Damon Open To Coming Back To New York? Don’t Get Your Hopes Up

“My heart is in New York,” Damon told WFAN’s Mike Francesa Friday. “I loved playing there, I loved playing with the team. Unfortunately, there’s some differences in what was talked about, and here I am looking for another team right now.”

Let’s take a look at this for a minute.  Damon and his agent, Scott Boras, wanted $22 million for two years.  The Yankees came back with $14 million for two years.  Damon/Boras (or “Doras”)  scoffed at that, after which the Yankees stuck to their guns.  They ended up signing Nick Johnson to a one year contract for $5.75 million, and Randy Winn to a one year deal worth $2 milion instead.  “Doras” got exactly nothing.

So what will happen to Johnny Damon?  My guess is he’ll end up signing somewhere for less than the Yankees original offer.  Who is to blame for this?  I’m tempted to blame Scott Boras.  After all, it’s Boras who whispers in his clients’ ears convincing them that they’re worth way more than they actually are.  This is 2010, not 2005.  It’s a different world than it was back then. 

But the reality is that it’s Johnny Damon’s fault.  If Damon really wanted to stay in New York like he says, he could have spoken up just like A-Rod did in the exact same situation a couple of years ago.  When Alex felt the Yankees slipping through his fingers because of Boras’ (and his own) greed, he went to the Yankee brass directly and worked out a deal that everyone is still happy with today, including Boras who made his cut any way.   I’m not a huge A-Rod fan, but the guy did the right thing that time.   Maybe Damon thought the Yankees were bluffing, or maybe the voice of Scott Boras over his shoulder convinced him they were. 

Maybe I’m being naiive, but I think it’s time for players to take a good look at guys like Scott Boras and realize that their goals are really not the same.  An agent like Boras doesn’t have his client’s back.  Ridiculous numbers submitted by agents to start negotiations only hurt the player, except for the cream of the cream.  When an agent screws up a deal for one player, he has any number of other clients with which to balance out his screw-up, and ultimately his bank account.  The agent doesn’t really suffer all that much.  A player, on the other hand, has only one shot to do it right.  It’s his career on the line, not his agent’s.  I just hope some of the other players who have contract negotiations coming up in the near future realize that when it’s their turn.

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