Could Johnny Damon end up playing for Jim Leyland?
From Lynn Henning of the Detroit News:
Johnny Damon, the free-agent outfielder who helped the Yankees to a world championship in 2009, would be happy to talk with the Tigers.
“Johnny believes the addition of him to Detroit’s lineup would make the Tigers a winner,” Scott Boras, Damon’s agent, said during a Monday phone conversation.
“He’s batted .363 at Comerica Park, he has a .412 on-base percentage at Comerica,” Boras said.
Boras added, quoting Damon before Damon signed earlier contracts with the Yankees and Boston Red Sox: “I told you I could make the Yankees a winner, and I told you before I left Oakland (where he played in 2001) I could make a Boston a winner.”
Boras says Damon has the same disposition toward the Tigers in 2010: “I can make the Detroit Tigers a winner,” Boras said, citing Damon’s words to him in December.
Damon in Detroit makes sense for the Tigers offensively. He might even be a defensive upgrade to Carlos Guillen, as well, who attempted to man left field in Comerica Park on a regular basis for the first time ever in 2009. Guillen’s UZR/150 at the position, over a measly 42 games, was -12.7 and, given his injury-prone ways, it would be worthwhile to use him as the designated hitter rather than in the outfield. Damon has absolutely no arm, but his range is not as bad – it is definitely still a negative, according to RngR, though not a huge negative – as many perceive it to be.
Will Detroit be willing to spend on Damon, though? In the end, that’s the real question.
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