Heard this: The overwhelming expectation among some executives involved in the Johnny Damon bidding is that he will wind up with Tigers.Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated is saying the Tigers have offered at least two years for $14 million:
hearing Tigers' offer may actually be a bit north of $14 million over 2 years. but damon still may prefer 1 yr. chisox, braves also tryingAnother trusted source Mark Anderson of TigsTown also thinks the Tigers will sign Damon by tomorrow. There have also been rumblings about the White Sox and Braves but the Tigers seem to be the clear front runner.
Given that owner Mike Illitch seems willing to continue spending big, the amount of the contract seems less important than the years. Two years for a 36 year old outfielder is somewhat risky and leaves open the possibility that the Tigers might get stuck with three declining players in 2011 - Damon, Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen. However, the Tigers desperately need a left-handed bat so I'd support even a two year deal.
If the Tigers do sign Damon, he'll likely lead off and play left field. Carlos Guillen would probably be forced into a full-time designated hitter role whether he likes it or not. Ryan Raburn would back up at all three outfield positions. Clete Thomas would take on either a reduced role on the end of the bench or go to Toledo for regular at bats.