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Nick Johnson’s minor league contract with Indians includes 2012 option

Mar 7, 2011, 3:15 PM EDT

Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson‘s minor-league deal with the Indians was first reported last Tuesday, but the two sides didn’t get around to actually finalizing (and announcing) the contract until this afternoon.

Johnson won’t be ready for Opening Day after undergoing three wrist surgeries in the past year, but will be in line to receive $750,000 if he makes it back to the majors at some point in 2011.

As part of the contract, Johnson reaching the majors this season would also give Cleveland a team option on him for 2012, so if he gets healthy and produces the Indians will be able to bring him back at a reasonable rate next season.

As always with Johnson the odds are against that actually happening, as he played just 195 of a possible 648 games during the past four seasons and is 33 years old. Still, a .401 career on-base percentage is worth a $750,000 flier after the Yankees wasted $5.5 million on him last season.

  1. yankeesfanlen - Mar 7, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    When people complain about Pavano, I have some concrete evidence that it wasn’t the only time.

    • uyf1950 - Mar 7, 2011 at 3:36 PM

      Someone someday has to explain to me why in the world teams continue to sign this guy.

      • yankeesfanlen - Mar 7, 2011 at 3:40 PM

        Guess it just takes all kinds. You what opinions are like- When Johnson first went on the DL last year, John & Suzyn had this discussion about why they didn’t get Jack Cust!

      • jeffrp - Mar 7, 2011 at 11:36 PM

        .401 career on-base percentage

  2. Jeremiah Graves - Mar 7, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Where to they plan to play him if he does make the big club?

    LaPorta should (in theory) have the first base job locked up and Hafner is the DH.

    I guess he’d make an interesting option of the bench…or something?!

  3. pisano - Mar 7, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    I wouldn’t even consider 2012 because he’ll be on the DL for most of 2011 if his history runs true to form.

  4. bigtrav425 - Mar 7, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    This is why my Indians are a MESS! like iv mentioned before only 2 reasons for doing this #1 LaPorta cant play first…#2 they want Johnson to help Laporta along defensively at first

  5. ptho16 - Mar 8, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    He’s a long shot to make the big league club. He’s insurance in case Laporta gets hurt or just plain flops or if Hafner can’t be productive in his 4-5 games a week role. Why do you people freak out about every little thing? What do you want the Indians and the Dolans to do? Maybe if you lousy fans went to games instead of complaining on message boards, the tribe would have money to spend on marquee free agents, but since you don’t, they have to build from within, and that takes time and luck that the top prospects all will reach their peaks at around the same time like in the 90s.

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