In his Sunday article, Nick Carfado of the Boston Globe provided an update on veteran free agent Johnny Damon. Carfado confirmed that, as the Cleveland Indians wade through potential left fielders, they could wind up with Damon. Beyond the Indians, Carfado added that, while the Baltimore Orioles have said they’re not interested in Damon, “their lineup keeps screaming his name”.
This weekend we learned that the Indians could have interest in Damon. These reports were initially shot down by an unnamed front office executive of the Indians who said Damon isn’t an option due to his defense. However, Carfado believes that Damon could still be in play for the Indians as they search for a left fielder.
The Orioles have been tied to Damon for much of the offseason, but rumors died down a bit after the club’s signing of Wilson Betemit. Baltimore appears set to enter the season using Betemit as their primary designated hitter, seemingly closing the door on a potential Damon signing.
While the Orioles continue to deny reports of their interest in Damon, Carfado believes Baltimore’s lineup is screaming for Damon. This comment is rather vague, but let’s try and surmise what Carfado meant.
Some are calling for the Orioles to give up on the Mark Reynolds/third base massacre and move him to first. In doing so, Baltimore would push free-swinger Chris Davis off of first and replace Reynolds with Betemit. With Betemit manning the hot corner, the Orioles DH role would be open for a Damon signing.
Not sure if this is where Carfado was going, but it does make sense to some people. Others believe it would be a mistake giving up on Reynolds at third and Davis at first, and argue that Betemit’s glove isn’t much of an upgrade at third.
Either way, Damon remains a free agent and no team has publicly expressed interest in him for some time. With the regular season approaching, it’s to be determined if a starting role will open up for the veteran or if he’ll have to accept a reserve role.