UPDATE: Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the deal is done. Damon will receive a one-year, $1.25 million contract and could take home an additional $1.4 million in performance bonuses. Nothing official yet from the Indians, but an announcement will presumably happen soon.
The 38-year-old made $5.25 million last season with the Rays while batting .261/.326/.418 with 16 homers, 73 RBI, 19 stolen bases and a .743 OPS over 150 games. He is 277 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.
2:02 PM: Nick Camino reports that the only thing keeping the Johnny Damon-Indians deal unofficial is a physical and, when that’s out of the way, the Tribe and he should be able to announce the signing tomorrow morning.
Can’t wait to see Johnny playing left field all the time. But then again, I’ve always rooted for the underdog. And the underthrowers.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.