20 February 2010
According to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports (h/t MLBTR), Johnny Damon has agreed to a one year, $8 million deal with the Detroit Tigers. As MLBTR notes, the Yankees offered Damon a two year deal for $1 million less per year. It is pretty obvious that Damon and Scott Boras misread the market.
This will forever seal Damon's legacy as a mercenary. It seemed that Red Sox fans were a bit overzealous in their hatred of Damon after he helped to bring a championship to Boston, but Yankees fans can finally understand their anger. There was no better of a fit for Johnny Damon than the Yankees in 2010. They had a spot for him, they wanted him back, he was a well-liked teammate and the fans loved him. Unfortunately, he blew that opportunity by being greedy.
In return, Damon will undoubtedly be welcomed back to Yankee Stadium with boos - just like when he returned to Fenway as a Yankee. The Tigers don't make their first visit to the Bronx until August 16, at which time Johnny Damon will collect his 2009 World Series ring. We aren't sure that he will regret his decision at that moment as the Tigers are likely to be in the playoff mix playing in the weak AL Central. At some point, however Damon is going to realize that he made a mistake and the experience of playing (and winning) in New York can't be matched. Or he won't. Because he is a mercenary.