MLB vested contracts are becoming more common. Generally, these types of agreements are used to entice veteran players.
MLB Vested Contracts – What are They?
I prefer calling a vested contract a contract with conditions. This means a player must satisfy specific conditions before they are granted a bonus or an incentive.
Players with a vested contract want their agreement to vest because they are given an absolute right to a certain outcome or reward.
If the contract does not vest, this means specific conditions were not satisfied.
MLB Vested Contracts are Option Contracts Too, Right?
Sometimes, Players confuse a contract layered with incentives with a vested option contract. I encourage Players not to confuse these variables.
Instead, I like describing agreements with strings attached where pulling a string will open a new door.
However, when or how a string gets pulled is the trick. For this reason, not every player wants or should sign a MLB contract with the intentions of having it vest.
MLB Vested Contracts: Bad News
If a contract is layered with strings, Player need to know whether the Club has control or the Player has control. As you might suspect, this is where negotiations comes into play.
MLB Vested Contracts: Examples
Unfortunately, many Players give control to the Club. But, imagine having these types of conditions within your contract:
- If assigned to a lower level of play, a bonus is granted,
- Player is awarded a bonus upon being traded,
- If Club withholds Player from playing 75% of total innings played, Player shall be granted an award or bonus [an incentive to get you onto to the field so Players can earn even more in the long run], or
- Any other type of condition you can imagine.
In case it isn’t obvious, the whole idea of layering a Player’s contract with conditions is to make it as easy as possible for the Player reap the rewards.
The minute a condition grants power to their Club, the contract begins to feel illusionary.