Transactions: Indians DFA Damon, Recall Carrera

Ezequiel Carrera catches a ball with his eyes closed.



Designated OF Johnny Damon for assignment

Recalled OF Ezequiel Carrera from Columbus (AAA)

When the Indians didn't land one of the free agent outfielders (such as Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, or Josh Willingham), they responded by acquiring Aaron Cunningham from San Diego, Russ Canzler from Tampa Bay, signing several minor-league free agents (including Felix Pie, Fred Lewis, and Ryan Spilborghs) in the hopes that (a) Grady Sizemore would be healthy, meaning that they would only need a fourth outfielder, and (b) someone would separate themselves from the pack in spring training for that fourth spot.

When Sizemore injured his back just days into spring training, that battle for the four outfield spot became a battle for the starting left fielder. But no one from that sizable contingent of acquisitions and signings really made an impression, so the Indians went with Shelly Duncan (who had ended the 2011 season well) as the left fielder and Cunningham (who was out of options) as the fourth outfielder. But they weren't content with those two, and contemplated acquiring Bobby Abreu from the Angels towards the end of the spring training, and eventually would sign Johnny Damon a couple weeks into the season.

Damon had had nice seasons with the Tigers (105 OPS+) and Rays (109 OPS+) since leaving the Yankees in 2009, but this time he had waited to sign with a club until after spring training was over. This had a major effect on his swing; he played just a couple weeks of extended spring games, then joined the club on May 2, and hit .171/.261/.251. The Indians banked on him eventually recovering from this brutal start, and he did somewhat, hitting .254/.319/.444 in June, but he slumped again in July, and it was becoming obvious that it just wasn't going to work out. So before Friday's game, Chris Antonetti traveled to Detroit to let Damon know that he was being released.

Acta on the decision:

"We had to make a tough decision," Acta said. "Johnny is just first class. He made an impact on a lot of people here, despite not performing the way he was expecting and how we were expecting. I can only imagine how much impact he could've made here if he would've performed better.

"He gave everything he had. He was really helpful to some of our young kids. He was a total pro about it."

If this is the end for Damon, he's had an excellent career, finishing with a career .284/.352/.433 and finishing just 231 hits shy of 3000. I think there's a chance he gives it a go for 2013, even if it's on a minor-league deal, to see what he could do with a normal spring.

With the Indians now out of contention, they were going to need to look at other players over the last two months of the season. The problem is that the Indians don't really have a prospect that they'd be willing to give the left field job to. The closest guy to an outfield prospect in the upper minors is Tim Fedroff, who is 25 years old and has really been hitting well in Columbus (.373/433/.600), and if I had to pick one guy to go with over the next seven weeks, he'd be the one.

But for now Carrera is back with the big-league club, serving as a true backup to Brantley in center and getting some starts in left field. Carrera had an extended run with the Indians last season because both Sizemore and Brantley were injured, and he hit .243/.301/.312 in 226 PA, really fading late in the season. He has been the everyday center fielder for Columbus this season, and has been hot in July, hitting 385/.434/.578 for the Clippers.

Johnny Damon Career Stats

Year Age Tm Lg G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ Pos Awards
1995 21 KCR AL 47 206 32 53 11 5 3 23 7 0 12 22 .282 .324 .441 .765 97 8/9
1996 22 KCR AL 145 566 61 140 22 5 6 50 25 5 31 64 .271 .313 .368 .680 73 *89/D
1997 23 KCR AL 146 524 70 130 12 8 8 48 16 10 42 70 .275 .338 .386 .723 88 *879/D
1998 24 KCR AL 161 710 104 178 30 10 18 66 26 12 58 84 .277 .339 .439 .779 100 *897
1999 25 KCR AL 145 660 101 179 39 9 14 77 36 6 67 50 .307 .379 .477 .856 116 *7/8D9
2000 26 KCR AL 159 741 136 214 42 10 16 88 46 9 65 60 .327 .382 .495 .877 118 *87D MVP-19
2001 27 OAK AL 155 719 108 165 34 4 9 49 27 12 61 70 .256 .324 .363 .687 83 *87/9
2002 28 BOS AL 154 702 118 178 34 11 14 63 31 6 65 70 .286 .356 .443 .799 109 *8/D AS
2003 29 BOS AL 145 690 103 166 32 6 12 67 30 6 68 74 .273 .345 .405 .750 94 *8/D
2004 30 BOS AL 150 702 123 189 35 6 20 94 19 8 76 71 .304 .380 .477 .857 117 *8/D MVP-16
2005 31 BOS AL 148 688 117 197 35 6 10 75 18 1 53 69 .316 .366 .439 .805 110 *8/D AS,MVP-13
2006 32 NYY AL 149 671 115 169 35 5 24 80 25 10 67 85 .285 .359 .482 .841 115 *8D/3 MVP-15
2007 33 NYY AL 141 605 93 144 27 2 12 63 27 3 66 79 .270 .351 .396 .747 96 8D7/39
2008 34 NYY AL 143 623 95 168 27 5 17 71 29 8 64 82 .303 .375 .461 .836 118 *78D/3
2009 35 NYY AL 143 626 107 155 36 3 24 82 12 0 71 98 .282 .365 .489 .854 118 *7/D
2010 36 DET AL 145 613 81 146 36 5 8 51 11 1 69 90 .271 .355 .401 .756 105 D7/8
2011 37 TBR AL 150 647 79 152 29 7 16 73 19 6 51 92 .261 .326 .418 .743 109 *D7/3
2012 38 CLE AL 64 224 25 46 6 2 4 19 4 0 17 27 .222 .281 .329 .610 72 7/D
18 Yrs 2490 10917 1668 2769 522 109 235 1139 408 103 1003 1257 .284 .352 .433 .785 104
162 Game Avg. 162 710 109 180 34 7 15 74 27 7 65 82 .284 .352 .433 .785 104
G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ Pos Awards
KCR (6 yrs) 803 3407 504 894 156 47 65 352 156 42 275 350 .292 .351 .438 .789 101
BOS (4 yrs) 597 2782 461 730 136 29 56 299 98 21 262 284 .295 .362 .441 .803 108
NYY (4 yrs) 576 2525 410 636 125 15 77 296 93 21 268 344 .285 .363 .458 .821 112
TBR (1 yr) 150 647 79 152 29 7 16 73 19 6 51 92 .261 .326 .418 .743 109
OAK (1 yr) 155 719 108 165 34 4 9 49 27 12 61 70 .256 .324 .363 .687 83
CLE (1 yr) 64 224 25 46 6 2 4 19 4 0 17 27 .222 .281 .329 .610 72
DET (1 yr) 145 613 81 146 36 5 8 51 11 1 69 90 .271 .355 .401 .756 105
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/4/2012.

Ezequiel Carrera Combined Career Stats

Year Age Tm Lg G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2005 18 NYM-min FRk 45 173 19 34 3 2 0 8 7 8 15 47 .227 .308 .273 .581
2006 19 NYM-min FRk 57 247 41 65 4 5 1 19 22 11 16 28 .301 .365 .380 .745
2007 20 NYM-min Rk,A- 65 286 52 82 10 3 1 32 22 6 30 42 .329 .408 .406 .813
2008 21 NYM-min A+ 114 494 61 113 11 12 7 29 28 9 46 86 .263 .344 .393 .737
2009 22 SEA-min AA 91 405 68 111 12 4 2 38 27 13 59 62 .337 .441 .416 .857
2010 23 SEA-CLE-min AAA,Rk 109 441 45 109 14 5 1 38 20 8 33 68 .281 .343 .351 .693
2011 24 CLE-min AAA 82 377 63 94 8 3 2 25 35 4 39 53 .287 .371 .348 .719
2011 24 CLE AL 68 226 27 49 8 3 0 14 10 5 16 35 .243 .301 .312 .613 74
2012 25 CLE-min AAA 97 438 65 116 19 6 6 42 26 7 29 60 .294 .345 .419 .764
2012 25 CLE AL 1 4 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .500 .500 .500 1.000 185
2 Yrs 69 230 28 51 8 3 0 14 10 5 16 36 .248 .305 .316 .620 76
162 Game Avg. 162 540 66 120 19 7 0 33 23 12 38 85 .248 .305 .316 .620 76
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/4/2012.
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