Via Mark Feinsand -
The Yankees are still in the process of finalizing their payroll for 2010, as GM Brian Cashman has been engaged in talks with the team’s ownership in recent days. Retaining both Damon and Andy Pettitte appear to be two of the team’s primary goals, though neither has been presented with an offer as of yesterday.
“This is a slow time in baseball; just a lot of rumblings and all that stuff,” said Damon, who is heading on a European vacation with his wife, Michelle, later this week. “I’m sure well be talking to them soon. We’d like to come back to New York. Hopefully it can happen.”
Damon’s preference is to remain with the Yankees, and while he has made that wish well-known, sources close to the veteran say he isn’t about to give the Bombers a big discount to stay in pinstripes.
Although he’s told friends all season that he would take a shorter deal from the Yankees than he would elsewhere, it is believed that he would want a higher average annual salary if he were to take fewer years.
A source close to Damon said that the outfielder believes his statistics over the past two years have been good enough that unless the market crumbles entirely like it did last winter for Bobby Abreu, he doesn’t feel he should take a pay cut.
If Damon wants $28 million or more over two years to stay in New York, I think the Yankees should call his bluff – given his age. And, if Damon can get $39 million or more over three years somewhere outside of the Bronx, then, you just tip your cap and wish him well.
Don’t get me wrong…I think Johnny Damon is a very valuable player – and a big part of the Yankees offense and clubhouse harmony. But, at $14 million a season, that’s crazy…