Sunday, January 17, 2010

Damon to the Mets?

Rob Neyer recently blogged "All The Places Johnny Damon Isn't Going," a quick look at some potential landing spots. In it, he quotes an article mentioning the Mets being a place that Damon would "probably not" end up.

On paper, Johnny Damon to the Mets would make sense. When healthy, Beltran is one of the best all around center fielders in the game. But with his knee surgery this off-season, there is a good chance that he will not be ready until June, if at all. Damon is still a good offensive player, and while his defense would be more than a little suspect at Citifield, neither party has better options at this point.
All of this I think is fairly obvious. Damon is without a team, and the Mets have a void in the outfield and in their offense. It was this little nugget at the end, a Neyer editorial, that really caught my interest:
When Beltran comes back, where exactly would Damon play? Unless they're thinking about using him at first base -- which, come to think of it, wouldn't be the worst idea in the world -- I just don't see the point.
Interesting idea! At least, it gave me some pause when I heard it.

However, even with that as an option, Damon doesn't make sense for the Mets anywhere NEAR to his asking price. He's a good player, no doubt, even at age 36. But last season was likely his last hurrah. He hit .284/.349/.446 away from Yankee Stadium with only 7 home runs. His defense is universally recognized as poor. If we wanted a first baseman who could post a 795 OPS, there are a lot of cheaper options.

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