Johnny Damon has agreed to a one-year, $8 million deal with the Detroit Tigers
Damon is expected to take the physical on Sunday.
As Scott Boras negotiated for Damon in recent weeks, many of the offers he received included deferred money, which would have reduced the present-day value of the offer. A source tells ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney none of the $8 million the Tigers will pay Damon is deferred.
Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski confirmed the offer in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Friday after telling reporters in Lakeland, Fla., that the Tigers were interested in signing the outfielder.
The 36-year-old Damon hit .286 with 24 homers for the New York Yankees last season. He likely would bat leadoff for the Tigers, filling the void left when Detroit dealt Curtis Granderson to the Yankees.
Damon also gives Detroit a left-handed bat it needs and a veteran in the outfield, where his savvy is an asset and his arm a liability.
Among the other teams who had expressed serious interest in Damon were the White Sox, Rays and Braves. The White Sox had withdrawn their offer on Friday, a decision first reported by ESPNChicago.com.
Damon helped the Yankees win the World Series for the first time since 2000, hitting .282 with 23 homers and 82 RBIs, but he was coming off a $52 million, four-year contract.
While he initially wanted a long-term deal at the same average salary, New York valued the 36-year-old at far less. The Yankees kept reducing their offer, claiming payroll constraints.