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.