Johnny Damon contract details

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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.

Bartolo Colon ain’t doing so hot this year

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If he wasn’t 44 years-old we’d just call it a slump, but the way Bartolo Colon is pitching right now makes you wonder if the end is nigh.

Colon was shelled this afternoon, giving up seven runs on ten hits and walking three in five innings of work to take the loss against the Pirates. That brings his ERA up to 6.96 on the year. He’s allowed five or more runs in five of his ten starts and opposing batters are hitting .320 against him. One of the big reasons he had been so effective into his 40s had been his low walk rate — he led the NL in this category for the past two seasons — but he’s walking more guys this year than last.

The Braves picked up Colon for the reasons a lot of rebuilding teams pick up veteran starters: to provide innings and stability until the younger arms of the future can mature. Colon, however, has been the weakest link of the Braves rotation.

At some point, every baseball player reaches the end. Almost all of them do it before the age of 44. One hopes, given his history and popularity that Colon is just experiencing a rough patch and that, by mid season, he’ll be reliably pumping strikes into the zone the way he has the past few seasons. But with each bad start he registers this year, that’s seeming like more and more of a stretch.

Braves designate Josh Collmenter for assignment

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Last night Braves reliever Josh Collmenter surrendered three homers and seven runs in the 10th inning of a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He came into the game when it was tied 5-5 so, yeah, ouch. Today Collmenter is on his way to no longer being a Braves reliever as he has been designated for assignment.

Collmenter made 11 appearances for the Braves, going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in 17 innings. If he doesn’t latch on someplace else he can take heart that his final act in the big leagues was striking out former MVP Andrew McCutchen. If only he hadn’t surrendered consecutive homers to David Freese, Jose Osuna and Jordy Mercer just before that. Oh well. Take the good with the bad.

Right-hander Matt Wisler, who has been no great shakes in the bigs himself, was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before today’s series finale against the Pirates. He’s currently throwing mopup duty for Bartolo Colon, who got shelled for seven runs in four innings.

Given how Colon is going, maybe the Braves will be thinking about some more transactions soon.