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Johnny Damon says he'll listen if Tampa Bay Rays are interested

With former Ray Randy Winn taking his leftfield spot in New York, Johnny Damon is officially looking for a new home.

And if the Rays want to talk, Damon will listen.

"I would be interested,'' he said in a text message to the St. Petersburg Times. "They have a good team, and I feel like they can get back to the World Series.''

The Yankees agreed to a one-year deal for about $2 million with Winn, a 1998-2002 Ray. Winn, 35, was most recently with the Giants, hitting .262 with two homers and 51 RBIs in 2009.

The Rays immediately were among the teams reported to be interested in Damon, though it would seem unlikely if he indeed is still seeking a salary of about $7 million. Damon said Wednesday that there had been no serious talks yet with Tampa Bay.

The A's, Reds, Tigers and Braves are also being talked about in what should be an interesting process as agent Scott Boras tries to find a home for Damon, 36.

"The Yankees all along have said they had $2 million. … We really did not have a lot to talk about," Boras told the Associated Press. "Johnny knew what their budget was, so there was never any expectancy. The Yankees could never make an offer because they knew Johnny's performance value far exceeded what their budget was."

The New York Post suggested the Rays would be willing to pay if Damon would defer a few million and would use him as a platoon DH with Pat Burrell.

CUBS STAYING PUT: The Cubs announced they will keep their spring training home in Mesa, Ariz., a move that rebuffs suitors in Naples. In other Cubs news, left-hander Sean Marshall agreed to a $950,000, one-year contract.

HONORING MAZ: The Pirates plan to put a statue of Hall of Fame second baseman Bill Mazeroski outside PNC Park to commemorate his homer that won the World Series 50 years ago.

UECKER cleared: A Wisconsin appeals court dismissed a lawsuit filed by Ann Ladd, who claimed she has been unfairly portrayed as a stalker by the Brewers and radio announcer Bob Uecker.

BREWERS: Utility player Joe Inglett was claimed off waivers from the Rangers.

REDS: Former Rays infielder Miguel Cairo, 35, agreed to a minor-league deal and will get a $500,000, one-year contract if added to the 40-man roster.

ROCKIES: Closer Huston Street finalized a $22.5 million, three-year deal with the team that could be worth $31 million over four seasons.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Johnny Damon says he'll listen if Tampa Bay Rays are interested 01/27/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 9:53pm]

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