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Tribe mum on Damon; veteran in great shape

Tribe mum on Damon; veteran in great shape

Tribe mum on Damon; veteran in great shape
KANSAS CITY -- The Johnny Damon topic of conversation has turned from whether he'll sign with the Indians to how long it will take the 38-year-old Damon to get ready after sitting out Spring Training.

The Indians have yet to acknowledge the deal, but Damon did in an interview on the MLB Network Radio channel on Sirius XM. Damon said in the interview he's in great shape and has been hitting, running, throwing and even playing soccer. But he hasn't seen Major League pitching since last season and would likely need time honing his skills in extended spring games.

Indians manager Manny Acta will not directly address the Damon situation until the deal becomes official. But Acta said, in general, that each player is different in regards to how much time it takes to get ready for Major League competition.

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"It depends on the guy," Acta said. "It depends on the genes ... "

The Indians struggled offensively through the opening week, and Damon has always been a proficient hitter. Damon could give Cleveland another option in left field along with Shelley Duncan, at least until the return of Grady Sizemore, who is recovering from lower back surgery.

Damon's contract will reportedly be worth $1.25 million in base salary and another $1.4 million in performance bonuses. Whether he would be able to pay a dividend on that investment before the end of April is a point of conjecture.

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