After weeks of rumors, the Tigers finally signed Johnny Damon to a one year $8 million deal today. Damon will likely play left field on most days and will either leadoff or bat second depending on the readiness of rookie center fielder Austin Jackson. More importantly, Damon gives the Tigers a badly needed left-handed bat. Prior to the signing, the only projected starter batting from the left side was switch hitting Carlos Guillen.
Speaking of Guillen, the next hurdle for the Tigers may be convincing him that he's a designated hitter. Guillen has made it clear that he wants to play in the field regularly but, with the signing of Damon, the DH spot would appear to be his only position most days.
The move also leaves Ryan Raburn without a position but he'll likely amass 400 plate appearances as the fourth outfielder and second DH. The one who might be out of a major league job, at least at the beginning of the season, is Clete Thomas. With Brandon Inge and Scott Sizemore both coming off surgery, the Tigers may want to go with someone like Don Kelly who can play the infield.