Veteran outfielder Johnny Damon, one of the driving forces behind the Red Sox’s 2004 World Series championship, has just agreed to a one-year contract with the Cleveland Indians, reports ESPN.
According to ESPN Insider’s Jim Bowden, Damon gets a pro-rated $1.25 million in base salary with performance bonuses that could add on an additional $1.4 million to the deal’s worth.
Quite interestingly, MLB.com has pointed out that Johnny Damon has a full no-trade clause in his contract as well as the ability to verbally opt out on a particular date after Grady Sizemore comes back.
Sizemore, who had minor back surgery last month, is not eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list until June 3.
Damon, a 38-year-old, career .286 hitter, played with Tampa Bay — his sixth AL team — last season and batted .261 with 16 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games, 135 as the club’s designated hitter.
Besides the Rays, Damon has also played for Kansas City, Oakland, Boston, the New York Yankees and Detroit.
The Houston Chronicle reports that — upon passing a physical — Damon will still need time to get in game shape since he is joining the Indians without the luxury of a Spring Training and without facing live pitching since the end of last season.
He will have to play outfield, too, because the Indians already have Travis Hafner as their primary designated hitter.
ESPN’s Eric Karabell breaks down Johnny Damon’s deal with the Cleveland Indians more in depth here.