It seems the Braves interest in Johnny Damon has increased.
According to an updated post on his blog, Atlanta Braves beat writer David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves have made the free agent outfielder an initial one-year offer in recent days.
Reports have varied on how much the Braves offer is believed to be worth.
O’Brien writes the team offered approximately $4.5 million with a portion of money deferred while Mark Bowman of MLB.com’s sources tell him the contract’s total value is under $4 million, including the deferred money.
This development comes the day after Damon sent a text message to the AJC telling them of his hope that the Braves would make a competitive offer for his services and that they are a team that is on the top of his list.
Damon enjoyed one of his best seasons for the Yankees last year, when he posted a .282 batting average, .365 on-base percentage, and matched a career high 24 home runs.
The club apparently is bringing out the big guns in their last ditch effort to land Damon.
The Braves recruited Chipper Jones to contact Damon to sell him on coming to Atlanta.
Chipper wouldn’t confirm that to O’Brien but did list the benefits of acquiring a player of Damon’s caliber.
It is Chipper’s belief that Damon deepens the Braves roster from top and bottom and would give the team invaluable experience in the clubhouse.
If the Braves sign Damon, he would likely play left field for Atlanta and bat first or possibly second in their lineup.
The addition of another proven run producer like Damon would instantly improve Atlanta’s playoff chances this season while also alleviating the pressure on rookie Jason Heyward to make the club out of Spring Training.
If Heyward wins a spot, the Braves could opt to deal Melky Cabrera or Matt Diaz, or they could break camp with an extra outfielder.
While there is a mutual interest between both parties, Damon’s agent Scott Boras is still seeking a two-year contract for his client and claims one team has made such an offer but denies to name the club.
The Braves, Tigers, and Rays are the remaining teams left that have some interest in signing Damon.