MLB's 10 Dumbest Contract Clauses Ever
Winter meetings are in full effect.
Many hear about the numbers and length of an individual’s contract, but what about the perks and incentives that go along with the paycheck? Many teams will do just about whatever they possibly can to snag a talented player. Sometimes it gets incredibly unnecessary and out of hand.
Whether it’s something for your wife, food or a tractor, these are the dumbest contract clauses in MLB ever.
Look, it’s important for baseball players to see their families. It would be terrible to be apart during the entire baseball season, but can't players afford round-trip transportation?
A.J. Burnett signed a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays that included a clause that said the Blue Jays would provide eight round-trip limo rides from Maryland to Toronto.
Not even a couple hours plane ride. Burnett’s wife Karen was afraid of planes and preferred to take the long trip with the kids on the road.
Many players are extremely attached to their jersey numbers…some more than others. No. 18 is an “ace number in Japan” so Daisuke Matsuzaka wanted to make sure that would be on his back while he was with the Red Sox.
His contract included clauses about housing, airline tickets and a personal masseuse, as well as the No. 18. If 18 hadn’t been written into his contract, would he have walked away from Boston?
Most players are looking for a fair contract that lasts a couple years. Alex Rodriguez isn’t one of them.
After his controversial act of opting out of the last year on his 10-year, $252 million monster contract, A-Rod signed another record-setting deal. This 10-year contract was for $275 million with tons of perks and incentives.
One of these clauses made sure Rodriguez would remain the highest-paid position player in the league. The ridiculous contract gives him the power to void his contract after 2008 or 2009.
The only way the Yankees could keep him? Increase his 2009-10 salary by $5 million a year or make sure he’s being paid $1 million more than the highest-paid MLB position player.
Carlos Beltran is an extremely-talented player. The Mets picked him up in 2005 with a seven-year, $119 million blockbuster contract.
As if that amount of money weren’t enough, New York was also required to provide a conditioned ocular enhancer, which throws numbered, colored tennis balls over 150 mph.
The clause said the Mets must both lease the machine and have an operator for the gadget.
Greg Maddux loves golf. In fact he loves it so much he made it a part of his contract. In 2007 he signed a one-year $10 million deal with the San Diego Padres.
Along with the money came a nice perk for Maddux: a one-year membership at Del Mar Country Club in southern California.
George Brett was quite the businessman. He was able to secure an outside form of revenue from baseball. His 1984 extension with the Royals included all sorts of perks, including the bat from his “pine tar incident.”
One of the most notable clauses dealt with something that wasn’t in the same place Brett was playing. He received part ownership of one of then-owner Avron Fogelman’s apartment complexes in Memphis.
While he was playing in Kansas City, he was also making money in Tennessee. Nice deal.
Troy Glaus and his wife rooted for the other in each of their passions. Troy’s was baseball and Ann Glaus’ was equestrian. In fact, Troy Glaus supported his wife so much that he made sure a clause showed it in his contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Arizona agreed to pay up to $250,000 a year for his wife’s equestrian training and equipment. Just think: a quarter of a million dollars from the Diamondbacks wasn’t going towards anything even related to baseball.
At the beginning of the 2005 Houston Astros’ season, owner Drayton McLane asked Roy Oswalt what his goals were. Oswalt’s response? “To own a bulldozer.”
McLane made that happen after promising Oswalt said bulldozer if he won Game 6 of the 2005 NLCS. The bulldozer was written into his contract.
What began as a ploy to make Reggie Jackson shave his beard turned into Rollie Fingers’ signature moustache. He and a few other teammates began growing moustaches that they hoped would force then-Oakland Athletics owner Charlie Finley to make everyone shave.
The opposite happened; Finley offered a cash bonus to whoever could grow the best facial hair by Fathers Day. Fingers won, and a $300 bonus was added to his contract.
An extra $100 thrown in for the purchase of moustache wax clearly didn’t mean much. Rollie Fingers’ handlebar ‘stache was born.
Charlie Kerfield was a fan favorite during his time with the Astros.
He marched to the beat of his own drum, which was further exemplified by his 1987 contract negotiations. Kerfield, No. 37, asked for $110,037.37 to match his jersey number.
In addition, he received 37 boxes of orange jello, which certainly did not help his weight battle later on. That and injury problems eventually sent Kerfield down to the minors.
Ally Williams is a B/R MLB Featured Columnist. To contact, leave a note below or follow Ally on Twitter.