It has been clear for weeks now that the New York Yankees want Johnny Damon back, but for no more than two years at around $10 million per season.
Damon made it clear Tuesday he wants more than that -- and he fully intends to allow agent Scott Boras to find a team willing to pony up his asking price.
Damon is still seeking a three-year contract without taking a pay cut - that would put a deal at $39million - believing that his performance last season was good enough for him to continue earning an annual salary of $13 million. And after watching Mike Cameron - who is almost a year older than Damon - ink a two-year pact with the Red Sox, Damon sees no reason for him to settle for less than three.
"Players out there are getting multi-year deals," Damon said. "(Andy) Pettitte got a raise at 37, even though it was only one year. Cameron is 37 (he turns 37 in January) and he got two years. We're not going to know much until we start negotiating with teams, but that should happen soon."
Damon, who doesn't seem to be in any rush to get his situation settled, said that the Yankees have not started negotiating with his agent, Scott Boras.
"I've been too busy with the kids to worry about it," Damon said. "We're just going about our business and our life. I'm not really too concerned about it. We'll find a team elsewhere if the Yankees don't bring me back."
My take: I can't blame Damon for wanting as much as he can get, but the Yankees can't do that. And GM Brian Cashman seems to feel that way, too. Three years from now Damon will be a very expensive broken-down ex-outfielder who can only DH. The Yankees don't need that. If Damon wants to play hardball, the Yankees just need to move on.