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Tigers make a pitch for Damon

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said Friday that he has made a contract offer to free agent Johnny Damon.

Dombrowski confirmed the offer to the Associated Press after telling reporters in Lakeland that the Tigers were interested in signing the outfielder. No specifics were given.

Damon, 36, hit .286 with 24 homers for the Yankees last season. He likely would bat leadoff for the Tigers, filling the void left when Detroit dealt Curtis Granderson to the Yankees.

Damon would give Detroit a left-handed bat it needs and a veteran in the outfield.

While the Braves also appear interested in adding Damon, an ESPN Web site reported that the White Sox withdrew their offer.

Angels: Designated hitter Hideki Matsui, the Yanks' 2009 World Series MVP who signed a one-year deal to replace the offense of Vladimir Guerrero, said his surgically repaired knees are not 100 percent but that he feels good. He added he would like to help the team in the outfield if he's healthy enough. … Catcher Jeff Mathis defeated the team in salary arbitration, getting a raise from $450,000 to $1.3 million. The team argued for $700,000.

Braves: Right-hander Jair Jurrjens does not have structural damage in his right shoulder, but he said tightness there could keep him from throwing in camp "for a week or two."

Dodgers: Former NL Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne agreed to a minor-league contract. He will receive a $500,000, one-year deal if he is added to the 40-man roster.

Indians: First baseman Russell Branyan reached preliminary agreement to rejoin the team, the Associated Press reported. The deal is subject to a physical, which is reportedly set for Tuesday.

Mariners: Ken Griffey Jr., 40, arrived in camp, saying he is 7 pounds lighter than last season and that surgery in October to remove a bone chip from his knee has eased the pain he felt all of last season.

Mets: Manager Jerry Manuel said he may move Jose Reyes, coming back from surgery to remove scar tissue from a torn hamstring, from the leadoff spot to third. Manuel could use either Angel Pagan or Luis Castillo at the top, setting up three straight switch-hitters. Manuel also intends to name Daniel Murphy the starting first baseman over Mike Jacobs.

Nationals: Former Yankees right-hander Chien-Ming Wang finalized a $2 million, one-year deal that includes the chance to earn $3 million in performance bonuses. … Reliever Sean Burnett lost his arbitration case. He was awarded $775,000 rather than his request for a raise from $408,500 to $925,000.

Red Sox: Manager Terry Francona said a preliminary exam of right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka's ailing back was "very good, very encouraging. But we don't have any updates on when he's going to throw."

Obituary: Former umpire John Kibler, seen in highlights pointing fair on the grounder Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner missed in the 1986 World Series, died of a heart attack Thursday in Palo Alto, Calif. He was 81.

Tigers make a pitch for Damon 02/19/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 5:17pm]
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