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Johnny Damon contract details

Feb 24, 2010, 8:40 AM EDT

Buster Olney has them. In addition to his $8 million:

  • He gets $500,000 for winning the MVP Award, $200,000 for finishing second through fifth, and $100,000 for finishing sixth through tenth;

  • He gets $100,000
    for being voted in as an All-Star, $50,000 for being selected as a reserve;

  • $100,000 for winning the Gold Glove and another $100,000 for the Silver Slugger;

  • $150,000 for winning the ALCS MVP; $200,000 for being the World Series MVP; and

  • He gets a suite on the road.

If the Tigers win the AL Central and Damon doesn’t fall off a cliff I could totally see him getting some MVP votes due to writers thinking he’s a difference maker or a leader or something. All it takes to place 10th is roughly 7-10 of the 28 voters to think you’re one of the top 10 candidates.

The All-Star incentives are less likely to happen. Damon was voted 7th among AL outfielders last season, and that’s with a pretty darn good first half on the Yankees. As for getting selected as a reserve, his former manager Joe Girardi is doing the selecting for whatever that’s worth.

The postseason MVP awards are utterly unpredictable. The suite on road trips is an increasingly popular contract perk among star players. I often wonder what the guys who don’t get suites think of that.

How about that Gold Glove incentive?  If I’m the Tigers I’m not going to worry about setting money aside for that one. Damon is more likely to win Best Actress, a MacArthur Genius Grant or the Nobel Prize for literature before he snags a fielding award.

  1. ditmars1929 - Feb 24, 2010 at 9:05 AM

    I really don’t understand why clubs give out these kind of incentive deals. First, players earn enough as it is. Johnny Damon can’t get by on $8million a year alone and needs extras? More importantly, aren’t players SUPPOSED to aspire to an MVP, Gold Glove, etc.? Has any player ever said, “Wow, with this new contract I get an extra half million for winning MVP, so I guess I’ll try harder this season than last season,”? If so, that’s a disgrace.

  2. Geek - Feb 24, 2010 at 9:33 AM

    The only item I found offensive is the suite.
    I am surprised he also did not ask for a pony.

  3. Jonny5 - Feb 24, 2010 at 9:35 AM

    So Damon will see 8 million 100 grand this season… LOL!! Boras is a true magician. Even though we’re all aware Johnny would have rather taken the NY offer in retrospect, he still gets to spin the whole “better deal” BS.

  4. Wouter - Feb 24, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    In a way, why WOULDN’T teams give these out? They make the contract look better for the player (might have been important to Boras as well), and they are all very unlikely to happen, it costs teams on average probably something like 50,000 (this is a total guess, though we could calculate this). And if they DO happen, it means the team has gotten their money’s worth in general (I’m quite sure the Tigers would be happy to shell out an extra 200,000 for him being the WS MVP).

  5. ditmars1929 - Feb 24, 2010 at 10:07 AM

    Wouter, I totally understand your point of view. I guess was speaking in terms of principle. If I were a team owner, my view would be, “Johnny, here’s an $8million contract to play ball for me. It’s a lot of money. For my money, I expect you to give your all, 100%, every game.” A player shouldn’t need additional incentives beyond that to do his best if he’s willing to sign that contract. You sign a contract, you live up to it. The chef at a diner doesn’t get a bonus for making a really good omelet. It’s expected of him.

  6. Charles Gates - Feb 24, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    “Wow, with this new contract I get an extra half million for winning MVP, so I guess I’ll try harder this season than last season,”?
    That’s human nature. It’s the same thing that drives players to work harder during the off season preceeding the final year of their contract or a salesperson to work harder if you add 5% to their commission.. Management 101: Incent the behavior that drives the results you desire. It’s not shocking. It’s not a disgrace. It’s reality.

  7. YANKEES1996 - Feb 24, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    Well, I will tell you, you can hit me in the head with a brick! I would have never thought that JD would get a 1 year deal worth that kind of money. The incentives are probably not going to work in his favor for the most part but there are a few that he may collect on. Looking at Detroits’ roster and their younger players I would not have thought they would have gone after Damon, I guess their outfield was thinner than it appeared.
    I had really expected Damon to end up either with the Rays or the Braves but at a price well below $8 million. I cannot believe I’m writing this but I guess Scott Boras really does know what he is doing, now excuse me I have to go and slam my fingers under the piano keyboard cover!

  8. ecp - Feb 24, 2010 at 10:45 AM

    Actually, Craig, the bulk of the reserves for the All Star teams are picked by the players, not the managers. The manager then “fills out” the team as necessary to ensure that each club is represented.

  9. jwb - Feb 24, 2010 at 10:50 AM

    “First, players earn enough as it is.”
    I find it interesting that people say this. Payrolls, as a percentage of franchise value, are about 50% lower than they were in the early 20th century. 100 years ago, teams owned their own stadiums and had nowhere near the revenue streams (media, souvenirs, parking) that teams do now. Players are grossly underpaid compared to 100 years ago. Owners may be doing somewhat better.

  10. ditmars1929 - Feb 24, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    JWB, you may be correct on a percentage basis, but the out-of-pocket salaries in this age is vastly different. Professional ballplayers, as recently as the mid-20th century let alone 100 years ago, had to work “regular joe” jobs in the off season to get by. Do you think Johnny Damon, with his $8million this season and $100million+ in career earnings, is going to have to sell life insurance or men’s shoes in the off season?

  11. wagglio - Feb 26, 2010 at 10:14 AM

    I think a players contract should be based on these types of points. He should earn 2 million a season with higher incentives based on performance. There are so many players that under perform and get millions in guranteeed money.

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