Why The Tigers Should Sign Johnny Damon

ZackOContributor IFebruary 18, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 02:  Eric Hinske #14 of the New York Yankees scores on a broken bat ground out by Johnny Damon #18 in the top of the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Five of the 2009 MLB World Series at Citizens Bank Park on November 2, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

If the Detroit Tigers were to sign Johnny Damon, he would immediately become their second most dangerous hitter, behind Miguel Cabrera. The only two Tigers who could even think about arguing that point are Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen. 

Ordonez may have a case, but until Ordonez proves he's more than a singles hitter, Damon is more dangerous at the plate.  Ordonez may hit for a higher average than Damon, but Damon more than compensate for that by having more power and speed than Ordonez.

Assuming the Tigers can sign Damon to a one year deal, with attainable incentives to guarantee a second year, it's a great baseball move. Damon is easily worth $7,000,000 on a one year deal, and if he hits the targeted incentives, a second year at a similar rate makes complete sense.

And if the Tigers can lock up Damon on reasonable terms, it only makes the Curtis Granderson trade look better. The Tigers would have essentially swapped Damon for Granderson in the lineup, AND added an infusion of good young talent in Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, and Phil Coke. 

Damon and Granderson are similar players, and if the rumored $7,000,000/yr figure is accurate, then swapping out one for the other, while adding four good young prospects, is the kind of baseball move that Detroit fans should be applauding.

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