CLEVELAND, OH – The Cleveland Indians today announced the club has signed free agent OF JOHNNY DAMON to a Minor League contract for the 2012 season.
Damon, 38, owns a 17-year career Major League batting average of .286 (2723-9529) with 1643 runs scored, 516 doubles, 107 triples, 231 home runs and 1120 RBI in 2,426 games with six teams since debuting with the Kansas City Royals in 1995. He has also stolen 404 bases in 507 attempts (80%) and owns a career on-base pct. of .353.
The Orlando, FL native currently ranks 3rd among active players in runs scored (1643), 5th in base hits (2723) and 6th in doubles (516). The career American League player was an All-Star in 2002 and 2005 with the Boston Red Sox and has finished in the top 20 in the AL MVP voting 4 times (2000, 2004-2006). He led the AL in runs scored (136) and steals (46) in 2000 with KC and ten times over his career he has topped the 100-run scored mark while ranking in the top 10 in the league in runs eight times. He is one of just 8 players in baseball history with at least 1500 runs scored, 500 doubles and 400 stolen bases (Ba. Bonds, R. Henderson, Biggio, Molitor, R. Alomar, Cobb, Speaker).
Johnny spent the 2011 season with the AL Wildcard Champion Tampa Bay Rays, where he batted .261 (152-582) with 79 runs scored, 29 doubles, 7 triples, 16 home runs, 73 RBI and 19 steals in 150 games, his 16th consecutive season of at least 140 games played. Only four players in Major League history have accomplished this feat: Hank Aaron, Brooks Robinson, Pete Rose and Damon. His appearance in the 2011 ALDS for Tampa Bay marked the eighth time in his career Damon has reached October, appearing in 59 games with the Athletics, Red Sox, Yankees and Rays (.276, 72-261, 39RS, 10HR, 33RBI, 13 SB) over his career. He currently ranks tied for 7th among active players in postseason plate appearances (279).
Damon is currently in Goodyear, Arizona preparing to begin baseball activities.