I've been thinking for a while about how much a free agent's home city affects where they want to sign. I bring this up because of our discussion concerning Nick Johnson.
I sense not too many of us would be too distraught if we were to sign Johnson to a reasonable contract, and since he's a local guy (Sacramento) and I'm trying to figure out if a homecoming would give us the "hometown discount" that would appease all parties involved (and most importantly us). It seemed to work with last year's Johnson signing and may give us a bit of a discount this year as well. Even if it's a slight advantage and it saves us a million or two that is money that can go to signing more international talent or towards an additional impact player.
For added help I looked up where the top free agents are from to see if we have any advantage:
Matt Holliday - Stillwater, Oklahoma
John Lackey - Abeline, Texas
Jason Bay - Trail, British Columbia
Chone Figgins - born in Georgia, grew up in Florida
Randy Wolf - Los Angeles, California
Andy Pettitte - born in Louisiana, grew up in Texas
Jose Valverde - Dominican Republic
Marco Scutaro - Venezuela
Adrian Beltre - Dominican Republic
Rich Harden - Victoria, British Columbia
Mike Cameron - LaGrange, Georgia
Johnny Damon - born in Kansas, raised in Florida
If there is anything to being near your hometown then the only slight advantage might be offering the BC guys a shorter flight to go home, but that's stretching it. It looks like Johnson is the only impact player that might fit my idea but I'd like to hear everyone's opinion on the matter and if anyone can remember a free agent taking less money to go home again.