Report: Johnny Damon Close to Signing With Rays


Red Sox fans, get ready for a whole lot more of Johnny Damon.

The veteran outfielder is close to signing with the Tampa Bay Rays. Yahoo’s Tim Brown reported via Twitter that the sides “appear to be closing in on a deal” but that there was “still some work to be done.”

Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman echoed that report minutes later.

The move would put Damon, 37, on his third AL East team, after stints with the Sox (2002-05) and Yankees (2006-09). He is the proud owner of 2,571 hits, and reaching 3,000 is a stated goal of his. Given that he’s averaged 156 per season since 2006, he’ll likely need three years to get there.

The Rays were also reported to be going hard after Manny Ramirez. If the Red Sox reunion were complete down in Florida, those matchups at Fenway Park would instantly become that much more interesting.

Damon did not get a chance to play at Fenway Park last season, as he was a last-minute scratch in the series opener with back pain that kept him out of the weekend series. The Red Sox also put in a waiver claim on Damon in August, but he rejected the chance to return to Boston.

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