UPDATE: Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the mystery team submitting a waiver claim for Johnny Damon was … the Red Sox. Seriously.
Of course, Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes that Damon has a no-trade clause that includes Boston, so that may be a hang-up even if the Red Sox and Tigers can work out a deal (he also can’t be “assigned” there, to get around the “trade” part).
Obviously the Red Sox could use the outfield help given their many injuries, but it may be too little too late considering they’re 6.5 games back in the AL East and 5.5 back in the Wild Card.
Plus, it’s possible Theo Epstein and company simply claimed Damon to block him from going to the Yankees or Rays.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that an unknown team has claimed Johnny Damon off waivers, which means he can only be traded to that one team.
Detroit has 48 hours to potentially work out a deal, at which point they can either pull him back off waivers and keep Damon for the remainder of the season or simply let the claiming team assume his contract.
He’s owed about $2 million for the rest of the season, so giving him away for nothing could actually be an option with the Tigers all but out of contention at 61-63.
As for the identity of the mystery team, Buster Olney of ESPN.com speculates that the White Sox, Red Sox, Rays, and Rangers “make the most sense as a fit for Damon.”
Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.
Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.
The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.
It’s been on the verge of happening for a few days now, but now it’s official: the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista have reached a one-year deal with a mutual option. The deal is pending physical. An announcement making the deal official is expected later in week.
The exact financial figures have not been disclosed, but Jon Heyman reports that it will be in excess of the $17.2 million Bautista turned down when he turned down the Jays’ qualifying offer.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.