MLB buyouts for Player contracts are good and bad. Unfortunately, they can be more bad than good when Players focuse on dollars versus the [common] sense.
Basically, there are three main points for nearly every buyout:
- When could it kick-in?
- Are there conditions attached?
- How much?
MLB Buyouts: When it Kicks In
So we are clear, a team option is not the same thing as a buyout.
Here is what I mean by a buyout. Club pays Player a set dollar amount in exchange for the contract to end. In other words, the opposite of a guaranteed contract.
Is this bad or good?
Well, if a contract is 5 years long and the buyout could get implemented in year 4, then perhaps that is reasonable.
But, if a MLB Player signs a 5 year contract and the buyout kicks in after year 1, then perhaps the buyout isn’t reasonable.
Unfortunately, some players do not know when their buyout starts. Other times, the buyout kicks in way to early. That said, an optimal buyout is going to depend on the age of a Player and their opportunities to sign additional agreements.
Thus, the timing for MLB buyouts can be significantly important.
MLB Buyouts: Conditions Attached
Conditions can include anything. When engaging a buyout, the totality of the contract needs to be considered before signed.
Was there a condition hidden in an unknown clause? You better check and re-check.
Literally, every sentence needs to be viewed as a condition attached to a buyout.
Thus, read your contract. Then, read it again.
MLB Buyouts: How Much
I think Players can really get creative in this area.
If a deal looks weak, ask for a high-priced buyout. If a deal looks strong, refuse a buyout. The middle is going to be case by case.
Thus, how much a buyout gets valued at is as important as the buyout itself.