Possibly the most uneventful free-agent auction of the offseason is over: Johnny Damon has signed a one year, $8 million deal with the Detroit Tigers, pending a physical scheduled for sometime on Sunday, Feb. 21.
However, the Tigers may have been the only club that was really serious about signing Damon and had a hole for him, as they let go of Curtis Granderson in a trade with the Yankees. The White Sox reportedly offered him a deal, but withdrew it when Damon and his agent, Scott Boras, began toying with them for more money.
The Atlanta Braves offered him a deal a couple of weeks ago, but sources have said the deal was for less than $4 million and despite Damon taking a big pay cut from last year anyways, he was confident that another club would fly in with a better deal, as both the Tigers and White Sox did.
So what does this deal mean for the Detroit Tigers? It means they now have a player that can get on base at an acceptable clip for a leadoff batter, as well as put up decent power numbers. The Tigers should now be seen as the favorites to win the AL Central, as I would even call Damon an upgrade over Granderson, who batted an unsightly .249 with a sub-par .329 OBP.