Johnny Damon Added To Indians' 25-Man Roster

Johnny Damon is heading to Cleveland's spring training complex after coming to terms with the Indians on a one-year contract.

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Johnny Damon Joins Indians' 25-Man Roster, Jose Lopez DFA'd

Last week’s report that Johnny Damon would be added to the Indians’ roster when they opened a three-game series against the White Sox in Chicago has been confirmed:

Lopez, who had a 25-homer, 96-RBI season for the Mariners just three years ago, had been used sparingly by the Indians, playing in just five games and hitting .190/.190/.381 in 21 plate appearances.

For tonight, at least, Damon will serve as a pinch-hitter; according to baseballpress.com’s lineup page, he is not in Cleveland’s starting lineup, possibly because the White Sox are going with lefthander Chris Sale.

Shelley Duncan, Michael Brantley and Aaron Cunningham are the starting outfielders for the Tribe Tuesday night. Though Damon is 38 and played just 16 games in the outfield last year for the Rays, that’s where he’ll have to get most of his playing time, as Travis Hafner is their everyday DH.

For more on the Indians, please visit Let’s Go Tribe and SB Nation Cleveland.

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Report: Johnny Damon Close To Playing For Indians

A couple of weeks ago, free-agent Johnny Damon signed a deal with the Cleveland Indians. But after missing spring training, Damon needed some time to get back into playing condition. But he seems to be nearly ready ...

It's not immediately apparent that Hoynes has a source for this information, or is merely speculating. But he's close to the organization so I suspect is closer to the former than the latter.

It's hard to say if Damon is "ready" to hit major-league pitching; instead of working with one of the Indians' minor-league clubs, he's been getting his at-bats in extended spring training.

Cleveland can definitely use some help. The Indians have used only four outfielders all season, and all four have struggled. Shin-Soo Choo will continue to play almost every day in right field, and Michael Brantley in center. But left fielder Shelley Duncan bats right-handed, has a .221/.304/.422 career line against right-handed pitchers and basically should never be allowed to play against them. The same may be said of Aaron Cunningham, the Indians' fourth outfielder.

No, Johnny Damon doesn't have much left in the tank. But he does make the first-place Indians just a little bit better.

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Johnny Damon's Contract Done; New Indian Heads To Extended Spring Training

The rumors have now been made official; Johnny Damon is a Cleveland Indian:

The Indians have officially signed outfielder Johnny Damon.

The 38-year-old reached agreement with Cleveland last week on a one-year, $1.2 million pending a physical. Damon, who needs 277 hits to reach 3,000 for his career, is at the team’s complex in Goodyear, Ariz., preparing to join the Indians. Damon can earn another $1.4 million in performance bonuses.

The physical is likely a formality, since Damon was reported to have been working out all winter expecting to join a team. Since he did not have any competition in spring games, though, the Tribe likely wants him to face some live pitching, which he’ll do in extended-spring-training games.

The Indians could use him in the lineup soon, so don’t expect him to spend too much time in Goodyear.

For more on Damon and the Indians, please visit Let’s Go Tribe and SB Nation Cleveland.

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Which Cap Shall Johnny Damon Wear Into The Coop?

Johnny Damon's heading to the Hall of Fame in a few years. But the choice of a team cap will be tricky. Until, perhaps, he lifts the Indians to a World's Championship?

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Johnny Damon Indians Contract Includes Performance Bonuses

Johnny Damon’s deal with the Cleveland Indians is now official. Via Buster Olney:

That’s not a lot of money for a player who did have a productive season with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011: .261/.326/.418, a 110 OPS+, 16 home runs and 19 stolen bases. Damon made $5.25 million for that with the Rays.

But at age 38, and after the 2012 season has already begun, it’s apparently “beggars can’t be choosers” time for Damon. According to this article, it still could be a little while before he’s ready to play:

Damon, who could play left or center field, must pass a physical. And although he’s in excellent shape, Damon will likely need some time to get ready to play after not going to training camp or face live pitching since last season.

He’ll have to play the outfield most of the time, as the Indians already have Travis Hafner at DH.

For more on Damon and the Indians, please visit Let’s Go Tribe and SB Nation Cleveland.

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Why Do The Indians Want Johnny Damon?

Johnny Damon is 38. Johnny Damon can't play the outfield very much any more, and the Indians already have a DH. So why do they want him?

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Johnny Damon Confirms Agreement With Indians

The news about Johnny Damon broke late Wednesday night: the veteran outfielder, sitting on more than 2700 career hits but without a job this spring, was close to hooking up with the Cleveland Indians.

No word from the Indians yet, but we do have this:

Does this count as official official confirmation? Semi-official confirmation? Quasi-official?

I don't know. But it sure seems like Johnny Damon will soon make the Indians his seventh team.

And the Indians can probably use him. While Damon's got little defensive value and his recent numbers are hardly eye-popping, he did post a 110 OPS+ last season, and the Indians have been playing right-handed-hitting Shelley Duncan and Aaron Cunningham in left field. With Duncan off to a fast start, Cunningham's probably ticketed for the waiver wire or the minors (or both), with Damon and Duncan forming a reasonably productive platoon in left.

Of course, this assumes the deal eventually does become official official, and that nothing strange happens while Damon spends two or three weeks getting into game shape.

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Johnny Damon, Indians Deal Not Done Yet

There were only a few teams that made sense for a quasi-outfielder, low-punch DH like Johnny Damon. The Reds before they signed Ryan Ludwick. The Yankees before they put their trust in Raul Ibanez. The A's before they signed Manny Ramirez. The Cleveland Indians were one of those teams, and Ken Rosenthal reported on Wednesday night that the two sides had reached an agreement.

Not so fast, everybody.

I'm not sure that I've ever read Rosenthal say that something "will happen," so I gather it's perfectly fine to order your Damon jersey if you're an Indians fan. With Travis Hafner rather entrenched at first base, it seems like Damon's place will be in the outfield.

Damon is the first player with "Damon" in his name to play for the Indians' major-league team, as neither Damon Berryhill, Damon Buford, Damon Hollins, nor Damon Minor ever played in Cleveland. Neither did Damon Ponce Deleon. Also, this entire paragraph was included just to get in a Damon Ponce Deleon reference.

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Johnny Damon To Sign With Cleveland Indians, According To Report

Johnny Damon is reportedly heading to Cleveland after coming to terms with the Indians on Wednesday night.

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