Tigers Sign Johnny Damon

The Tigers officially signed outfielder Johnny Damon to a one-year, $8MM deal today.  The contract contains a no-trade clause and no deferred money.

Damon reportedly turned down two offers to return to the Yankees this offseason, the first of which was worth $14MM over two years. The White Sox, Braves, Rays, and Blue Jays were also in the mix for the Scott Boras client.

The 36-year-old Damon hit .282/.365/.489 with a career high tying 24 homers in 2009, which was the best offensive output of his career in terms of OPS+ (126). UZR wasn't kind to his play in the field, saying he was worth -9.2 runs defensively during the course of the season.  The Tigers seemed to be headed toward a rebuilding year when they traded Curtis Granderson, but they subsequently added Damon and Jose Valverde.

Yahoo's Tim Brown first reported the agreement on Saturday.


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278 Comments on "Tigers Sign Johnny Damon"


Israel Piedra
5 years 6 months ago

Finally we can stop the Damon talk.

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Now I guess we can follow through with Baseball and life on an every day basis.

leviticus6688
5 years 6 months ago

Dombrowski’s ebay strategy:

“Damn, that other guy outbid me by 1 penny for that ironing board I’ve been trying to get! I’ll show him by bidding….(Insert Dr. Evil voice here)….one hundred…million dollars!”

5 years 6 months ago

Alright! Now we can go through this again next year!

danks50
5 years 6 months ago

Thank god it ends.

sploorp
5 years 6 months ago

Not so fast! It’s only a one year deal. We’ll probably be going through this again next year.

empathizerightonyourbehind
5 years 6 months ago

congratulations, detroit. your offseason makes no sense.

universalguru
5 years 6 months ago

Haha I agree… it’ll look ok if Scherzer and Jackson turn out to be a big deal.

Motor_City_Bombshell
5 years 6 months ago

Yes it does make sense, the Tigers were looking for these things this offseason:

1. Bullpen help
2. An infusion of youth
3. A veteran, left-handed hitter

The Tigers signed Jose Valverde using the money they would have on Rodney and Lyon, bullpen help, check.

Detroit wasn’t trading Granderson and Jackson to shed payroll. If they were trading to shed payroll, they’d have traded someone like Ordonez, Bonderman, or Robertson for whatever they could possibly get while eating some salary but hoping the other team takes some. Obviously, they were selling high on two players they felt either wouldn’t replicate their 2009 numbers or felt they had hit their cieling. With that trade, the Tigers got Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, Phile Coke, and Austin Jackson.

Infusion of youth (and even more bullpen help), check.

The Tigers let go of Aubrey Huff and signed Johnny Damon with the money they would have spent on Polanco.

Veteran, left-handed hitter, check.

This why the Tiger’s offseason makes sense, at least to me. Hope that helps.

empathizerightonyourbehind
5 years 6 months ago

1. bullpen help:
out: fernando rodney, $5.5MM
in: jose valverde, $7MM

2. infusion of youth: dude, the just signed johnny damon. so this argument is inconsistent at best.

3. a veteran left-handed bat: curtis granderson has been a part of 6 big league seasons. oh, and he bats left handed.

so what was your point again? it just doesn’t make any sense because they 1) didn’t save much money and 2) did get much better. they, at best, just shuffled the deck. after an incredibly active offseason they might win the exact same number of games as they did last year, just with different players that don’t make sense to anyone.

Motor_City_Bombshell
5 years 6 months ago

1. out: fernando rodney, brandon lyon
in: Jose Valverde, Daniel Schlereth, Phil Coke

2. You forget about Austin Jackson (23) vs. Granderson (29 in March), and Scott Sizemore (25) vs. Polanco (34). Also Schlereth and Coke are younger than Rodney and Lyon.

3. Why is everyone so high on Granderson? The man couldn’t hit lefties, struck out a ton, his average took a nosedive, lost his basestealing ability, and watching every game last season, his defensive got progessively worse over the course of the season to go with his lackluster arm. My point is that they filled their needs without going over budget. They traded away for the future while still contending NOW. Winning as many games as they did last year might win the division. Why don’t you try and dig a little deeper instead of bashing my post right away.

davidwagner
5 years 6 months ago

Personally, watching Granderson at bats was absolutely killing me by the end of last season. He took a big step back in his approach last year (not to mention his defense, highlight reel catches aside), and he now looks more like a completely evolved, deeply flawed player than a work in progress.

And I don’t know if the guy you responded to has ever seen Rodney pitch, but 1.5 million completely understates the difference between his and Valverde’s skill level. I’m not going to defend the Damon signing, but I see where they’re coming from: at the very least, it will increase ticket sales.

Motor_City_Bombshell
5 years 6 months ago

1. out: fernando rodney, brandon lyon
in: Jose Valverde, Daniel Schlereth, Phil Coke

2. You forget about Austin Jackson (23) vs. Granderson (29 in March), and Scott Sizemore (25) vs. Polanco (34). Also Schlereth and Coke are younger than Rodney and Lyon.

3. Why is everyone so high on Granderson? The man couldn’t hit lefties, struck out a ton, his average took a nosedive, lost his basestealing ability, and watching every game last season, his defensive got progessively worse over the course of the season to go with his lackluster arm. My point is that they filled their needs without going over budget. They traded away for the future while still contending NOW. Winning as many games as they did last year might win the division. Why don’t you try and dig a little deeper instead of bashing my post right away.

empathizerightonyourbehind
5 years 6 months ago

1. bullpen help:
out: fernando rodney, $5.5MM
in: jose valverde, $7MM

2. infusion of youth: dude, the just signed johnny damon. so this argument is inconsistent at best.

3. a veteran left-handed bat: curtis granderson has been a part of 6 big league seasons. oh, and he bats left handed.

so what was your point again? it just doesn’t make any sense because they 1) didn’t save much money and 2) did get much better. they, at best, just shuffled the deck. after an incredibly active offseason they might win the exact same number of games as they did last year, just with different players that don’t make sense to anyone.

nick613
5 years 6 months ago

Finally someone who makes sense. I am so tired of hearing they were just trying to shed payroll and there offseason makes no sense.

nick613
5 years 6 months ago

Finally someone who makes sense. I am so tired of hearing they were just trying to shed payroll and there offseason makes no sense.

Motor_City_Bombshell
5 years 6 months ago

Yes it does make sense, the Tigers were looking for these things this offseason:

1. Bullpen help
2. An infusion of youth
3. A veteran, left-handed hitter

The Tigers signed Jose Valverde using the money they would have on Rodney and Lyon, bullpen help, check.

Detroit wasn’t trading Granderson and Jackson to shed payroll. If they were trading to shed payroll, they’d have traded someone like Ordonez, Bonderman, or Robertson for whatever they could possibly get while eating some salary but hoping the other team takes some. Obviously, they were selling high on two players they felt either wouldn’t replicate their 2009 numbers or felt they had hit their cieling. With that trade, the Tigers got Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth, Phile Coke, and Austin Jackson.

Infusion of youth (and even more bullpen help), check.

The Tigers let go of Aubrey Huff and signed Johnny Damon with the money they would have spent on Polanco.

Veteran, left-handed hitter, check.

This why the Tiger’s offseason makes sense, at least to me. Hope that helps.

tigers22
5 years 6 months ago

I disagree. I really liked what we were doing up until this move… the Granderson/Jackson trade was awesome. The traded those guys at the right time to maximize their value, and got a very good haul. I was skeptical on the Valverde signing at first, but if… IF Zumaya can stay healthy this year and Perry keeps improving, they substanially upgraded their bullpen. Throw in Schlereth and Coke and I really like how the pen looks. They let Polanco go to make room for a top prospect, so I’m okay with that. They also have a number of young arms on the way, led by Crosby and Turner.

I just cant understand why everyone thinks Damon is going to help us… and at 8M? No way… wasnt smart, and we didnt NEED him that badly.

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Agree, But now the theory is, If the Tigers shed payroll, the hope is to gain back that payroll back. Which makes no sence.

infamouso
5 years 6 months ago

I can only imagine how much BorASS begged Detroit to throw in an extra million dollars to justify Damon not signing with the Yanks for 7 mil. Detroit, you’ve officially been pimped…

Scott Boras' agent
5 years 6 months ago

People really “like” you. You’re my hero.

Scott Boras' agent
5 years 6 months ago

You’re my hero!

Dave_Gershman
5 years 26 days ago

dog where have you been? whats up?

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Lol, he’s gonna be SO bad.

bjsguess
5 years 6 months ago

LOL – basing that on anything? Last check Johnny Damon becomes the Tigers best outfielder. Coming from a Mets fan I would expect to you understand.

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

The fact that he hit 7 home runs away from Yankee Stadium.

bjsguess
5 years 6 months ago

His OPS was nearly identical in 08 as it was in 09. It was also nearly as high in 06. For 3 out of the past 4 years his OPS has been between 836 and 854. Only one of those years was in the new Yankee Stadium. Damon has been a model of consistency.

He doesn’t have to hit 25 HR’s to post a very solid OPS. The guy makes up for it with a higher average and more doubles. I just can’t understand why would think that he will be “SO bad”.

My projection – Damon will go 290/370/460. Hit 35 doubles and steal 20 bases. Most teams would be thrilled to get that kind of production.

inleylandwetrust
5 years 6 months ago

christ. check the other stats. his RBI, hits, runs, and avg were nearly identical home and away. double his away home runs for a full year and hes still got 14 which il take. the guy can still hit, and thats all were asking from him, nobody expects him to belt out 20+ homers, just get on base because lord knows thats something we couldnt do last season.

csg
5 years 6 months ago

I hope its for $5mil or less

csg
5 years 6 months ago

$8 mil? what an awful deal. The Sox and Braves never even hit the $5mil mark and they almost doubled it with no other bidders.

billmelton
5 years 6 months ago

So Detroit bids against itself and adds an additional million to a 7 million dollar offer. Plus a no trade clause. Plus all money up front, none deferred. Is Damon worth this in Comerica Park? No.

I’m glad KW pulled out of this and didn’t get sucked into the Boras side show. He got Detroit to really overpay for Damon and save 6 million for signing a much better player down the road…

csg
5 years 6 months ago

$8 mil? what an awful deal. The Sox and Braves never even hit the $5mil mark and they almost doubled it with no other bidders.

bbxxj
5 years 6 months ago

As a Braves fan I say:

wooooooooo!!!

Bring on MattyD!

pksox12
5 years 6 months ago

1. Basically traded Granderson for Damon
2. Damon didn’t want to play in DET, announced pubicly.
3. Detroit is paying Mags 20 mill this year right??

DET = FAIL

Motor_City_Bombshell
5 years 6 months ago

1. No they didn’t, they got Jackson and Phil Coke. Granderson is terrible against lefties, strikes out a ton, and has a lackluster arm. Jackson will be playing center, not Damon.
2. Damon never publically announced he didn’t want to go to DET, if anything, I had more reason to believe he wanted to play in Detroit. Plus, when he comes to DET and sees the loyal fanbase and the great atmosphere of Comerica Park, he will come to love Detroit.
3. No, they’re paying him $18 mil, get it right.

cqsox = FAIL

the_show
5 years 6 months ago

Wrong if he wanted Detroit he wouldn’t have waited two weeks to sign their deal on top of the fact that Rosenthal said Damon and his wife didn’t want Detroit….your argument holds no water

the_show
5 years 6 months ago

Wrong if he wanted Detroit he wouldn’t have waited two weeks to sign their deal on top of the fact that Rosenthal said Damon and his wife didn’t want Detroit….your argument holds no water

BlackSoxBandits
5 years 6 months ago

Wow…you are saying Granderson has a lackluster arm??? I have seen Johnny Damon play alot in 09 and he looked LOST, not to mention those lolly pop throws from the OF. No really, it was horrible. Still 18 million for Mags is bad too. Detroit made no sense this year, last year, the year before, etc.

bomberj11
5 years 6 months ago

The loyal fanbase? There were a lot of fans in ’06 when they were winning, and then people started falling off the bandwagon soon after. There are a select few that actually cheer for them in the good times and the bad times, but mostly they are fair-weather.

Motor_City_Bombshell
5 years 6 months ago

1. No they didn’t, they got Jackson and Phil Coke. Granderson is terrible against lefties, strikes out a ton, and has a lackluster arm. Jackson will be playing center, not Damon.
2. Damon never publically announced he didn’t want to go to DET, if anything, I had more reason to believe he wanted to play in Detroit. Plus, when he comes to DET and sees the loyal fanbase and the great atmosphere of Comerica Park, he will come to love Detroit.
3. No, they’re paying him $18 mil, get it right.

cqsox = FAIL

Detroitchik
5 years 6 months ago

Maggs is making 18mm in 2k10

Detroitchik
5 years 6 months ago

Maggs is making 18mm in 2k10

lefty58
5 years 6 months ago

0 for 3.

lefty58
5 years 6 months ago

0 for 3.

MotorCityKitties
5 years 6 months ago

1. Detroit traded Granderson for Jackson. Damon puts Raburn on the bench, doesn’t replace Jackson.
2. Pure speculation.
3. $18M. He was their hottest hitter from the All-Star break on and they were in a pennant race so they had to let the option vest. Only thing they did wrong was blowing it down the stretch.

You = fail.

MotorCityKitties
5 years 6 months ago

1. Detroit traded Granderson for Jackson. Damon puts Raburn on the bench, doesn’t replace Jackson.
2. Pure speculation.
3. $18M. He was their hottest hitter from the All-Star break on and they were in a pennant race so they had to let the option vest. Only thing they did wrong was blowing it down the stretch.

You = fail.

tigers22
5 years 6 months ago

If anyone thinks they traded Grandy for Damon you have no idea what is going on within our organization. I dont care where the dude wanted to play, now that hes here and were about to pay him 8 mil he better play his tail off for us. And Mags is getting 18 million this year I believe.

And don’t say fail… makes you look stupid

tigers22
5 years 6 months ago

If anyone thinks they traded Grandy for Damon you have no idea what is going on within our organization. I dont care where the dude wanted to play, now that hes here and were about to pay him 8 mil he better play his tail off for us. And Mags is getting 18 million this year I believe.

And don’t say fail… makes you look stupid

inleylandwetrust
5 years 6 months ago

1.basically traded edwin for austin jackson, coke, schlereth, and scherzer by that logic
2.like the one source said in a post a few days ago, theres so much BS out there that very little said in this site during these contract talks is believable
3.maggs hit .375 in the 2nd half last year

sounds pretty good to me

inleylandwetrust
5 years 6 months ago

1.basically traded edwin for austin jackson, coke, schlereth, and scherzer by that logic
2.like the one source said in a post a few days ago, theres so much BS out there that very little said in this site during these contract talks is believable
3.maggs hit .375 in the 2nd half last year

sounds pretty good to me

5 years 6 months ago

His tweet says near agreement. A little bit of a stretch to say they are going to sign him huh?

empathizerightonyourbehind
5 years 6 months ago

wow, really great point, steve espinosa.

empathizerightonyourbehind
5 years 6 months ago

wow, really great point, steve espinosa.

5 years 6 months ago

Praise Jesus, Johnny found work. His wife and kids are blessed to have a husband and father who is willing to keep fighting the good fight in pursuit of a better life for them even in this troubled economy. No more Ramen dinners children, Daddy found work!

5 years 6 months ago

Praise Jesus, Johnny found work. His wife and kids are blessed to have a husband and father who is willing to keep fighting the good fight in pursuit of a better life for them even in this troubled economy. No more Ramen dinners children, Daddy found work!

Motor_City_Bombshell
5 years 6 months ago

I guess no one here is a Tiger’s fan. This move does make sense for a couple of reasons: first, the only left-handed bat in the lineup other than Damon is Carlos Guillen, a switch hitter, second, the Tigers have no legitimate no. 2 hitter, which Damon can bring to Detroit, and third, this is a one-year deal, allowing Detroit to go after better outfielders (Crawford, Werth) next offseason. I’m not saying I’m completely for this, as it takes away from the playing time of Raburn and Thomas, two players I really like defensively (and Raburn offensively), but I don’t think this is a terrible move by any means. And how does DET = fail when they traded Granderson, lost Polanco, Rodney, and Lyon but are still legitimate contenders in the AL Central? I, for one, am excited to see the 2010 Detroit Tigers, bring on baseball! :)

Detroit Rock City
5 years 6 months ago

Me too, I am glad to see it is only for a year. Good point on the Crawford and Worth signings(possible). This is certainly a sign that Mike Illitch wants to stay in contention and is willing to throw money away to make an effort. To bad for Raburn, but if Ajax doesn’t work out right away either he or Damon could play center.

CreativeMace
5 years 6 months ago

Finally, a Detroit fan who doesn’t remind me of Chicken Little. I’ve been very happy with this off-season. I’m tired… TIRED of all the people out there who feel they have Detroit figured out. Those who saw the trades of Granderson and Edwin as only being made as financial moves and completely ignore the fact that A) they both sh*t the bed the second half of the season, B) both are quite overrated no matter how likable a person Curtis is, and C) the return they got was quite impressive, especially when looking at facts A and B. If people want to say they “basically traded Granderson for Damon,” so be it. Just don’t forget that means the Tigers traded Edwin Jackson for Scherzer, Schlereth, Austin Jackson, and Phil Coke.

I’m more excited to see the Tigers this year than I was last year at this time. Younger, stronger pitching, some promising young players to start following their careers (Sizemore, Avila, Jackson, Schlereth), and of course one of the top 5 pitchers and hitters in the entire league (Verlander, Cabrera).

MotorCityKitties
5 years 6 months ago

People outside Detroit have never tried to understand what the Tigers are doing. We’re a Midwest town; who cares. Seeings how we’re not on a coast, they could care less about really understanding what the Tigers do. And then they treat Tigers fans like they know more about the team than they do. Simply ridiculous.

MotorCityKitties
5 years 6 months ago

People outside Detroit have never tried to understand what the Tigers are doing. We’re a Midwest town; who cares. Seeings how we’re not on a coast, they could care less about really understanding what the Tigers do. And then they treat Tigers fans like they know more about the team than they do. Simply ridiculous.

inleylandwetrust
5 years 6 months ago

completely agree. damons contract doesnt look so bad when you compare it to 10 mil for beltre and 15 for 2 years from mike cameron. the central just got a lot tighter and there is a chance the tigers could be serious contenders come playoff time this year. inge, guillen are healthy, maybe (but probably not) zumaya and bonderman are ready to make some contributions after a couple seasons of dead weight, cabrera isnt boozing it up before games anymore. our pitching can hang with minnesota or chicago, and hopefully the offense wont be so anemic this year. and again i agree that the granderson trade WAS NOT about the money. DD made a good move by trading jackson at peak value so he doesnt make the mistake of signing him to a huge deal and getting no return (a la bondo, willis, robertson, the list goes on) and granderson is a terrific person and guy to have in the clubhouse, but there were so many times where his strikeouts or inability to just get on base killed rallies

empathizerightonyourbehind
5 years 6 months ago

the thing about those contracts you mentioned, though, is that boston didn’t just trade away a young outfielder/or third baseman with 3 years of team control before signing a bummer contract on some washed-up-ish veteran. detroit did. ergo, they make no sense.

stymeedone
5 years 6 months ago

Yeah, Bostons signing of Brad Penny and John Smolts last year worked out fine.

inleylandwetrust
5 years 6 months ago

i understand that but obviously the tigers soured on jackson and granderson as players. they got a great haul for those 2 and we were never in a rebuilding mode, otherwise we wouldnt have signed valverde either. we were retooling. damon jjust had one of his best offensive seasons i know it was as a yankee and thats gotta count for something but give the dude a year at least to give you a reason to say hes washed up on the offensive end.

inleylandwetrust
5 years 6 months ago

completely agree. damons contract doesnt look so bad when you compare it to 10 mil for beltre and 15 for 2 years from mike cameron. the central just got a lot tighter and there is a chance the tigers could be serious contenders come playoff time this year. inge, guillen are healthy, maybe (but probably not) zumaya and bonderman are ready to make some contributions after a couple seasons of dead weight, cabrera isnt boozing it up before games anymore. our pitching can hang with minnesota or chicago, and hopefully the offense wont be so anemic this year. and again i agree that the granderson trade WAS NOT about the money. DD made a good move by trading jackson at peak value so he doesnt make the mistake of signing him to a huge deal and getting no return (a la bondo, willis, robertson, the list goes on) and granderson is a terrific person and guy to have in the clubhouse, but there were so many times where his strikeouts or inability to just get on base killed rallies

tigers22
5 years 6 months ago

Dude I loved the offseason up until right now…theres no way Damon is worth 8 million dollars of our money. Thank the good lord it’s only for 1 year, but I still think its unnecessary

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

He’s going to have a good season.

tigers22
5 years 6 months ago

Dude I loved the offseason up until right now…theres no way Damon is worth 8 million dollars of our money. Thank the good lord it’s only for 1 year, but I still think its unnecessary

Motor_City_Bombshell
5 years 6 months ago

Thanks! I’m way more pumped this year too, but I think it’s also because this year they have a shot at contending and last year I was a little dismal in my excitement because the Tigers finished last in ’08 and even though I had faith in them contending I didn’t plan on it. Their infusion of young power arms and rookies Austin Jackson and Scott Sizemore should make them an exciting team to watch next year no matter where they finish.

Motor_City_Bombshell
5 years 6 months ago

Thanks! I’m way more pumped this year too, but I think it’s also because this year they have a shot at contending and last year I was a little dismal in my excitement because the Tigers finished last in ’08 and even though I had faith in them contending I didn’t plan on it. Their infusion of young power arms and rookies Austin Jackson and Scott Sizemore should make them an exciting team to watch next year no matter where they finish.

CreativeMace
5 years 6 months ago

Finally, a Detroit fan who doesn’t remind me of Chicken Little. I’ve been very happy with this off-season. I’m tired… TIRED of all the people out there who feel they have Detroit figured out. Those who saw the trades of Granderson and Edwin as only being made as financial moves and completely ignore the fact that A) they both sh*t the bed the second half of the season, B) both are quite overrated no matter how likable a person Curtis is, and C) the return they got was quite impressive, especially when looking at facts A and B. If people want to say they “basically traded Granderson for Damon,” so be it. Just don’t forget that means the Tigers traded Edwin Jackson for Scherzer, Schlereth, Austin Jackson, and Phil Coke.

I’m more excited to see the Tigers this year than I was last year at this time. Younger, stronger pitching, some promising young players to start following their careers (Sizemore, Avila, Jackson, Schlereth), and of course one of the top 5 pitchers and hitters in the entire league (Verlander, Cabrera).

5 years 6 months ago

As a Tigers fan, im excited seeing Damon in a Ol’ English D. He’s a good hitter for this less-than-exciting lineup we throw out on a daily basis.

5 years 6 months ago

As a Tigers fan, im excited seeing Damon in a Ol’ English D. He’s a good hitter for this less-than-exciting lineup we throw out on a daily basis.

danks50
5 years 6 months ago

He may of taken the best deal but his offensive/defensive value in that park will plummet especially considering he’ll be hitting the market once again next year.

Even so still a nice pick up at the top of that order but not so much on a one year deal when that large payroll is gonna turn out so many useless players.

danks50
5 years 6 months ago

He may of taken the best deal but his offensive/defensive value in that park will plummet especially considering he’ll be hitting the market once again next year.

Even so still a nice pick up at the top of that order but not so much on a one year deal when that large payroll is gonna turn out so many useless players.

switchhitingjesus
5 years 6 months ago

he ain’t going to get the same stats he had last year that is a given.

bjsguess
5 years 6 months ago

Why is it a given? This wasn’t some major outlier. He probably hits a lot less home runs but makes up for it with doubles and a higher BA.

switchhitingjesus
5 years 6 months ago

he ain’t going to get the same stats he had last year that is a given.

Infield Fly
5 years 6 months ago

He may not win any prizes with his arm or defense, but in my book, Johnny Damon definitely wins the “Soap Opera of the Year” award…which actually makes him a loser pretty much….

Infield Fly
5 years 6 months ago

He may not win any prizes with his arm or defense, but in my book, Johnny Damon definitely wins the “Soap Opera of the Year” award…which actually makes him a loser pretty much….