Brian Cashman ‘Sorry’ Johnny Damon Will Not Return to Yankees in 2010

Can you truly be sorry if you haven't done anything wrong? Brian Cashman must think so.

The Yankees general manager is "sorry" that free-agent outfielder Johnny Damon will not be back with the team next season, the New York Post reports.

"We wanted Johnny back, and we are sorry he is not back," Cashman told the Post. "But you can't say publicly with a straight face that we didn’t make an offer because we were told not to make an offer because we were not in the same ballpark."

Finances played a major role in the negotiations between the team and Damon's agent Scott Boras.

"On Dec. 17, Scott's exact words were that he would not take a penny less than $13 million a year for two years," Cashman told The New York Times. "We believed him."

According to The Post, Damon called Yankees officials last week and was told that if he accepted a one-year deal worth $6 million with $3 million deferred, perhaps Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner would have him back for next season. The free-agent outfielder considered the offer unacceptable.

The Yankees then signed Randy Winn, eliminating any need for Damon. Boras says several teams remain interested in the free-agent outfielder.

"There are a lot of teams," Boras told the New York Times. "Look, with great players, a lot of teams are going to come forward, and that's exactly what’s happening with Johnny Damon."

The A's, Reds, Rays and Tigers have been linked to Damon in recent weeks, but a team willing to pay $13 million a year for the veteran has not come forward.

Cashman may have apologized, but Damon could be the one feeling sorry for himself next season.

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