Tigers, Damon not far from agreement

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A major league source has informed FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi that the Tigers and free agent outfielder Johnny Damon are not far from agreement on a contract.

Whether it’s a one-year, $7 million deal or a two-year, $14 million pact, it appears we’re close to the end of this saga.  The Rays and Braves are still technically in the running for Damon’s services, but it’s doubtful those clubs will want to engage in any sort of bidding war for a player that has gone unwanted for so long.

Damon, 36, batted .282/.365/.489 with 24 homers and 107 runs scored last year for the
Yankees, but he has drawn very little interest this offseason mostly due to his lacking defensive abilities.

Twins to retire Joe Mauer’s No. 7

AP Photo/Jim Mone
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Twins senior director of communications Dustin Morse announced that the Twins will honor former C/1B Joe Mauer by retiring his uniform number 7. Mauer announced his retirement from baseball on November 9.

Mauer will join Harmon Killebrew (No. 3), Tony Oliva (No. 6), Tom Kelly (No. 10), Kent Hrbek (No. 14), Rod Carew (No. 29), Kirby Pucket (No. 34), and Bert Blyleven (No. 28) as Twins to have their numbers retired.

Mauer, 35, spent 15 seasons in the majors, all with the Twins. He posted a career .306/.388/.439 triple-slash line with 143 home runs and 923 RBI. He won the AL MVP Award in 2009, won the batting title three times, earned three Gold Gloves and five Silver Sluggers, and made the AL All-Star team six times. Sadly, his career was limited due to injuries, including a concussion that caused him to move from catcher to first base.

Five years from now, Mauer will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot. There will certainly be some arguments for and against his candidacy. He retired with 55.1 career Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference, which definitely puts him in the conversation. But, as always, there’s never a consensus.