5 Most Unbelievable MLB Contract Clauses and Incentives

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5 Most Unbelievable MLB Contract Clauses and Incentives
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Alex Rodriguez won't earn his incentive bonus for winning the MVP of a playoff division series because the award doesn't exist.

The Yankees are unlikely to avoid paying Alex Rodriguez for at least the last two-plus years of his current deal, which runs through the 2017 season. Unless his 211-game suspension is decreased after his current appeal, that's an estimated $55 million owed to a player who will be approaching his 40th birthday when he's eligible to return after the first 49 games of the 2015 season. 

Looking on the bright side, they'll save nearly $32 million (his entire 2014 salary and 49 games' worth of his 2015 salary) if his suspension is upheld, which would be huge as the team heads into an offseason with several key free agents and plenty of holes to fill.

On top of those enormous savings, the Yankees can rest easy knowing that Rodriguez never earned the $150,000 for winning a playoff division series MVP...because it doesn't exist. 

So while Rodriguez is known more for his lack of playoff success as a Yankee, it should be pointed out that he could've been in the running for the "ALDS MVP" had it existed when he went 8-for-19 with a homer and three doubles during a series win against the Twins in 2004, his first playoff appearance since signing the contract with Texas prior to the 2001 season.

Maybe Rodriguez figured out the contract error after that 2004 series and it sent him into a tailspin over his next three ALDS appearances (7-for-44 from 2005-2007).

His new 10-year contract, which he signed prior to the 2008 season, has no such clause as far as I can tell. But after a 5-for-11 performance with two homers in a three-game ALDS sweep over the Twins in 2009 followed by a 7-for-45 slump in his next three appearances, we can't be sure he wasn't motivated by another fake division-series incentive, only to have it taken away after finding out he'd been duped again.

While there are several other silly and unattainable clauses included in player contracts, including a Gold Glove incentive for Adam Dunn and Silver Slugger incentives for relief pitchers and Cesar Izturis, who hits like a relief pitcher, here are five of the most unbelievable contract clauses and incentives in major league history.    


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