Fun With Performance Incentives (Part I)

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Fun With Performance Incentives (Part I)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

I don't know about you, but one of my favorite baseball sites out there right now is Cot's Baseball Contracts. The site has all the nuggets and nuances that come with baseball contracts and gives people like myself the opportunity to see how big money baseball contracts work.

One of the projects that I've been working on for some time now is ranking the performance clauses in current baseball contracts. In most big money contracts, teams insert certain performance clauses that reward the player for achieving a certain goal or statistic.

I've always been interested in performance bonuses for some strange reason. I've always been fascinated to know who makes the most for winning an award and how teams structure their performance bonus system. And because of the amazing Cot's Baseball Contracts, these numbers were right at my fingertips, just waiting to be organized and sorted.

My plan moving forward is to have two installments of the performance incentive rankings. The first one will consist of seven awards and any other nuggets and oddities that I fit in. Enjoy....this should make some good banter in the comments.

(Note: All the contracts and player bonuses listed are current and valid in the 2009 season. In addition, all contract information is from Cot's Baseball Contracts)

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1. What player earns the most money for winning a gold glove?

Answer: Lots. By my unofficial count, there are 15 guys out there that earn exactly $100,000 for winning a gold glove. Here is my unofficial list:

Magglio Ordonez, Mike Lowell, JD Drew, Ryan Howard, Johan Santana, Carlos Beltran, Grady Sizemore, Benjie Molina, Eric Chavez, Mark Ellis, Torii Hunter, Bobby Abreu, Vladimir Guerrero, Gary Mathews Jr., and my personal favorite Russ Springer are all members of the $100,000 gold glove club.

2. What player earns the most money for winning a silver slugger?

Answer: Once again, lots. By my unofficial count, there are 16 hitters out there that earn exactly $100,000 for winning a silver slugger. Here is my unofficial list:

Vladimir Guerrero, Torii Hunter, Bobby Abreu, Gary Matthews Jr, Mark Ellis, Jack Cust, Eric Chavez, Nomar Garciaparra, Orlando Cabrera, Kosuke Fukudome, Grady Sizemore, Carlos Beltran, Ryan Howard, David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, JD Drew, Magglio Ordonez

Oh yeah, there are two pitchers, who earn $100,000 for winning a silver slugger:

-The Mets Johan Santana

-And ANOTHER personal favorite, the Rangers (at the time) Vincente Padilla.......WHAT!?

3. What player earns the most money for making the all-star game?

Answer: Blue Jays SP Roy Halladay

Yes, the Blue Jays ace earns a cool $125,000 every time he's named to the all-star team.

4. What player earns the most money for receiving the most all-star votes?

Answer: Cubs OF Alfonso Soriano

Can you believe it? If Soriano is receives the most votes for the all-star game, then he's due for a ridiculous $250,000. That's a lot of dough just for winning a popularity contest.

In case you were wondering, there are three other players, who have such a clause in their contracts. Carlos Beltran and Vernon Wells would each earn $100,000 for receiving the most votes, while the Mariners Adrian Beltre (and his injured testicle) would have earned $75,000.

5. What player would earn the most money for winning the MVP?

Answer: Lots. Here is my unofficial list:

Astros 1B Lance Berkman, Tigers OF Magglio Ordonez, Angels OF's Torii Hunter, Vladimir Guerrero, Bobby Abreu, Gary Matthews Jr, Cubs OF Milton Bradley, Red Sox SP Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Mets OF Carlos Beltran

All of the following players would earn $500,000 for winning the MVP in their respective league.

But here is my favorite nugget with regards to MVP bonuses: if Jeff Suppan or Barry Zito won the MVP, they would each receive $250,000, but if/when Albert Pujols wins the MVP, he would only receive $200,000.

6. What player would receive the most money for winning the CY Young?

Answer: Mets SP Johan Santana (sort of.)

What do I mean by sort of? Well according to Cot's, Johan Santana would earn "$0.5M-$1.5M for Cy Young, but the number varies based on number won"

And check out this list of players, who would all receive $500,000 for winning a CY Young award:

-Dontrelle Willis
-Nate Robertson
-Vincente Padilla
-Jeff Suppan
-Barry Zito

I can't make this stuff up. That's quite a group of busts.

7. What player would receive the most money for winning comeback player of the year?

Answer:
Rangers OF Andruw Jones

Coming off a terrible 2008 season, it's no surprise to see that Jones had this clause inserted into his contract. If Jones does indeed win the award, he will earn $200,000.

In addition, both Pedro Martinez and Nomar Garciaparra would earn $100,000 if either was to win the award this season.

(Follow Jorge Says No! on Twitter)

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