The AL Central leaders just got a lot more potent today with the signing of Prince Fielder to a nine-year contract to man first base for the next near-decade. However, the Tigers were already in on one of the better hitters left on the market in Johnny Damon and the Detroit Free Press reported today that the interest was mutual.
“Johnny Damon is open to the possibility of returning to the Detroit Tigers. ‘I have interest knowing that I loved playing there and they are a team built to win,’ Damon told the Free Press in a text message today.”
Damon was one of the possibilities mentioned to replace Victor Martinez in the line-up, who will miss the 2012 season with a torn ACL in jury. Yet the Tigers moved on to something bigger and better with Fielder, so it’s hard to see if the Tigers would have any real money left to invest in yet another hitter who would likely frequent the DH position.
That said, the addition of Fielder could make the Tigers an attractive destination for a veteran slugger to join for the sake of winning. Damon would fit that mold, as would others like Raul Ibanez. For now the interest was at least mutual for a bit with Damon and the Tigers, but it’s hard to picture Detroit bringing in both. Then again, no one really saw the Fielder move coming either.