wagner (38) - Type A – Orioles

Right-handed relievers:
Rafael Betancourt (35) - Type A – Red Sox
Kiko Calero (35) - Type B - Rays
Octavio Dotel (36) - Type A - Yankees
LaTroy Hawkins (37) - Type A - Astros
Jason Isringhausen (37) - Rays
Brandon Lyon (30) - Type B - Tigers
Guillermo Mota (36) - Type B - Dodgers
Chan Ho Park (37) - Type B - Phillies
J.J. Putz (33) – Red Sox
Justin Speier (36) - Giants
Russ Springer (41) - Type B - Rays
David Weathers (40) - Type B - Reds
Jeff Weaver (33) - Dodgers

Left-handed relievers:
Joe Beimel (32) - Type B – Mets
Will Ohman (31) - Type B - Padres
Darren Oliver (39) - Type A - Angels

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