Update 6:29: So Johnny Damon has rejected a move to his former team the Boston Red Sox. Here is more from the NY Daily News:
Damon was claimed off waivers by the Red Sox, but he would have to waive his no-trade clause to permit the teams to make a deal. He told reporters at Comerica Park in Detroit “I’m not going.” Damon helped Boston win the 2004 World Series, but left them under acrimonious circumstances after the 2005 season and joined the Yankees. He helped the Yankees win the 2009 World Series.
“I don’t plan on waiving (the no-trade clause),” he said. “Initially, I thought long and hard about it, but after going around and talking to a bunch of my teammates, they want me here, and they feel we can make a strong push — at least make this (AL) Central race interesting. That’s why I’m going to stay.
“I’ve said all along I love playing for Detroit, for the city, for the fans. These guys really like me here.”
“I know going to Boston probably could have helped out my free agency,” said Damon, who signed a one-year, $8 million contract with Detroit. “But so be it. I felt like, when we started this season, this team was all together in our thought process. We’re going to win and lose together. We’re going to continue that. We’re going to go out there and keep playing hard. These kids are going to keep learning and, hopefully, we can keep going.”
This is great news for the Yankees as adding Damon to the Red Sox lineup might have gotten them back into the AL East race. Now Boston is going to have to look elsewhere for outfield help.
Original Post: Via the NY Post:
The Red Sox have claimed Johnny Damon on waivers, but the Tigers outfielder must waive a no-trade clause to return to Boston.
Damon said before Monday night’s game against Kansas City that it’s one of the toughest decisions of his career.
If Damon waives the no-trade clause, the Red Sox and Tigers have 48 hours to complete a deal. The Tigers also have the option of pulling him back or letting him go to the Red Sox on the waiver claim and get nothing back.
Damon, who is hitting .270 with seven homers, is owed about $1.8 million of the $8 million he is being paid this season on a one-year deal he signed with the Tigers after he and the Yankees couldn’t agree on a deal last winter when he was a free agent.
This has been an interesting bit of news. The Red Sox claimed Damon, but I’m not sure if they actually want him or are trying to block the Rays or Yankees from acquiring him. They do need some outfield help with Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron out, but Damon has largely become a DH of late.
Hopefully this will not go through and Damon will stay in Detroit because this could potentially setup another 2004 scenario which forces the Yankees to use Javier Vazquez in the playoffs against Damon again. I’m not sure the fragile pitcher could handle that, or a lot of Yankee fans for that matter.
We’ll find out tomorrow afternoon if Damon is staying in Detroit or lands in Boston.