Photo: AP Images
We spend a lot of time talking about how much money players make under the terms of their contracts, but we have never actually seen a standard big league contract … until now.Thanks to MLB Trade rumours, we now know what a “Uniform” Major League contract looks like
Click here to read the contract >
The simple 8-page document is the basis for every player deal in the big leagues.
A few notes on the contract…
- Players are paid on a semi-monthly basis once the regular season starts. So no paychecks during spring training.
- Players are to continue being paid even if they are absent from the team to fulfil their duties in the reserves or National Guard.
- Players are required to stay in “first-class physical condition” (sorry, Joba Chamberlain) and “pledges himself to the American public…to conform to high standards…of good sportsmanship” (I’m not sorry AJ Pierzynski).
- The player is required to participate in any and all “promotional activities of the club…which will promote the welfare of the club” (so when players show up to photo-ops and promo events, they aren’t necessarily doing it out of the kindness of their heart).
- Players are not allowed to “make public appearances, participate in radio or television programs…or sponsor commercial products” without the consent of the ball club.
- Players need approval of the Commissioner to own a stake in their ball club.
- Players are not permitted to participate in boxing, wrestling, skiing, auto racing, motorcycle racing, sky diving, or any game…of football, soccer, professional league basketball, ice hockey…”
- The team may terminate the contract if the player fails, refuses or neglects to exhibit “good citizenship and good sportsmanship or to keep himself in first-class physical condition,” or fails “to exhibit sufficient skill” to remain a member of the team.
- If the contract is terminated the club must provide the player a first-class ticket (and meals) home.
- Players must be provided two full uniforms, but must provide their own shoes.
- Each player has life insurance through the league that pays $1 million plus 75 per cent of their salary in excess of $1 million. The total is not to exceed $30 million and the club is the sole beneficiary.
Contracts signed by high-priced free agents will look much different than this. However, most of this basic language would still be found in any MLB deal, unless the agent and player can negotiation something different.
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