Bronson Arroyo signed a 3 year, $11.25 million contract with Boston this off-season, a deal that many (including his own agent) characterized as a hometown discount. Arroyo was traded to Cincinnati yesterday, a development that one former teammate says is part of a pattern in Boston, writes the Hartford Courant’s Don Amore.
“I’m really upset for Bronson,” Johnny Damon said. “He should be able to become a free agent after this year, re-do his contract. This is what they were afraid of – his agent was right.”
In criticizing Red Sox management for lack of loyalty, Damon cited his own negotiations with the team.
“I bought a house that I could not afford at the time, in Boston because they said, `We’re going to keep you, we’ll get something done real soon.’ This was right after we won the World Series [in 2004]. Obviously, that never happened. After they didn’t come to me during the  season, my loyalty to them wasn’t there anymore either. I felt the loyalty from them was gone. …
“Unfortunately, the loyalty of the fans always stays. You try not to be bitter through life, because I’ve learned you just shouldn’t be that way. I’ve learned to accept it. I hope the [Red Sox] fans accept it, because now another guy they loved is gone.”
“The biggest thing that enticed me about the Yankees is knowing that Derek Jeter is going to be here five more years, [Alex Rodriguez] is going to be here five more years, Jorge Posada’s going to be here. Bernie Williams is going to be here as long as he wants. I believe they’re going to make a big effort to sign Gary Sheffield. Jason Giambi is here three more years.
“That core is something that enticed me a lot. The core in Boston, unfortunately, is coming to an end.”
Though Damon did not mention anyone in the Boston front office by name, he indicated the reliance on statistics, contract status, age and other factors misses the point of what makes a championship team tick.
“They have their plans, and they have their computers, and they believe that’s right,” Damon said. “Unfortunately, computers don’t judge a person’s heart.”
Indeed, were the Red Sox using an electrocardiogram to judge a person’s heart, they’d have kept the gritty Carl Everett in center field and never have signed a free agent named Johnny Damon.