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August 11, 2009
  
Fun with Contract Incentives

Incentive bonuses based on performance, awards, or other achievements are now standard for most contracts signed by major league players. Cot’s Contracts does a great job of compiling these incentives. Note that information at Cot’s is extensive but not necessarily 100% complete. Here’s a look at the incentive bonuses that will be or might be paid out to various Mets this season, with a nod to Brew Crew Ball for the idea:

Johan Santana

Already obtained: $100,000. All Star Game selection.
Likely to obtain: None. No Cy Young Award this year.
Other: The chances of Santana winning the Silver Slugger are slim, considering competition like Micah Owings and Carlos Zambrano, but he has a shot at the Gold Glove Award. If he wins it, tack on another $100,000.

Carlos Beltran

Already obtained: $100,000. All Star Game selection. Unfortunately for Voltron, he won’t have a shot at earning his various Gold Glove and MVP incentives, despite a possible return this season.
Likely to obtain: None
Other: Beltran has my favorite contract perk of all the Mets: “club agreed to lease ocular enhancer machine (device that throws numbered & multi-colored tennis balls at 150 mph).”

Carlos Delgado

Already obtained: None
Likely to obtain: None
Other: I only included Delgado because this incentive was worth sharing: “$50,000 for finishing second to Bonds in MVP vote.” When Delgado signed his current contract before the 2005 season, Bonds had won the MVP Award four seasons in a row.

Francisco Rodriguez

Already obtained: None
Likely to obtain: $500,000. He will earn $150,000 each for finishing 45 and 50 games, and $200,000 for finishing 60 games. Frankie has finished 45 games this season, and although he is not technically on pace to finish 60, I bet he does.
Other: Frankie’s 2012 option for $17.5 million looks downright frightening. It is tied to performance and cannot be avoided if the following criteria are all met:

  • 55 games finished in 2011.
  • 100 games finished in 2010-2011.
  • Doctors declare Rodriguez healthy after 2011.

David Wright

Already obtained: $50,000. All Star Game selection.
Likely to obtain: None
Other: It seems unlikely that Wright will win his third consecutive Gold Glove, which would have netted him $50,000. Both UZR and +/- agree that his fielding has fallen off this season.

Jeff Francoeur

Already obtained: None
Likely to obtain: None
Other: Given that Francoeur’s ability to play everyday was a major reason for acquiring him, it’s appropriate that his only performance bonus is tied to playing time: $25,000 if he reaches 685 plate appearances. Two things are almost certain: he will not earn the bonus, and Omar Minaya will continue to fail simple math.

Livan Hernandez

Already obtained: $1 million. Cot’s doesn’t explicitly detail Hernandez’s performance bonuses, only stating that he is owed $1 million based on “starts, innings, and games.” Considering he’s on pace to make about 30 starts and pitch 180 innings, it’s safe to assume he will meet the bonus requirements.
Likely to obtain: None
Other: Big Fatty earned a base salary of $1 million just for making the 40-man roster.

Elmer Dessens

Already obtained: None
Likely to obtain: $30,000. Dessens is owed $30,000 if he makes atleast 20 relief appearances. He had made 11 so far, and with a month and a half left it seems like a safe bet that he will appear in nine more games.
Other: If Dessens makes 30 relief appearances, he will earn an extra $30,000.

Angel Pagan

Already obtained: None
Likely to obtain: $50,000. Pagan will earn $25,000 each for reaching 200 and 250 plate appearances. Let’s hope he doesn’t log as much playing time in future seasons.
Other: None

Total bonuses already obtained is $1,250,000. Combined with the likely to be obtained bonuses and the sum is $1,830,000. With an Opening Day payroll of $149.4 million, it looks like the Mets are on the hook for roughly $151 million this season.


2 Responses to “Fun with Contract Incentives”

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  1. Comment posted by Joe Sokolowski on August 11, 2009 at 11:59 am (#1054796)

    Beltran has my favorite contract perk of all the Mets: “club agreed to lease ocular enhancer machine (device that throws numbered & multi-colored tennis balls at 150 mph).”

    I remember reading a baseball preview from SI roughly in 2002. They had a small piece about Edgar Martinez being a professional hitter and such and one of the things he credited for his great eye was the ocular enchancer machine. The thing costs like $150,000 to rent per year, I believe, but it sounded awesome.

    When it was reported that Beltran had this in his contract, I was psyched and bit a dismayed that a player would have to include the rental of a piece of equipment that could make a better player in his contract rather than the Mets doing it volunterary. Anyways, from 2004 till now, I haven’t heard anything about if it’s in use. I say start hurling those tennis balls for Frenchy.

  2. Comment posted by Danny on August 11, 2009 at 6:09 pm (#1055397)

    I saw an article on the Beltran machine again this spring training. They are definitely still using it, sokojoe.

    I only included Delgado because this incentive was worth sharing: “$50,000 for finishing second to Bonds in MVP vote.” When Delgado signed his current contract before the 2005 season, Bonds had won the MVP Award four seasons in a row.

    That is hilarious!

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