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Red Sox claim Damon on waivers

The Boston Red Sox claimed Tigers designated hitter/outfielder Johnny Damon on waivers, which means Damon could be returning to Fenway Park.

The struggling Tigers need his approval before he could return to Boston. Detroit is 61-63, in third place in the AL Central 11 games behind the Twins, and 15 games out in the wild card race. The Red Sox are 6 1/2 games out in the AL East and 5 1/2 out in the wild card.

When asked by text message if he would accept a move to Boston, Damon responded, "Not sure buddy."

Damon elaborated before the Tigers' game against the Royals on Monday.

"Fortunately for me, I get to decide, and I have some time to decide," Damon told the Detroit News.

"I had a great time playing there, but once it became apparent that I wasn't a necessity to re-sign there, it started to get ugly," he said. "I have to think about if once again I'll be probably one of the nicest guys in baseball, but also the most hated guy in baseball. That's what it boils down to."

There's an outside chance the Tigers could pull Damon back and decide to keep him but that's unlikely because they're not in the race and they can save almost $2 million. The other issue is Damon has only eight teams to which he can be assigned and the other 21 need his approval and that includes Boston.

The Red Sox have dealt with a series of injuries this season, and outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron are both out for the season.

Damon, who will turn 37 in early November, signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Tigers just as spring training was getting under way. He has batted .270 this year with seven home runs and 40 RBIs, numbers well off his 2009 season when he hit .282, tied a career high with 24 home runs and also drove in 82 runs for the Yankees, whom he helped lead to a World Series championship.

He played for the Red Sox from 2002-2005, making two All-Star teams and becoming a cult hero in Boston for his long hair and beard and for helping the Red Sox win the World Series in 2004, their first title in 86 years.

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