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MLB Rumors: Johnny Damon Continues 3000 Hit Watch With Cleveland Indians

I love this rumored Johnny Damon contract: The Cleveland Indians plan on signing Damon to a contract with an opt-out clause that will allow him to continue his 3000-hit chase—he's 277 hits out—with some other team when Grady Sizemore comes back sometime in June. His one-man show devoted to confusing and terrifying Hall of Fame traditionalists will roll on into its 18th year, then, as the bigger part of a platoon out in left field with Shelley Duncan. (Hall of Fame non-traditionalists should note he's probably 10 wins or so away from a Cooperstown-worthy career; Baseball-Reference's WAR formulation puts him in Lance Berkman territory right now.)


Players have really clearly focused on milestones before; I don't think anybody was under any illusions about Craig Biggio's last several years. But you don't see a lot of contracts that are structured around it. Damon's still a fine hitter—he has a 108 OPS+ over the last two years—and a competent outfielder. He'll definitely help the Indians and, well, whatever team the Indians drop him for.