Details on Nick Johnson’s contract

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Christmas Day Open Thread

The Yankees and Nick Johnson finalized their one year agreement two days ago, bringing the lefty swinger back to the Bronx six years after he was traded away. The basics of the deal are well known ($5.5M for 2010 with a mutual option for 2011), however the AP has some of the minor details:

  • The 2011 option is for the same base salary with a $250,000 buyout. If Johnson comes to the plate at least 550 times next year, the buyout jumps to $500,000. Both sides have to pick up the option for it to kick in.
  • The guaranteed value of the option year can increase to $6M with 500 plate appearances in 2010, $6.5M with 550 plate appearances, and $7M with 600 plate appearances.
  • Johnson could potentially pocket another million bucks in both years of the deal with plate appearance based incentives: $50,000 each for 400 and 425 trips to the plate, $75,000 each for 450 and 475, and $125,000 each for 500, 525, 550, 575, 600, and 625 plate appearances.
  • If both sides pick up the mutual option and Johnson reaches all of the incentives, he’d take home a total of $14.5M.

There doesn’t appear to be any no-trade protection or any other benefits like that, which is always a plus. Hopefully Nick The Stick stays healthy and it’s $14.5M well spent.

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Christmas Day Open Thread
  • Crazy Eyes Killa

    Nice to see that they gave him a lot of motivation to stay out there everyday, this team is loaded for next year

    • JMK THE OVERSHARE’s Glenn Beck Complex

      He shouldn’t need more motivation. In some cases, it could be considered a hinderance (playing poorly through injury). But whatevs. Just glad to see it finalized.

  • Dan

    Sounds like a pretty damn annoying contract to negotiate.

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

      Cashman negotiated that OVER TWITTER. 140 characters at a time. With one hand. On an iPhone…so he had to switch pages for numbers. While he pussy tubed with NICK SWISHER.

      All so we could Merry Christmas.


  • Reggie C.

    That mutual option might not be worth much if Jesus Montero makes a compelling case to DH full-time. Cant deny that Johnson’s contract is reasonable, but Cashman might want to save those millions in lieu of the Crawford/ Lee/ Webb class.

    • radnom


      Worse case scenario if the Yankees don’t want Johnson’s contract for next year they are only out 500K.

      • themgmt

        Not only that, Montero should probably catch at least half of the time. With Posada turning 40 during that season, it’s very possible his bat has slid to the point Johnson is the better bet at DH and Johnson’s option could be attractive.

        C – 80 Montero 80 Posada
        DH – 120 Johnson 40 Montero/Posada

        Something like that. It would be dependent on who the better two hitters are at that point. Even having NJ on the bench is pretty solid insurance for 3 positions in that scenario (C, 1B, DH)

        • TopChuckie

          If Montero is the backup catcher they wouldn’t want him and Posada in the starting lineup too often. They’d need a 3rd C, just like the playoffs, in which case NJ and the 3rd C are actually clogging up the bench, more than making it more versatile.

          • OldYanksFan

            Very true and excellent point. Also in the mix could be Juan Miranda, who posted (approx) an average line of .289 .376 .475 .851 over 2 years of AAA ball. That OBP is especially nice for a guy with some pop. Unless NJ is really healthy and posts above career avg numbers in 2010, a 2nd year with the Yanks (and another shot at a ring) would be on the table. And if he has a great year and Cashman wants him back, he can always throw another $2-3m at him.

            Actually, I’m seeing the NJ signing as a smarter-then-I-first-thought deal, as it gives us some more flexibility going foward.

            Anybody know if Thome is signed? Just curious really. The guys flys under the radar a bit. He’s got just 19 less HRs than ARod… and 18 more than the big bad Manny. When talking about ‘Greats’, ya don’t hear about Thome much. A career .961 OPS, just 4 pts below ARod.

  • hakeem is a novice

    merry christmas

  • Richard Deegan

    Now, you can call me Nick, and you can call him Reed; and you can call me NJ, and you can call him RJ; and you can call me DH, and you can call him LF; and you can call me 1B, and you can call him DH….. But ya doesn’t hafta call us JOHNSONS!!!!

    • Marcus

      Ugh, that bit was funny for about 5 seconds…,


  • Tom

    Johnson is a great pickup who also can play first base. It also is a low risk investment in todays baseball. Lets the Yanks see if Miranda and or Montero develop and I’m sure one of them will make the opening day roster