BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 13: Johnny Damon #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays tips his helmet after stealing second base for his 400th career stolen base against the Baltimore Orioles during the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 13, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Sources: #Indians to sign Johnny Damon.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 12, 2012
The 38-year-old veteran, who spent 2011 at splitting time at 1B/DH/LF with the Tampa Bay Rays, was one of only a few outfielders left on the free agent market.
Damon adds some much-needed outfield depth for the Indians, who have been on the search for another player to man left field since Grady Sizemore went to the 60-day DL.
Rosenthal reports that the deal will include an out clause which will allow Damon to leave the team once Grady Sizemore returns from injury.
A two-time All-Star, Damon has averaged 143 games a year over 17 seasons in the big leagues, hitting .286/.353/.435 in that span.
Damon is currently 277 hits shy of 3,000 for his career. If he is able to maintain his average of 160 hits a year, he would reach that plateau some time next season.