Tonight at 7 PM, the Red Sox Committee of GMs will meet with Johnny Damon's people. Here is what the two sides will probably talk about:
Johnny batted .316 last season, the 4th best in the league. He got on base 36.6% of the time. He scored 117 runs and even knocked in 75 more, which is a lot for a leadoff hitter. He has a great deal of range in center field. He was 18/19 on stolen base attempts. Imagine how many runs he wouldv'e scored if Renteria had hit well. He is the spark plug for the offense. Plus, he is a star player.
The Red Sox:
Johnny's batting average dropped every month of the season. Scoring 117 runs with Ortiz and Ramirez behind you isn't a monumental accomplishment. He has no arm. He turned 32 a few days ago. We already have a great deal of big contracts on our hands. There isn't much of a market for outfielders this season.
The fact of the matter is that big market teams like the Cubs and Yankees have expressed that Damon is asking for too much. He wants a 5 year deal. He'll be 38 at the end of the deal. How much his skills will diminish in the next few years is unkown.
I think the Red Sox need to keep Damon's contract at around $40 million for 4 years. Absolutely no more than 4 with perhaps a mutual option or a buyout option for a 5th year. $10 M is the highest Damon's salary should go.