Gordon Edes at the Boston Globe discusses the market for Johnny Damon in an article today and he makes some good points. Scott Boras is asking for a 7 year $80 million deal for his client, Johnny (WWJD) Damon. And he may get it (I'm not sure where, but it's looking better every day for him).
Let's review the market price for center fielders. (yes, there really is more)
Carlos Beltran got 7 years, $119. J.D. Drew got 5, $55. Andruw Jones will be getting $26.5 over the next two years. Jim Edmonds got 6 years for $57. Bernie Williams received $12 last year, and if the Yanks had a moment of insanity, he would have received another $15 in an option year this year (all $ in millions, of course).
So where does that leave Johnny? The Red Sox have reportedly offered him 4 years at $40 and they would apparently be getting a bargain at that money. At one point, Damon was a leading contender for MVP (I never thought it would carry through, but his name was mentioned at the beginning of the year). His numbers speak for themselves, and so does his durability. But his real worth comes from being a genuine lead-off hitter. The Sox could get another center fielder (who has a better arm), it's the lead-off spot they'd have trouble filling.
So, I expect the Sox to offer Johnny another year (by team option), and about $12 a year. But when Damon gets a better offer somewhere else (yankees, to yank boston's chain or angels?), he'll be gone.