Should The Tigers Sign Johnny Damon?

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Should The Tigers Sign Johnny Damon?
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Point: Yes, I hope the Tigers bring Johnny Damon in. It makes perfect sense.

Counterpoint: The Tigers might as well turn over left field to Ryan Raburn.

P: Raburn? I like Raburn as a fifth outfielder. He won't put up what Damon will.

CP: Signing Damon would make the Tigers awfully crowded with outfielders. They have Raburn, Clete Thomas, Austin Jackson, Wilkin Ramirez, Magglio Ordonez, and possibly Carlos Guillen.

CP: Forget Ramirez and Thomas. Now you are down to four guys. Guillen could play a lot at third base considering Brandon Inge's injuries.

P: If they sign Damon, Guillen will mostly be a DH. Inge is ready to go.

CP: Ordonez will not play 162 games either. I'm thinking Guillen will play plenty of outfield.

P: I think the outfield will be Guillen, Damon, and Ordonez with Jackson and Raburn on the bench.

CP: Some combination of those would be the outfield. One of those guys will be your DH.

P: Likely it would look like this: Damon, Guillen, Raburn, and Thomas would share left field. Jackson and Thomas would share center field. Then Ordonez and Thomas would share right field. Is that doable?

CP: I guess. I'm still concerned about Guillen being unhappy with DH.

P: Guillen and his huge contract will be fine.

CP: Isn't Damon an injury risk?

P: Actually, no. Johnny Damon has 14 straight seasons where he has played in 140-plus games. Pretty good, eh?

CP: I did not know that.

P: Of course not, Mr. No Research.

CP: I guess you will tell me how many dingers Damon hit last year.

P: Oh yeah, he did hit 24.

CP: He won't hit 15 in Comerica. I'd be surprised if he hits 10.

P: Yankee Stadium helped Damon hit homers?

CP: He only hit seven home runs on the road. What does that tell you?

P: I know that Yankee Stadium proved to be a launching pad for lefties.

CP: Yes, and Damon is not getting younger. You are aware that players don't generally improve as they get over 35, right? How old is Damon again? 

P: He is only 36 but managed to score over 100 runs last year with a sweet OBP of .365.

CP: He was helped a little by a loaded lineup of All-Stars, no?

P: Maybe, but he had to get on base to score.

CP: Let's get to defense. The outfield you want would have limited range. I can just see all the balls dropping in for hits. Damon's popgun arm is pitiful.

P: Most people won't complain about his defensive skills when he puts up .280/.350/.450.

CP: Can he even hit the cutoff man from left?

P: Perhaps with the wind behind him.

CP: Exactly.

P: Damon is also a big name. I could see him getting the Tiger fanbase excited.

CP: The Tiger fans will be excited if they win.

P: Damon is a winner, having played in the postseason year after year.

CP: How much will it take to sign him? There aren't many teams interested.

P: The Tigers are said to have offered $7 million.

CP: That would be overpaying. Scott Boras is going to have them bidding against themselves. He is a master at that.

P: Maybe they can get him for $5 million.

CP: That would be more like it. I can't see him playing in the National League. The league switch would hurt him, and he can't DH.

P: The Reds are said to have some interest.

CP: The Reds have less money than the Tigers and haven't had a winning season this century. He wouldn't go there unless it was a last resort.

P: For $5 million, it makes too much sense. He could lead off and play center field if Jackson does not pan out. He may be able to be traded when July rolls around.

CP: I don't think anyone would be interested in July. Damon has an outside shot at the Hall of Fame and needs at-bats. Can the Tigers run him out there for 500 at-bats?

P: I think so.

CP: Maybe Damon would be a one-year stopgap.

P: No doubt. You know...the ladies seem to really take to Damon.

CP: Well, he has that going for him.

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