Indians Sign Johnny Damon

Johnny Damon's long stint on the free agent market has officially come to an end. The outfielder's minor league deal with the Indians is complete, the team announced. Damon will earn a $1.25MM salary in the Major Leagues plus another possible $1.4MM in bonuses, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports (via Twitter).

The deal will include a full no-trade clause and allow Damon to explore other opportunities should he lose playing time once Grady Sizemore returns. Sizemore is expected to miss 8-12 weeks due to back surgery.

Damon, 38, figures to step into Cleveland's left field situation as soon as he's ready to join the team. Shelley Duncan has started all five of the Indians' games in left, but he's best deployed as the right-handed half of a platoon. A fit between the Tribe and Damon seemed natural for most of the offseason.

Just 277 hits away from 3,000 for his career, Damon hit .261/.326/.418 with 16 homers and 19 steals for the Rays last season. He has played fewer than 400 total innings in the outfield over the last two years, but he has appeared in at least 140 games in each of the past 16 years.

The Indians tried to acquire Bobby Abreu a few weeks ago, presumably for the same role Damon will fill. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported that Damon would sign with the Indians (all Twitter links).

40 Responses to Indians Sign Johnny Damon Leave a Reply

  1. ClintB92 3 years ago

    im shocked
    actually being that they didnt get abreau its not as shocking after all

  2. wickedkevin 3 years ago

    Damon>Abreu Good job Chief Wahoo

  3. Paul Shailor 3 years ago

    Johnny Damon, this generations kenny lofton. 

    • sourbob 3 years ago

      Damon wishes he was Kenny Lofton. Lofton had a better peak, more defensive value, and 30% more career WAR.

  4. MB923 3 years ago

    Mystery Team!

    • LeylandsLung 3 years ago

      The Indians aren’t much of a mystery at all. They just suck.

  5. Largebill 3 years ago


  6. johnsilver 3 years ago

    Desperado = Damon = Boras. Now we gotta hear how much the pair had to go crawling/begging/scrounging for.

  7. Lastings 3 years ago

    Damon always wanted to play in Cleveland…

    • InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

      Can’t wait for that comment

    • MB923 3 years ago

      Willie “Mays” Hayes was his idol.

    • Snoochies8 3 years ago

      he’s always loved their fans and thinks they’re the best fans around

  8. gkstkddn93 3 years ago

    Come on, left handed batter again? Indians need right handed bats.

  9. joeybw 3 years ago

    Damon and Kotchman reunite, so heart warming.

    Seriously how left handed is that team? And I guess Hafner means Damon has to play D this year.

  10. InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

    Full no trade plus an opt out clause?! How did Boras manage that? Guy never ceases to amaze me…what other team was even willing to offer Damon a semi-full time gig…

    • Opt out clause was inevitable. Once Sizemore returns, Johnny’s at-bats will dry up. No at bats = no hits. This guy is 100% about stats. He is smitten with the fact that 3,000 hits=Hall of Fame.

      • Damon will play for ten teams this year if it means hits. This is getting comical.

        •  As long as he stays in the A L he can always be a D H.  Oh how I hate that rule.  Just an excuse for washed up ball players who can sometimes hit.

          • jwsox 3 years ago

            Yep David Ortiz, kendrys morales, adam Lind, mauer/ morneau/domit, Billy butler, Michael young, all washed up hitter who can “sometimes hit”

          • P.J. Wright 3 years ago

            Billy Butler is 25 years old…dont think that means “washed up”…Ortiz only had one bad year since 2003 bro…Mauer can hit, he’s just been injured look at the numbers, Michael Young had the highest batting average of his career last year…how can you say the Morales is washed up too? just like mauer, he’s been injured haha…all of these names all just not true haha I assume Matt Kemp is washed up too?

      • bigpat 3 years ago

         He should still be in the lineup, probably a better bat than Hafner who only has a year left on his contract, if he’s not performing great, they should just eat it and let him go. They don’t need to milk anything else out of him at the expense of the rest of the team.

        And Sizemore hasn’t even been good when healthy, which is rare, just swings at anything. Everyone jumps on the Damon hate train but he’s not a bad player.

        • Hugo Santana 3 years ago

          Hafner is one of the Indians that is swinging the bat well (Santana is the 2nd one and that is it)…

  11. Tad_Knackers 3 years ago

    Hopefully Damon will teach the young players something.  Sizemore needs to learn how to stop doing his Joe Mauer impression and get injured every season.  Hopefully he starts emulating Damon.

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

       lol as if someone can just learn to not be injury prone

  12. This is a great signing. If Damon has a enough left in the tank to play 3 or 4 games a week in left field and hit in the 1 or 2 hole, then this was just what we need.

    • Max Forstag 3 years ago

      Hit him lead-off. What has Michael Brantley done to prove he deserves the spot? Put him 9th in the order to roll over the lineup.

  13. Metsfan199 3 years ago

    Why not Trevor Crowe instead of Damon – younger and hitting well in minors.  Bring him back!!

    • sportsnut969 3 years ago

      because he is not on the 40 man roster and IMHO they are through playing games with him. Crowe was given several shots prior to the injury and he blow ever one of them.

  14. Mike1L 3 years ago

    Bizarre contract that allows the player to opt out when a different player returns from injury.  You wonder if that’s going to fly with his Bud-ness.  You have to hand to Boras for being creative.  If this deal goes through, Boras will probably spend the time scouring the market for a second job (and maybe even looking to leverage another offer for more money from Cleveland).  You do have to ask, what’s in it for the Indians? 

  15. Smrtbusnisman04 3 years ago

     The prospect of the Royals finishing second just got a little brighter with Damon roaming Cleveland’s outfield..

    As long as Jonathan Broxton is confined to custodial duties.

  16. 2001morecowbell2001 3 years ago

    Cleveland now has to play the “shift” against all opposing teams. You know….that shift where you put the SS into LF so Johnny can hand the ball off to the SS and actually get it to the cut off. Seriously Cleveland four OF’s on the field at one time is only allowed in softball

  17. I have always been a fan of Johnny. Good move Tribe! Best of luck to you both.

  18. It’s about time someone signed him

    Loki: I have an army
    Iron Man: I have a Hulk

  19.  I’m not a Red Sox or Yankees fan, so I’ve always liked Damon.  It’s too bad he can’t play the field well anymore, because I’m sure that’s what kept him from receiving more offers, if not more money.

  20. TimotheusATL 3 years ago

    he’ll make more of an impact for them than the 29 year old outfielder who’s virtually always on the disabled list.

    depending on the $, the signing makes sense.

  21. MillyWyman 3 years ago

    Actually, he was DH for Tampa Bay last year and did a very good job. On top of that, he’s so Cute.

  22. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    realistically it makes no difference.

    a lot of things would have to happen for any team to be willing to trade to acquire him and give up anything

    and once sizemore is back and proves to be healthy, he’ll be on the bench anyways

  23. BitLocker 3 years ago

     “and once sizemore is back and proves to be healthy, he’ll be on the bench anyways”

    Too bad that Grady Sizemore will probably get back in the DL 6 weeks after he comes back.

  24. Lunchbox45 3 years ago


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