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White Sox not likely to land Johnny Damon
By Scot Gregor | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 2/18/2010 8:30 PM | Updated: 2/19/2010 12:16 AM

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In his first public response to the wave of rumors linking free-agent outfielder Johnny Damon to the White Sox, general manager Kenny Williams didn't offer many details.

"I will talk about this Sunday," Williams told the Daily Herald in an e-mail on Thursday.

There are several ways to interpret Williams' brief reply.

In past dealings with impending player acquisitions, Williams has consistently ignored media inquiries.

Offering any comment on a potential move, the Sox' GM has often explained, only drives up a players' value.

So what does Williams mean by, "I will talk about this Sunday?"

The statement appears to indicate Williams is not anticipating signing Damon, who reportedly turned down a two-year, $14 million contract from his old team, the defending World Series champion New York Yankees, and is weighing the same offer from the Detroit Tigers.

The White Sox' interest in Damon is believed to be for only one season at a salary in the $4 million-$5 million range.

Here is another reason why the Sox aren't expected to land the 36-year-old outfielder.

When asked about Damon at SoxFest three weeks ago, Williams said: "Who's his agent?"

Scott Boras is Damon's agent, and Williams prefers staying away from his clients.

The Sox did sign a "Boras guy" this winter - outfielder/DH Andruw Jones - but only for one year at a base salary of $500,000.

When Williams does talk about Damon on Sunday, which is also the day White Sox pitchers and catchers report for spring training, the free agent may already be wearing a Detroit uniform.

At their spring camp in Lakeland, Fla., the Tigers reportedly have an empty locker waiting in anticipation of Damon's arrival.

And don't forget about the Atlanta Braves, who have also expressed an interest in Damon.

According to recent local reports, the White Sox have emerged as the favorite in the non-ending Damon sweepstakes.

If Damon/Boras decide it's not all about the money, a deal could be done. But as it stands now, the Tigers and Braves still look to be more likely destinations.