Johnny Damon turned down the Red Sox because he thought the Tigers wanted him

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Remember last August when the Red Sox claimed Johnny Damon on waivers and some talk of a trade happened?  There was a day or two’s back and forth on that, as Damon had a limited no-trade clause that prevented him being traded to the Red Sox without his approval. Ultimately he said no to the idea and rejected the deal.

Today Damon tells Alex Speier of WEEI why he did so:  because he thought that the Tigers wanted him back in 2011. Except at the time Damon claimed that the determining factor was whether he’d get playing time down the stretch, not whether he’d be brought back for 2011.

Not that this is a giant issue or anything. It’s not like the Red Sox would have kept him either, and he’d probably still be in Tampa Bay right now.

But to the extent Damon’s current claim implies that the Tigers misled him or something, it seems to be a bit too much.  To take Damon’s word for it, he inquired last year if the Tigers were going to play him in 2010. He was satisfied with their answer.  As such, he shouldn’t be saying that it was anything the Tigers told him about 2011 that kept him from OK’ing a trade to Boston.

Report: Mets close to a deal with Jose Bautista

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SNY’s Andy Martino reports that the Mets are close to a deal with free agent Jose Bautista. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as the Mets were rumored to be interested in him on Monday, a day after the Braves released him.

Bautista, 37, struggled to a .593 OPS in 40 plate appearances with the Braves. He’s coming off of his worst season as a regular, as he hit .203 in 157 games last year with the Blue Jays.

Bautista mostly played in the outfield for the Jays, but played third base for the Braves. The Mets need depth at both third base and in the outfield due to injuries to Todd Frazier, Yoenis Cespedes, and Juan Lagares.

It will be interesting to see who loses their roster spot to accomodate Bautista. I suggested earlier it should be Jose Reyes.