UPDATE 2: O'Brien changes his original report, now saying the Braves' offer is closer to $4.5 million total. He doesn't think that's enough to get a deal done, but he says it's a strong first offer. Tyler Kepner of the New York Times tweets that the offer is $2 million plus $2 million deferred, which is close to the Yankees' final offer.
UPDATE: O'Brien now adds that the Braves' offer is "believed to be worth at least $5 million, although some of that would be deferred."
It's been awhile since we've seen anything resembling a "real" rumor regarding the Braves, but today we've definitely got something on our hands. Mark Bowman of MLB.com and David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution are both reporting that the Braves have made a one-year contract offer to free-agent left fielder Johnny Damon. O'Brien characterizes the offer as "initial," says that the Braves' interest is "increased" and that they've even had Chipper Jones make a recruiting call of sorts to Damon. Bowman's source adds that at least some of the money is deferred. O'Brien (who has a pretty good connection with Scott Boras) tells us that Boras and Damon are still holding out for a two-year offer.
I remain 100% in support of a move to add outfield quality and depth by signing Damon, especially if some of the money involved is deferred. I'd even be willing to make a two-year offer, worth perhaps $8 million total--again assuming deferral of some of the salary. Even if Damon doesn't repeat his 2009 season (which he won't, given his age and his move out of NuYankee Stadium), he'll still likely be an offensive asset. He can lead off and allow Nate McLouth to hit lower in the order. Baseball Prospectus even projects him to be a neutral defender in the outfield; even if he's a negative, he'll be an improvement on Garret Anderson out there. Have no fear that Jason Heyward will get his chance at stardom, with or without Damon. I see the downside as minimal, and the upside as extremely significant.