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Update: Rays, Damon just talking for now

Jan 21, 2011, 12:15 PM EDT

Johnny Damon

UPDATE, 12:15 PM: Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com was told by a source that the Rays are indeed talking to Damon and that an agreement could “certainly happen,” but also that nothing is close.

2:29 AM: Johnny Damon has found a new home for the upcoming season.  Well, almost.

According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, the 37-year-old free agent is “closing in on a deal” with the Rays.

Damon also drew legitimate interest from the Yankees, Dodgers, Blue Jays and Angels this offseason, but he probably recognized that he has a better shot at playing time down in Tampa Bay, where the Rays have been ravaged offensively by free agency and have some question marks in different areas heading into spring training this year.

The 15-year major league veteran can’t be trusted to play the outfield anymore — at least, not on a regular basis — but he should find enough at-bats at designated hitter to remain satisfied and to produce at a somewhat high level.  At the worst, he’ll make for a useful pinch-hitter.

Damon finished with a .271/.355/.401 batting line, eight home runs and 51 RBI in 539 at-bats last season for the Tigers.  He can probably match a few of those stats if given ample looks with the Rays.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jan 21, 2011 at 6:49 AM

    Wither Manny and Vlad? As far as Boras is concerned, it is 2 down and 1 (Manny) to go. It has been a tough sell for the old timers.

    • Old Gator - Jan 21, 2011 at 12:12 PM

      “Closing in” on Johnny Damon with that flipper of his is kinda like an oxymoron – you know, like “jumbo shrimp,” “military intelligence” or “Irish cuisine.” He’s more like one of those Madison Avenue “eat me” icons – Charley Tuna, for example, or a shmoo – for whom death by cannibalism would be some sort of epiphany.

  2. proudlycanadian - Jan 21, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    Jones to NY. Damon probably to Tampa Bay. Manny in serious talks with Texas according to MLB.com! The homeless problem in MLB is in the process of getting sorted out. Boras will probably be able to take a vacation soon.

    • Old Gator - Jan 21, 2011 at 12:08 PM

      We don’t have a “homeless problem” here, PC. You need to pay more attention to the pundits on TPN. What we have here is a lot of baseball players who don’t really want to work.

      • proudlycanadian - Jan 21, 2011 at 2:07 PM

        The players want to work old timer. The question is regarding remuneration given declining skills and old (in baseball terms) age. When it is all sorted out, I suspect that the Jays will get the player they could use the most (Podsednik) and at a reasonable price. They let themselves be used in rumors by Boras (Manny and Damon) because they wanted other teams to reach for these two guys while the Jays actually want Podsednik..

      • Old Gator - Jan 21, 2011 at 2:24 PM

        Heh – obviously, you were busy beaver trapping and missed the gentle subtleties of my post. Re-tune your antennae for “irony” for a second, and “defenestration” will cycle back automatically with the next waft of pheromones. I prolly should have written “According to the pundits on TPN, what we have here is a lot of baseball players who don’t really want to work.”

      • proudlycanadian - Jan 21, 2011 at 2:51 PM

        As I was out walking in the snow, I did think of the irony in your message. I will see if I can trap some beavers tomorrow, so I will not post any messages then.

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