Indians will “likely” sign Johnny Damon

It isn’t official yet, but it looks like the Indians will be adding former Yankee, Johnny Damon.

It was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports that he had signed with the Indians, but Jon Heyman of CBS Sports later called the deal likely, but not finished. It does sound like it’s all but done. Rosenthal reported that the deal includes a no-trade clause for Damon and an opt-out clause after Grady Sizemore returns from the DL sometime in June.

This signing is actually pretty funny to me. There were rumors during the offseason that Damon was obsessed with his pursuit for 3,000 hits (he needs 277 more). So when he signs a deal with a team that is going nowhere, it includes an opt-out clause to keep him from becoming a useful bench piece, and also includes a no-trade clause so they can’t use him to help build for the future – it really shows what kind of mercenary he’s become.

I know that a lot of people won’t agree with me, but it is this kind of stuff that makes me happy that the Yankees picked Raul Ibanez over him this offseason.

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3 Responses to Indians will “likely” sign Johnny Damon

  1. Bronx_Knight says:

    Rob, maybe you're being a little hard on Johnny here.

    If I understand this correctly, Johnny wants to maximize his chances at reaching 3,000 hits. If he's sitting on the bench in Cleveland and not getting at bats, that lowers his chances of getting to 3,000. So he cuts a deal with Cleveland that allows him to look for a full-time position elsewhere if he gets relegated to the bench in Cleveland.

    I really don't see what's "mercenary" about that for Johnny. "Mercenary" would be looking for the highest-paid job to the exclusion of all else. Trying to maximize your chances of getting to the Hall of Fame — I don't see that as mercenary.

    • I say this because he's trying to force it, he's not letting it happen naturally. I think that's why he couldn't find a job with anybody except Cleveland – teams, like the Yankees for instance, don't want him there on his own agenda. They want him there to help them accomplish what they're trying to do and that's win. By going to Cleveland and getting the opt-out for when Sizemore returns it sends a clear message that he's only going there to get a few hits and then he's leaving. He could care less about what Cleveland is trying to do.

  2. Thank you, Rob. Long before the Yankees signed Raul Ibanez, I was against Damon's return to the Bronx. I just don't like the guy, as he's always seemed like the opposite of a "true Yankee". I think he left Boston on really crappy terms, and recently left Tampa on really bad terms as well. He's like the guy you pick to be on your softball team, because he does a good job (although that's debatable with Johnny these days), but after the game you'd rather he went home instead of out to the bar with the team.

    By the way, in my opinion, to be a "true Yankee" one must act like the pinstripes matter to them… instead of the check they receive from the team.