Rays, Damon Discussing Deal

12:58pm:  For the right price, the Rays could add Damon and Manny Ramirez or Vladimir Guerrero, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Damon would take over left field and the other hitter would DH.

11:15am: The Rays are discussing a deal with Damon, but a source tells ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that the Yahoo report below is "very premature." However, a deal between the Rays and Damon "certainly could happen."

7:53am: The Rays are nearing a deal with Johnny Damon, according to Yahoo's Tim Brown (on Twitter). There is still work to be done before the sides reach an agreement, however. Agent Scott Boras represents Damon.

The 37-year-old hit .271/.355/.401 with 69 walks and 36 doubles for the Tigers last year. He played 36 games in the outfield, but was primarily the team's DH. His role with the Rays would figure to be similar in 2011. Though he drew interest from at least one NL club (the Dodgers), Damon seems best suited for a job in the American League as he enters the 17th season of his career.

If Damon signs with the Rays, Vladimir Guerrero and Manny Ramirez would likely lose leverage. The Angels, meanwhile, would lose a leadoff option and could turn to free agent outfielder Scott Podsednik.


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