Rays and Angels join Yankees with interest in Johnny Damon

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Yankees general manager Brian Cashman downplayed Johnny Damon’s chances of returning to New York and Damon himself indicated that it was an unlikely fit because he’s drawing interest from multiple other teams offering regular playing time.

According to Ken Davidoff of New York Newsday–who had the Yankees’ interest in Damon before everyone else–those other teams are the Rays and Angels.

Top prospect Desmond Jennings is the presumed replacement for Carl Crawford in left field, but the Rays could turn to Damon if they feel Jennings isn’t quite ready or perhaps simply use Damon at designated hitter.

With the Angels he’d likely replace former Yankees teammate Hideki Matsui at DH, although it would depend on whether manager Mike Scioscia thinks Damon or Bobby Abreu is less of a liability defensively.

Odúbel Herrera dealing with strained left hamstring

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Phillies center fielder Odúbel Herrera is dealing with a slight strain of his left hamstring, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Herrera apparently had been dealing with some discomfort in that area starting a couple weeks ago and underwent an MRI.

Herrera, 27, is coming off a 2018 season in which he took a step back. He hit slightly below the league average at .255/.310/.420 with 22 home runs and 71 RBI in 597 plate appearances. He is entering the third year of his five-year, $30.5 million contract signed back in December 2016.

Herrera is slated to be the club’s starting center fielder once again. In the event his hamstring issue lingers, Roman Quinn would slide into the starting role. One wonders, though, if a less-than-100-percent Herrera might further entice the Phillies to go after free agent outfielder Bryce Harper.