Red Sox Claim Johnny Damon

9:36pm: Damon repeated after tonight's game that he's leaning toward staying in Detroit, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (Twitter links). Damon's gut and his teammates are telling him to stay in Detroit.

3:45pm: Damon hasn't decided whether he'd accept an assignment to Boston, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck, who notes that the outfielder has about 48 hours to make up his mind (Twitter link).

3:09pm: A no-trade clause does not necessarily give a player the right to prevent his team from handing him over on waivers, according to an MLB Players Association official who spoke to MLBTR this afternoon. In many cases, a player has a non-assignment clause that would prevent trades and waiver claims. However, not all players with no-trade clauses can prevent their teams from handing them over on waivers.

In other words, Damon's ability to prevent the Tigers from handing him to the Red Sox depends on the wording in his contract.

2:51pm: Damon told Ed Price of AOL FanHouse he's not inclined to go back to Boston (Twitter link).

2:28pm: The Red Sox claimed Johnny Damon off waivers from the Tigers, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.  The next question is whether the Tigers will work out a trade with the Sox, dump Damon on them for nothing, or pull him back.  Damon can veto a trade to the Red Sox.  Of Damon's $8MM salary, about $1.8MM remains.  Heyman opined earlier today that he believes the Tigers would let Damon go if a deal cannot be worked out.

Damon played for the Red Sox from 2002-05, but had an acrimonious departure and signed with the Yankees.  The Red Sox would be getting a diminished version of Damon this time, but he'd still be useful with Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury currently on the disabled list.  The Sox may have made the Damon claim to block the Rays or Yankees, but they know it is possible they end up with the player.

Damon, 36, predictably saw his power slip with the switch from Yankee Stadium to Comerica Park.  He's hitting .270/.355/.409 on the season and has logged only 268 innings in the outfield.  He profiles as a Type B free agent after the season, but an arbitration offer seems unlikely.


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179 Comments on "Red Sox Claim Johnny Damon"


RedSox2219
5 years 7 days ago

uhhhh, no.

bostondyansty
5 years 7 days ago

hey that’s is what they would do to the sox .

2:51pm: Damon told Ed Price of AOL FanHouse he’s not inclined to go back to Boston

tigers22
5 years 7 days ago

uhhh, yes. im afraid you don’t have much say in the matter.

CaptainCharisma
5 years 7 days ago

Yeah man, forget having a player who would REALLY help this team out right now.

bleachercreature
5 years 7 days ago

hahahahaha as a Yankee fan I find this hilarious

Also question: with the option to just give the player away, what is the benefit in this? is it just to get a guy off the roster that can’t go to the minors?

rayking
5 years 7 days ago

If the Tigers don’t pull Damon back off waivers, the Red Sox have to pay his remaining salary, so the Tigers save $1.8 mil. And he is a free agent this offseason, so if the Tigers want him back, they can re-sign him.

TwinsVet
5 years 7 days ago

Unless the Sox offer him arbitration, and he accepts…

5 years 7 days ago

Why would they offer him arbitration? They don’t want him back, they want to block him from going to TB or NY.

Zack23
5 years 7 days ago

Because he’s a Type B FA I believe, which means if he denies arbitration they get an extra draft pick. His agent is Scott Boras, so rejecting arbitration is nearly a lock

5 years 7 days ago

rejection arbitration is not a lock because there is no way he is going to get close to 8 Mil a year in free agency. If he accepts the arb offer they will have to pay him around that much leaving you with a ton of money spent on old players in the outfield.

Zack23
5 years 7 days ago

Maybe, but Boras hasn’t been afraid to decline arbitration in the past.

Damon doesn’t seem interested in going back, but if he does maybe he won’t want to go back for 2011 too. Maybe he’s insurance if Ellsbury/Cameron can’t stay healthy next year, or if Kalish isn’t ready yet.

ToledoFan
5 years 7 days ago

Why is everyone forgetting the Tigers have 60 million coming off the books next year? Salary Dump? that’s a drop in the bucket compared to what is being dumped in November. And Illitch has already said hes going to spend big again. You all are reading this wrong. The Tigers are trying to get talent back for a guy they might bring back next year and avoid him accepting arbitration. Its all about them trying to double their return for him so to speak. He would probably decline arbitration but if he comes back, no draft pick. So why not put him on waivers and hope a team he doesn’t like claims him and then try to get a fairly good prospect for him, tell him hes gonna come back next year so he waives his no trade clause and then in 2011 if they don’t get Crawford, they wind up with Damon, plus still have a good prospect. ITs a crafty move by Dombrowski.

5 years 7 days ago

Actually it’s probably more of a salary dump. They don’t have to worry about paying his contract next year but may have to worry about paying the rest of it this season. If they get rid of the $1.8 mill due then that is an extra $1.8 mill that they can spend in the off-season. Every dollar you can save on a player that you don’t need is a good thing.

airohpue13
5 years 7 days ago

Salary dump. 1.8 million is something to gain in a lost year for the tigers.

5 years 7 days ago

Fans don’t gain anything in a salary dump

5 years 7 days ago

I dont think it is a lock for him to decline arbitration, I’m not sure of the number but he will get a raise from the 7 million he made this year, and he wont get that much on the open market.

rayking
5 years 7 days ago

Oh, good point, hadn’t thought of that!

bleachercreature
5 years 7 days ago

oh wow so it’s a clean break, I did not know that. thanks

elgringo79
5 years 7 days ago

save a few bucks in salary for the remainder of the year

jwredsox
5 years 7 days ago

It is to get rid of bad contracts really (See Alex Rios)

5 years 7 days ago

Salary dump is exactly what this scenario is.

bbxxj
5 years 7 days ago

Its all about dumping his remaining salary not getting him off the roster.

ToledoFan
5 years 7 days ago

Why? They have 60 million coming off the books next year and an owner who said hes committed to spending big.The Tigers were trying to trade him for talent in return and then possibly bring him back next year if they fail to land Crawford.
He has only about a million left this year anyways. Its not that much salary relief.

5 years 7 days ago

$ 75 million coming off the books
With vacancies created at SP, RP, Catcher, SS, 3B, RF, and DH.
That assumes Guillen can play 2B and Boesch can play LF.

Bernaldo
5 years 7 days ago

Boston is not going to send a “good prospect” to Detroit not will it be “talent in return”. If they send a player(s) it will be be marginal talent that are long shots to reach the big leagues. No team is going to send real “talent” for a Johnny Damon. He was a very good player for a long time, now he just an aging good bat/lously glove journeyman trying to hang one.

eman
5 years 7 days ago

that doesn’t shock me. Part of the reason I would guess is to prevent the Yankees from getting him. When he played in that little league field and the older one he did quite well. There has been plenty of talk about the Yanks possibly wanting him back to serve as DH. I would have thought you being a NY fan you would have known that. All the Sox did was make sure that wasn’t going to happen

bleachercreature
5 years 7 days ago

yes I know that’s why and that’s fine, we don’t really need him. I just find it funny with Damon possibly going back to boston (i doubt he will), I could care less about the whys and what fors

5 years 7 days ago

I could see this if the Red Sox needed a LH DH, but…I don’t think we need that right now.

redsox4120
5 years 7 days ago

As a Red Sox fan, I say bring him back. We need outfield help badly. Sure I hated Johnny Damon when he was on the Yankees but I still respected him, he’s a good player

bosoque
5 years 7 days ago

awkward…

jordan
5 years 7 days ago

why am i thinking the sox just put a claim on him, to prevent, the rays from getting him?

5 years 7 days ago

must be for his defense… that’s the red sox philosophy this year, right? pitching and defense. :)

5 years 7 days ago

its the psychological factor…..Damon provides energy, mystique and craziness to the business like atmosphere of the clubhouse. great job.

elgringo79
5 years 7 days ago

Oh this is hilarious. I’m a Yankee fan and I was really hoping it was US that claimed him. Unlike Boston, we COULD use him. Maybe this was done to block us? You know, since Boston has a higher waiver priority due their LOWER place in the standings?

Russell Mania
5 years 7 days ago

Yankees have no use for Damon, their OF is fine. But I do agree this is very funny. Damon, known for being happier in a Yankee uniform, going back to the mess that is Boston. I want to see how he plays into their offensive dynamic now with Manny gone and Ortiz being exposed as a steroid hypocrite. When he was with the Sox the big deal was the core, Boston’s offense has changed dynamic since the controversy.

jwredsox
5 years 7 days ago

They didn’t change their team because of steroid controversies they changed because of aging players.

alphabet_soup5
5 years 7 days ago

Manny and Damon aren’t outperforming Boston’s outfield this season?

jwredsox
5 years 7 days ago

Not hard to outperform a guy who has been hurt all season. If pujols played half a month and then was hurt the rest of the season would it be fair to say Travis Ishacowa (I can’t even spell his name he is so bad) outperformed Pujols in this situation?

5 years 7 days ago

No, because a half month of Pujols is better than a season of Ishikawa.

jwredsox
5 years 7 days ago

haha touche.

5 years 7 days ago

There really isn’t any “controversy” except from hypocritical Yankee fans. Fact: MLB has been full of ‘roiders in the past 15 years, and of course that includes the Red Sox…and the Yankees. You think the Yankees have avoided ‘roiders despite all the aging veterans they’ve signed? Please, there is no story in this matter anymore…

As for Damon being happier as a Yankee, if you haven’t noticed, he’s said glowing things about EVERY team he’s ever played for, while in their uniform. That’s just how he is, he keeps it positive. I guarantee that if he does end up in Boston, he’ll talk about how awesome it is to be back.

East Coast Bias
5 years 7 days ago

The controversy comes into play when you have Ortiz “confused” about why his name was on the list. No one is saying the Yankees’ players did not take roids. But at least the Yankees’ players are contrite and accept their mistakes. Not blame it on a pregnancy pill…

And for the record, Clemens played for both, so no dishing him off to us!

BoSoXaddict
5 years 7 days ago

Maybe you should read up a little on the situation. Ortiz was justifiably confused because Major League Baseball REFUSED to tell him WHAT he tested positive for and to this day no one knows.

East Coast Bias
5 years 7 days ago

MLB REFUSES to tell anyone WHAT they tested positive for. So…I’m missing your point. Try again? And this time, easy on THE random caps, ya?

Here’s my point: it doesn’t matter what he tested positive for. It was a banned substance. End of story. Keep in mind, back then, there were a lot fewer substances on the banned list, and most of them were anabolic steroirds.

BoSoXaddict
5 years 7 days ago

My point is that you were saying Ortiz somehow lived up to his accusations less so than certain Yankeees. But Papi admitted that his best guess for what he tested positive for was most likely a certain supplement that was legal in the Domincan and possibly newly banned by MLB at the time unbeknownst to him, but not anabolic steroids. Not sayin he’s never juiced before, but as far as that particular test is concerned Ortiz told the truth in my opinion..

East Coast Bias
5 years 7 days ago

Yes, that is exactly what I was saying. While people like Arod and Pettitte admitted their usage of steroids, Ortiz did not. You can believe him, but to me, it’s a very naive stance.

nhsox
5 years 7 days ago

For the record, I’m pretty sure it was the federal government that subpoenaed the documents and wouldn’t dish the information out to the players union.

jwredsox
5 years 7 days ago

Yes lots of Yankees players were very contrite after being ousted by the media and caught. You can hardly say it is honorable for a player who blatantly denied taking steroids, gets caught, and then admits.

East Coast Bias
5 years 7 days ago

You’re right. But still, it is more “honorable” to come clean and accept you’re mistakes when you’ve been clearly ousted, no? Or you prefer they play the Ortiz/Clemens card and deny taking anything regardless of the evidence against?

MaineSox
5 years 7 days ago

I personally couldn’t care less if they own up to it after the fact or not. It doesn’t change the fact that they did it, which is the part that affects the game and their performance, the rest only affects the way the fans perceive the player. I lost respect for Ortiz when I found out he used PEDs, but I also lost respect for A-Rod when I found out he used them, regardless of the fact that he admitted it after.

P.S. I may be the only Sox fan who did, but I actually did used to have respect for A-Rod, or at least his HR numbers. I always hated the way he played the game (slapping the ball out of Arroyo’s hand and yelling “got it” rounding third) but I used to want him to become the all-time home run leader because I thought he would actually have done it “clean” unlike Bonds.

jwredsox
5 years 7 days ago

I see neither as honorable. Neither is better than the other.

East Coast Bias
5 years 7 days ago

Ehh, to each their own, I suppose. Most fans have an easier time forgiving and moving on once the player owns up. I understand some people will never forgive, and that’s their right, but I honestly feel you’re in the minority.

elgringo79
5 years 7 days ago

Eh… fine but not great. Neither is our DH situation.

5 years 7 days ago

Guys, this is a move to block the Rays or Yanks from getting him. They don’t really want him.

stl_cards16
5 years 7 days ago

Wrong…They know there is a pretty good chance they end up with him. They would not of made the claim if they “really didn’t want him”

5 years 7 days ago

Wrong on your part. Waiver wire block. Classic case.

stl_cards16
5 years 7 days ago

You don’t block someone on the waiver wire that you don’t want that the other team might just dump him on you. I know teams block other teams all the time, but that is more the case when they know the other team is not going to give up the player for nothing. Like for instance last year do you think the White Sox put in a claim on Alex Rios to “block” another team from getting them? Of course not, because they knew the jays would just love to get him off their hands. So they did it because they wanted him. Same with the red Sox, I’m not saying they really need him, but they wouldn’t of made the claim if they didn’t like the idea of him on their team.

elgringo79
5 years 7 days ago

Yes, you do, when you have the red sox money.

stl_cards16
5 years 7 days ago

haha ok, if that’s what makes you feel better.

East Coast Bias
5 years 7 days ago

It happens all the time. Teams make a claim, then offer a garbage trade that the waiving team has to refuse, thus taking the player back. It’s done to primarily block a better team in their own division, like others pointed out.

rzepczynski
5 years 7 days ago

Wrong on your part twice… They will let him go for salary relief everyone and their mother knew that so basically they just signed him for 1.8 milli for ROS

5 years 7 days ago

All of you are wrong! Two wrongs don’t make a right! And I’m pretty sure three, or Johnny Damon don’t either!

5 years 7 days ago

This would be insane…

I only have no problem with the move if he grows out his hair again!

Infield Fly
5 years 7 days ago

Ha ha ha….it’s deja vu all over again… IF the Sawks do trade for him I just hope the fans can forgive and forget. Otherwise, Johnny’s going to need a suit of armor out there.

BoSoXaddict
5 years 6 days ago

I don’t see anything happening with this but if Damon were to somehow end up on the Sox he would get a very long standing o for his first at-bat, trust me.

5 years 7 days ago

Don’t see how this could hurt the Sox. He’s a good hitter, they can use the help, he’s got plenty of playoff experience etc etc…. The only downside is that he hasn’t played much outfield this year but I’m sure they’ll pick and choose his spots accordingly. They can afford him and can stash him until he’s needed, not a bad move all in all. The little added bonus that he can’t go to the Rays or Yanks is just that, little bonus but not much else, can’t see how this would have been done for that alone.

kevinmo1
5 years 7 days ago

Damon’s Disciples could be back in the bleachers?!?!?!I’d have taken him over Cameron ANY day

Dave_Gershman
5 years 7 days ago

wow

rzepczynski
5 years 7 days ago

World Of Warcraft?

East Coast Bias
5 years 7 days ago

nerd alert =P

5 years 7 days ago

This makes perfect sense for the Red Sox, should Damon choose to OK it. Not sure why NYY fans think it’s so “hilarious!”

stl_cards16
5 years 7 days ago

Why are people saying the Red Sox ONLY did this to block the Rays and Yanks? Have you not seen how many injuries the Red Sox have had this year? I’m not a Red Sox fan at all but saying they are only trying to block the yanks is a bit of a stretch. He will help the red Sox but they still don’t have enough to make the playoffs.

5 years 7 days ago

They have plenty of outfielders in the minors. Is Damon going to put them in a position to win anymore than they are?

5 years 7 days ago

Yes. Can you with a straight face tell me Johnny Damon is not an upgrade over Bill Hall in left field?

start_wearing_purple
5 years 7 days ago

.240/.309/.471/.781 with 17 hrs and 40 RBIs in 263 ABs
.270/.355/.409/.764 with 7 hrs and 40 RBIs in 411 ABs

Top one is Hall, bottom is Damon. Damon is clearly better at getting on, Hall is clearly better in the power department, let’s not pretend like Damon would be a huge upgrade. It’s pretty much a wash.

5 years 7 days ago

It is not really a wash. The stadium in Detroit is more of a pitchers park and Fenway is a hitters park. It is a bit different.

jwredsox
5 years 7 days ago

Fenway isn’t as much of a hitters park for lefties

5 years 7 days ago

Helluva lot better than Comerica!

EarlyMorningBoxscore
5 years 7 days ago

I hope the Sox get him. Yeah it sucked when he signed with the Yankees, but hes still a good player and helped bring the Red Sox and Sox Nation their first World Series in 86 years. We need outfield help with Ellsbury and Cameron out. Why not bring Damon back. He is probably the best available player in the outfield at this point.

start_wearing_purple
5 years 7 days ago

To be honest, I’m not shocked. At the very least it means he won’t go to the yanks or Rays. Add to that, it’s not like we couldn’t use an experienced outfield bat.

fitz
5 years 7 days ago

Wow, bringing back the traitor..

Ferrariman
5 years 7 days ago

give it a rest bro. you would have done the same thing. how many people wouldn’t? more money, bigger market, better chance at winning…or…stay “loyal” in a game that doesn’t beleive in loyalty.

hym…..

fitz
5 years 7 days ago

No, I don’t think so. I wouldn’t have come right out and specifically said I would never sign with the Yankees and then do so. He’s a liar.