Friday, February 19, 2010
Updated: February 20, 2:36 PM ET
Tigers make Johnny Damon an offer
Detroit Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski says he has made a contract offer to free agent Johnny Damon.
Dombrowski confirmed the offer in a telephone interview with The Associated Press after telling reporters in Lakeland, Fla., that the Tigers were interested in signing the outfielder.
The 36-year-old Damon hit .286 with 24 homers for the New York Yankees last season. He likely would bat leadoff for the Tigers, filling the void left when Detroit dealt Curtis Granderson to the Yankees.
Damon also would give Detroit a left-handed bat it needs and a veteran in the outfield, where his savvy is an asset and his arm a liability.
The Atlanta Braves also appear interested in adding Damon.
Damon helped the Yankees win the World Series for the first time since 2000, hitting .282 with 23 homers and 82 RBIs, but he was coming off a $52 million, four-year contract.
While he initially wanted a long-term deal at the same average salary, New York valued the 36-year-old at far less. The Yankees kept reducing their offer, claiming payroll constraints.
They now have no place for Damon after acquiring Granderson, signing free agent outfielders Randy Winn and Marcus Thames and signing designated hitter Nick Johnson to become their No. 2 hitter.
The Chicago White Sox withdrew their offer to Damon, general manager Ken Williams said Friday, a decision first reported by ESPNChicago.com.