According to Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves can “afford to sign” the 36-year old outfielder “if they could do a one- or two-year deal for well below $10 mill per, and perhaps closer to $7-8 mill per season if it’s a two-year deal” (trading Melky Cabrera could also allow such a deal). Essentially, the Braves could look to offer Damon the same multiyear deal the Yankees had proposed to him earlier this winter, prior to signing Nick Johnson. O’Brien believes that Damon would “seriously consider it” since he has not “received better offers yet,” and because “he’s told some people he’d like to play for the Braves, who train near his Orlando home.”
If Damon’s price is in the $7-8 million range, as outlined by O’Brien, I don’t believe that the Yankees will pursue him. However, if his price drops even further — $6-5 million per year — then there could be renewed interest from Brian Cashman and co. A one-year contract around $10 million may entice the team, as well, though I doubt Damon could receive $10 million from New York. It’s interesting to see the way in which Damon’s market has played out this winter. While he’s certainly worth more than $6-5 million per year, assuming his production is close to 2009, his overall value has been dictated by fundamental market forces like supply and demand rather than his established skill set. Thus, the Braves, Giants, or maybe even the Yankees could obtain a Beltre-like bargain by signing the currently homeless left fielder.
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