Johnny Damon Signs Contract with Detroit Tigers

Bruce JonesContributor IIFebruary 21, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 01:  Johnny Damon #18 (L) of the New York Yankees advances to third base after he stole second base in the top of the ninth inning against Pedro Feliz #7 of the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Four of the 2009 MLB World Series at Citizens Bank Park on November 1, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

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.

Other clubs that had shown interest in the 36-year old outfielder are the Chicago White Sox, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Atlanta Braves, and early on the Toronto Blue Jays.

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.