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Johnny Damon Joins Indians, Strengthens Struggling Line-Up

Johnny Damon is a shadow of the player that he used to be, but even that is going to help the Cleveland Indians make an upgrade in their line-up in left field as the veteran has signed a deal with a full no-trade clause for this season. It’s one of those in-season veteran deals that many expect Roy Oswalt to also sign soon enough.

Mike Axisa writes, “Damon, 38, figures to step into Cleveland’s left field situation as soon as he’s ready to join the team. Shelley Duncan has started all five of the Indians’ games in left, but he’s best deployed as the right-handed half of a platoon. A fit between the Tribe and Damon seemed natural for most of the offseason.”

At 1-4, it was important for the Indians to do something to stop the bleeding on a season that could get away from them very quickly. The Royals are a young team who will add more components as prospect rise. The Tigers are, well, the Tigers and currently lead the division at 4-1. The White Sox and Twins could also surprise, although only Chicago looks promising at this early stage of the season.

In the early going of the season, only three Cleveland regulars are hitting over .217.