April 12 was the date of two very notable trades in Indians history. On this date in 1916, the Indians acquired future Hall-of-Famer Tris Speaker from the Red Sox after Speaker refused to take a pay cut from Boston. Speaker spent 11 seasons in Cleveland as both a player and a manager, leading the club to its first World Series title in 1920. The Tribe weren't so lucky in the trade market on April 12, 1960, however, when they acquired Steve Demeter from the Tigers in exchange for Norm Cash. Demeter made just five Major League plate appearances after the deal while Cash went on to slug 373 homers in 15 seasons with Detroit.
Here's the latest from Progressive Field...
- Johnny Damon discussed his contract agreement with the Indians in an interview with Jim Bowden and Casey Stern of Inside Pitch on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (the Cleveland Plain Dealer has a partial transcript). "I know what Cleveland really wanted," Damon said. "They wanted somebody with a winning mentality and someone who has been there and done that and obviously I’ve been around for a long time."
- Damon's contract reportedly includes a clause that will allow him to opt out of the deal once Grady Sizemore returns, and the signing isn't yet official since that clause has to be approved by the Commissioner's Office, reports Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). Feinsand expects the deal to be finalized on Friday.
- The Indians' success in the 1990s stemmed from their team policy of quickly signing their young stars to contract extensions, and MLB.com's Jordan Bastian looks at how the modern-day Tribe are trying to do the same, as shown as their recent deals with Carlos Santana and Asdrubal Cabrera.
- The extensions also should quiet rumors that the Dolans were looking to sell the team, writes Mike Brandyberry for Cleveland.com. “The idea we’re selling the team is silliness," said Tribe CEO Paul Dolan.