Johnny Damon Says He Will Stay In Detroit

3:20pm: Damon says he's "not going," according to's Jason Beck.

2:45pm: Damon spoke to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe on his way to the ballpark today, saying he's still leaning toward staying with the Tigers.  However, he would change his mind if the Tigers tell him they plan to reduce his playing time in favor of younger players.

9:05am: Johnny Damon, the Red Sox, and Tigers have until 1:30pm eastern time on Wednesday to decide whether Damon will rejoin his old team, reports WEEI's Alex Speier.  The two clubs would have to reach an agreement, and Damon would have to approve it.

Damon was ready to go to the Yankees or Rays, reports Tom Gage of the Detroit News, but the Red Sox had first dibs.  MLB Network's Peter Gammons tweets that the Tigers explained to Damon that the Red Sox claimed Damon because they want him, not as a blocking move.  Gammons says the Rays did not even make a claim.  Damon told reporters last night he's "definitely leaning" toward staying in Detroit, as he'd like to help young Tigers players develop and wants to return in 2011.  He left the door open on his decision, as he needs to talk to GM Dave Dombrowski about what would be in the team's best long-term interest.

I think Damon will approve the trade or claim, if the teams can reach an agreement.  It can't be measured, but Damon might agree that an extra $1.8MM is better for the Tigers' future than one month of his mentoring.  I agree with ESPN's Buster Olney that Damon will be mostly embraced by Red Sox fans.  Finally, Damon is a competitive player and Boston's 21% chance of reaching the playoffs sure beats Detroit's 0.36% shot.

Let's hear your prediction: will Damon accept a trade to Boston?  Click here to make your pick and here to see the results of the poll.

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