Monday, October 02, 2006
When Johnny Damon elected to sign with the MFY, my reaction was anger and humor. It aided in getting over his Benedict Arnold act. Now, it is time to understand the Sox rationale for not going to five years.
If the account in Seth Mnookin’s Feeding the Monster is accurate, Scott Boras “never had a firm six-year offer from any team” as he told the Sox. The Olde Towne Team never offered their final offer of $44 million over four years, but it is academic since Damon signed for $52 million. It is highly doubtful that Damon and Boras would have left $8 million on the table. The Sox would have need to add an extra year to ink the leadoff hitter. Damon remaining a Red Sox just wasn‘t going happen. “We all reached a consensus about how five years was just too much [to offer Damon],” says Lucchino.
My question is how can Tek get four years and Damon being a year younger not be worthy of five years? Both are up the middle players, productive at the plate, solid defensively and leaders in the clubhouse. Each are expected to decline on the later half of their contracts. Their employers knew they would be paying for the first years of their deals. I just don’t understand how Tek is worth four and Damon not worth five years. The Sox were somewhat inconsistent. Was this the non-Theo lead Sox or did goal change after 2005?
Regardless, given Theo’s confirmed desire to build the Sox for the 2007 season and beyond, he would have made the same decision and let Damon walk. The Sox would have gotten Damon’s best years - 2006 to 2008 - when the plan was to reload. The traitor’s most productive years would have been wasted. Signing Damon would have been a poor use of resources with the Sox desire to build beyond 2006. The decision making process was rationale, but may not have been regarding Tek.